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What passes for a rainbow on a dry day

April 1, 2015


Curious things about Wednesday: it was sunny and dry for me until about 3 p.m. when I crossed 8th Avenue at Manitoba Street. On the south side of Manitoba it was dry but on the north side it was ever so slightly drizzling rain.

I even backtracked to the south side to confirm the phenomenon.

The other curious thing would be that I had already photographed a rainbow of sorts, some five blocks south — before I encountered the rain — at a Manitoba Street intersection in what I am pleased to think of as part of the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

And by rainbow I mean the prismatic effect that the retro-reflective coating on a speed limit sign was throwing off if I stood in just the right spot in the middle of the intersection.

Always nice to have something difficult to shoot for


This photo is very underexposed but the prismatic effect is still virtually flared out.

This effect only occurs in strong sunlight and is difficult (in my experience) to photograph using a point-and-shoot camera because the automatic exposure just overdoes it and flares out the colours on the sign.

The trial-and-error workaround my Pentax WG-3 allows is to lock in a lower exposure for a brighter part of the environment. This involves pointing the camera at a stronger light source (such as the sun) and then half-pressing the lozenge-shaped shutter release button until the camera focuses with an audible bleep. Keeping the shutter release half-pressed, I then point the camera at the scene I want to photograph and finish pressing. Click the image to enlarge it.

One Comment
  1. Slowcrow permalink

    Sure glad you saved up and bought that camera. You seem to see more things in an hour, than ‘regular folks’ see in a week (probably longer….) Lack of electricity probably helps, a natural weeder out of other distractions. 😉 Keep on keeping on.

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