« 19:19 | Main | Polychrome II »

Friday, 21 August 2009


As a Brit, all I know about the Green Bay Packers comes from having read John Irving's "The Fourth Hand". Highly recommended, but somewhat strange!

The 15mm is about a 22.5mm equivalent, right? One of my favorite lenses in the 35mm film era was my 20mm f/2.8. There weren't many situations where it wasn't wide enough, though I think a full rainbow was one.

those are wonderful rainbow photos.

for somebody who counts money in pesos, something which costs $400 (say a DFA limited) will cost P20,000. and that's a large number.

I hope I can somehow find a way to own a nice prime.

Growing up 90 miles from Green Bay, that house photo carries no shock value at all. :D Now I live in Minnesota, and right on cue, my mother called me while I was at work today to make sure I knew Favre was playing for the Vikings tonight. I think she wanted to know how the other side was taking things.

I still wonder how well the Packer M6 would have actually sold.

I loved the skies in Wisconsin...some great lightning shows, too. But, I saw even more incredible sights during my time in Santa Fe. On one 10 mile drive into the city, I saw 8 rainbows...three "double" rainbows, and 2 singles, in different parts of the sky. Had someone painted this, the scene surely would have been mocked as pure fantasy. Unfortunately, no camera, but I think I would have needed a panoramic version.

The day Les Paul died I was down in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I was at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. This is particularly meaningful because, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio is an all analogue studio. They have the very first Ampex 8 Track Recorder that Les Paul made. I plan on posting up some pictures of the Ampex 8 Track Recorder that will be posted on my blog soon.

I was vacationing in the Philippines in 2004 and I wandered into a used clothing store and saw a bunch of Brett Favre jerseys in all sizes hanging on the wall and on the racks.

Yes, all rainbows take up the same field of view (at least the primary rainbow). Visual light refracts from the water droplets at about 40 degrees, so the extent of the entire rainbow is 80 degrees from the viewer's perspective.

Thanks mike.


If you draw a line from the sun to your head (or camera) and project it in the other direction, rainbows always circumscribe a circle with a radius of 42 degrees around the anti-sun line. Using the classic angle of view calculator, I believe that a 15mm lens should just be able to capture a complete rainbow on 35 mm film. However, This guy did it with a 10.5 on a D70 so maybe I have something wrong.

Correction - the guy I linked only got part of the rainbow, so maybe I'm right. The best and most digestible info on rainbows that I have found is here.

Jeff, are you saying there were multiple rainbows centered at different places in the sky at the same time? That strikes me as highly unlikely. There would have to be several huge reflective surfaces to reflect a lot of sunlight in different directions.. A large body of standing water could act as one reflector, but that's all I can imagine (and multiple bodies of water would all reflect with the same angle).

Mike - Les Paul invented the first solid-body electric guitar, there were already hollow body electric guitars played by folks like Charlie Christian. Les' peculiar genius was to buck the conventional wisdom by showing that a guitar with no acoustical properties could sound good amplified.

I bought my DA 15mm for architectural interiors (almost no distortion!)and the occasional (hopefully) dramatic landscape. It's interesting how, otherwise, I've weaned myself off my once-obsessive love of the extreme wide-angle effect.Perhaps getting everything in was just a substitute for lack of considered composition (not that THAT's improved much).

Mike, lovely cloud image-pity about the football practice. Try Fill Light in ACR or expose for the cloud and open up about 2 stops. I apologise if the web jpeg on my PC doesn't reveal the full tones of your original image. Keep up the good work.
P.S. I do so hope that this post doesn't provoke too many "I know about this Rainbow stuff so don't disagree" posts !

It's not just the diameter of the rainbow, but where the centre is. If you take a line from your head at eye level through your shadow at the equivalent point, the line will point at the centre of the rainbow's arc.
The picture above shows this where you can see Mr J's shadow. You can also just see that the colour order is reversed as usual in the outer bow.
Someone standing next to you will see a different lot of reflected light and a so a completely different rainbow.
When the sun is high, the rainbow is low, and vise-versa. The lens you need to get the whole arc in varies according to how high the sun is behind you.

Seeing rainbows in different parts of the sky is easily explained if one is driving around. The fact they are always oriented in the opposite compass direction to the sun may not be obvious, especially since the sun will be behind us! We usually think of a part of the sky in 3D terms, as being above a particular building or as containing a particular cloud, but rainbows are not "in" any part of the sky in this sense. They are effects of droplets, sun and an observer's position; just as your reflection moves with you when you walk past a reflective building, handing off different light rays hitting different parts of the mirror. The rainbow we see from a different spot is coming from different water droplets, but they are refracting in the same way relative to the sun and to our eye, as the first ones did.

That double one is a beauty.

You should set your camera's date and time, Mike. Unless you prefer thinking it is April.

sounds like you need the 12-24/4, Mike. It's a beauty of a lens.

Mike...no, but Richard explained it well. I was indeed driving into town from my house (10 miles over the course of about 15-20 minutes)and saw "different" rainbows from different vantage points. I realize that no panoramic camera could have captured these at once, since they only became apparent given each of my vantage points at each particular time. I was merely relating back to difficulty of capturing such an awesome experience.

Also, the "double" rainbows I experienced that day were unlike any I've seen before. In your shot, there is a faint second rainbow. That day, the second rainbows were virtually equal in intensity...truly astounding. I pulled the car over once just to absorb what I was seeing.

"sounds like you need the 12-24/4, Mike. It's a beauty of a lens."
Couldn't agree more, Doug.

With or without rainbows, the sky in that part of the country always strike this east-coaster as epic and awe-inspiring--bigger and clearer than ours, crisper and more dynamic than the big skies further west and south. I don't know how you natives manage to ignore it well enough to go about your business. Apparently even the 15mm can only hint at the spectacle, though the third shot shows a nice fragment.

"don't know how you natives manage to ignore it well enough to go about your business. Apparently even the 15mm can only hint at the spectacle, though the third shot shows a nice fragment."

robert e,
We have kind of a "little sky" around here. Fair amount of hills, lots of trees...it's sort of frustrating when you want to look at the skies. I see very little sky on my street. I was near that stretch of factories when the rainbow appeared so I headed over there just because I knew it was open land and I could see some sky. There are a few nice vantage points around here for skies, but you sort of have to pick your spots.

I do enjoy watching the sky, which is one reason I like living by water...it lowers the horizon, gives you more sky.


"I do enjoy watching the sky, which is one reason I like living by water...it lowers the horizon, gives you more sky."

On the other hand, Santa Fe is 7000 feet up (a third higher than the "mile high city"), surrounded by 3 mountain ranges that soar up to 12,000 feet. You may not see as much sky, but what you see can sometimes be amazing, in part created by the weather patterns over the hills.

My last house, however, was in the Oakland Hills overlooking San Francisco Bay...another view altogether, but no less beautiful.

And, given all that, I still prefer shooting in the city streets.

I remember reading something from Galen Rowell (in "Mountain Light", maybe?) where he said that rainbows always appear in an 42-degree arc around the antisolar point. For some reason, that stuck with me. Seems to fit the explanation above...

Nice shots. I like the symbolism on the first one. I'm fairly new to your site (found it a few months ago), so I'm not sure how often you feature your own photography, but perhaps a Waukesha tag is in order?

That's a great lens- a bit wide for my personal tastes (kinda the same reason I have no interest in the DA 300- just not my focal length), but I've been impressed at the lack of spherical distortion. I do like the DA 21 I own, but I wish it matched the DA 15 in that respect.

The sky looks pretty big (by Midwestern measures anyway) at the top of the tower on Lapham Peak. It would be fun to watch a line of thunderstorms coming in from that location, while descending quickly as they near.

I just don't understand you cheeseheads tossing Favre into the dustbin like that. When I moved to Bloomington (Indiana) a few years ago, I stopped by the local sporting goods emporium. Of course it was loaded with Cream and Crimson Hoosier apparel (and a smattering of Notre Dame items), but an entire section was dedicated to the Scarlet and Black of Texas Tech. I puzzled over this for quite some time, until I spotted the portrait of Bobby Knight.

The comments to this entry are closed.