Photo Critique: “Evening Rainbow”

“Evening Rainbow” by Gary Hipple. Minaki, Ontario. Canon SL1, EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM @ 15mm, 1/250s, f10, iso200.

Photo Critique

A double rainbow is an amazing thing to witness and photograph, but it is important to do it justice. Although this photo is perfectly nice, it really isn’t much more than a snapshot of a beautiful natural event. It is the photographer’s job to artistically transform his or her subject by putting a creative spin on the scene. Every photographer should strive to show their own personal artistic vision, rather than just simply recording the scene as is.

What I am essentially saying is that this photo “needs more” to accomplish this goal. What that “more” is will differ from person to person, but here’s how I would have approached the scene: I would have wanted to have a strong foreground subject that would lead the eye to the double rainbow in the background. The dock in the water would likely have worked perfectly. I would have gotten close to the dock with a wide angle lens, using the edges of the dock as leading lines, which would have created the illusion of depth and visually transported the viewer deeper into the scene (an example of this approach can be found on my website here. By using a wide angle lens, the edges of the docks would have been rendered as diagonal lines appearing to converge in the distance; having them come into the image frame from the left and right bottom corners would create a compelling composition, leading the viewer straight to the double rainbow in the background.

Now, of course, the way I would do things isn’t the only way to approach a scene like this, but the overall point is that one should always be looking for a way to increase the “wow” factor of their compositions, to lead the viewer’s eye in a compelling way, and to move beyond the mere snapshot. Always be looking for a way to show people your own personal artistic vision!

Critique by Ian Plant

Photo submitted by Gary Hipple

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2 Responses to “Photo Critique: “Evening Rainbow””

  1. Winn Gillette

    The trouble with photographing rainbows...any rainbow, is that they don't stick around very long. They'll start to break up, form just a partial one, or just disappear all together... right when you think you have everything "lined up". You were lucky to get this one (and a double one at that). So first get the "shot", and then try for that "wow factor" later on, if you're lucky.

  2. Gary

    Thanks for the critique. I agree with all of your comments. It was, basically, a “snap shot.” The circumstances more or less dictated that.. the opportunity was there, but not the time or equipment. The 15mm (24 cropped) lens used was the widest I had at the time. Moving closer cropped the scene and cast my shadow in the foreground. What I liked was, of course, the double-rainbow. I also like the leading light... the highlight on the ground and dock leading to the distant subject. This is how we get better. I will be posting again. Your input is invaluable.