At the end of the rainbow: smiles

My favorite time to photograph is right before or after a rainstorm. Then the sun is filtered through a silver-gray sky that creates tiny mirrors of sunshine across the darkened landscape. If one is fortunate, the sky becomes a prism through which a rainbow will appear.

On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, the morning rain created just such a glow. As I watched from the porch of friends in Río Pedras, a suburb of San Juan, the right edge of a rainbow slowly emerged in the sky. At first its light was faint. Soon the left edge appeared, and increasingly the arc of the rainbow made itself known. It was as if the sky was putting on a show just for the local residents. We emerged from our houses and kept watch on the elaborate production. A second, fainter arc developed, eliciting excited murmurs from the audience. I ran for my camera to document its progress.

To be able to record the colors clearly I had to underexpose the images and then restore the true contrast of light and dark with Photoshop software. What is pictured here is how it looked to my eye. The show was over within 30 minutes. But it was a gift that kept the grateful viewers returning to their daily tasks with smiles on their faces.

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