Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Year Of The Rainbow

It's getting to the time when I've got to start thinking about my 2014 review post... but in doing so, I've realised that one thing has stood out more than anything else this year... rainbows.

For some reason, whether by luck or (lack of?) judgement, I've not really photographed many of these lovely things until this year... but following on from a pretty wet and windy sunrise on Curbar Edge last January I've been lucky enough to find myself out in the perfect conditions on numerous occasions. Sometimes this has been through forecasting errors, I've expected blue skies and had torrential downpours, sometimes through careful planning and picking a location that will work for them, and sometimes I've been in the right place, waiting for them, but to no avail. 

Whilst rainbows are obviously beautiful, they tend to come in the most challenging of conditions - when wind blows heavy showers through and light shoots down in and around them. To make matters worse, the wind always seems to be blowing into the lens, so with all the water flying about it makes shooting them quite an ordeal. You mentally compose your shot, pick your settings, push your camera to its limits in terms of technical stuff, then quickly put it to your eye, shoot, hope for the best, dry it off and repeat - until you've got one you're happy with with minimal rain spots to clean up.

So anyway, here are a series of rainbows that I've seen this year - with each photo being on a different occasion.

January, Curbar Edge. Clear skies forecast, heavy rain/sleet/snow in reality. 
February, Sheffield. I was sat at my desk one morning and this appeared out of the window.
April, Stanage Edge. With showers forecast, I went out expecting some good light on this occasion.
August, Win Hill. On this occasion, I specifically headed here for rainbows - knowing the views in all directions and the showery forecast.
August, Newlands Valley. Pure luck, we headed up Catbells for sunrise and this happened behind us.
August, Grantham. Too full to move after a huge meal, I let the rainbows come to me.
October, Richmond. A mix of luck and planning. I never expected to be out shooting rainbows, but upon seeing the cloud behaviour at sunrise I walked the couple of miles to this location to wait it out... and was treated to this magical moment.
December, Kinder Scout (ish). This is a very special one, a 'snowbow''. Snow at my level, but there must have been rain over the valley.
December, Bamford Edge. Another that began as luck, but quickly turned to good judgement. A change of location upon seeing the weather and a long wait in the rain paid off spectacularly.

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