Double Rainbow over Manhattan

5DMKII + 16-35mm, 1/5000 at f/3.5, ISO 200 + Photomatix.

I’m always chasing rainbows. Any time I see rain clouds part and a burst of sun stream through I think, “there is a rainbow somewhere!” Fight or flight kicks in, I grab my camera, and I race against the clock to grab the perfect shot.

I was in my living room when I see the thick thunderclouds break with a bolt of sun and I instantly lunge for my camera (which of course has no memory card in it). Gah! I frantically search my apartment and find one… that is completely full. Arg. I delete some photos and dash out of my apartment towards the elevator.

After a few agonizing minutes it arrives and I head up to the sky deck. I open the door and BAM — the most vibrant double rainbow I’ve ever seen. It’s still pouring out and I’m getting drenched, but I have the biggest smile on my face. This shot is perfect. I turn on my camera, look through my 24-70mm lens and realize, with utter dread, that this lens isn’t wide enough to get the whole rainbow in the shot. I’m gutted. I feel the floor cave in while my perfect shot is slipping away. I pout. Maybe swear a little. I reach for my iPhone and I grab a few shots. They are cool, but I need my 16-35mm.

Taken with Camera+, FX: Vibrant.

I decide that I can’t give up and book it to the elevator. As I’m heading down again, my stomach is literally sinking. I know the rainbow is fading. I get off the elevator and run to my apartment. I turn the key in the lock and it doesn’t work. Wrong key? I try a different one. Wrong FLOOR. Ahh!! At this point I nearly lose it.

The elevator is taking ages to arrive again. Each second that passes, I feel my dream photo vanish. I finally get back to my apartment, grab my 16-35mm and head back up. I burst through the sky deck door and start shooting furiously. The rainbow is fading rapidly, but I manage to catch it’s last few breaths before it dies.

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  • Reply
    Jim Martin
    July 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    You must have looked like a crazy woman! I think I would have taken two pics with the 24-70 and stitched it later…but that’s just me being lazy.

  • Reply
    Dustin Meyer
    July 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    So intense! Love the shot btw :)

  • Reply
    July 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Haha, what a cool story, the picture came out awesome, really impressive!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 7:00 AM

    amazing is all i can say!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Nice shot and dedication! Someone should have got a picture of you seeing the double rainbow :)

  • Reply
    Double Rainbow Over Manhattan
    July 25, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    […] Bettany shot this amazing photo of a Double Rainbow Over Manhattan after a recent storm in NYC. […]

  • Reply
    July 27, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    it’s so cool, can i use this picture for my band’s artwork? all credits goes to you of course. :)

  • Reply
    Brodsky Organization
    July 29, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    Beautiful rainbow! Someone had the perfect view of Manhattan at the perfect time. It’s not very often one can capture a shot like this.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    How can I buy a print of this from you?

  • Reply
    ms q
    November 19, 2012 at 5:26 AM

    double rainbows allways have the red coulor reflected and that’s not in your picture. So it cant be real. The first is fake the second, orginal is real.

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