Step by Step Guide to Make Rainbow Photography More Majestic

By: Ana Margarita Olar|

A rainbow is a fantastic focal point of a photograph especially when you least expected to see one. So grab that camera and follow these simple step by step procedures for making your majestic rainbow shot:


Look for a rainbow.

This may be the challenging step is when and where you can expect the rainbow to occur. Often times, it’s just pure luck. You can expect a rainbow if these two conditions are present: one, spraying or falling water droplets, and two, a bright sunlight. So you can expect a rainbow after a rainfall and around waterfalls or fountains. And when the condition is perfect you can also find a double rainbow which really makes a composition more interesting.

Turn back from the sun.

Rainbows appear opposite from the sun and keep in mind that many rainbows may start off weak but can increase in color and intensity after a moment. Grab your chance of shooting once the rainbow is at its peak intensity.


Another step in capturing that majestic rainbow is to quickly find a solid background with dark colors in contrast with the rainbow and allows it to stand out. For example, big dark clouds, mountain or hills, or a landscape. But if you are in a cluttered area, you can try to change the angle and focus on a part of the rainbow against a good background.


It is very important that you think about where to position your rainbow and the background in your shot. You can also consider the endpoints of the rainbow which can be a natural point of interest. You can try changing your position so that the rainbow lines with something interesting with the background.

Zoom vs. wide angle perspectives.

You can experiment with different focal lengths to create a wonderful composition with the rainbow. Commonly, you might want to use a wide angled lens to achieve a panoramic view of the full rainbow and the background. But you may also try zooming into where the rainbow meets the ground or where it appears to intersect at some interesting point in the background.

Use a polarizing filter.

A polarizing filter can make a big improvement in enhancing the color of the elements in your composition. But you have to be careful not to block the reflections of the rainbow to the point of making it disappear from the photo. If the rainbow is more vivid, you may need to rotate the filter more.

Photographing a rainbow can get frustrating and you can never predict when the conditions will align again to have the rainbow appear in the sky so keep shooting from different angles and perspectives while the rainbow lasts.