Erie Canal and Rainbow

September 27, 2010


Photographer: Carl Crumley 
Summary Author: Carl Crumley; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a high arching rainbow reflected on the Erie Canal was taken from Pittsford, New York on September 3, 2010. Built from 1820 to 1825, entirely in the state of New York, the Erie Canal connected Albany, on the Hudson River, to Buffalo and the Great Lakes and helped to open commerce from the Mississippi Basin to the major port of New York City. Widened and deepened over the years, and slightly rerouted, the Erie Canal is still open its entire length and is fully operational. However, it's now mostly used for pleasure craft. The tall building at left center is a former concrete grain tower built in 1939 and recently modified into a modern office building with a glass elevator, giving magnificent views of the canal.

Note that the green, blue and violet portion of the rainbow are missing The height of the primary bow indicates that the photo was snapped when the Sun was near the horizon. As with the case for sunrises and sunsets, a rainbow's longer wavelength colors (yellows, oranges, reds) are more evident than the shorter wavelength colors once the Sun dips toward the horizon. This is because the shorter wavelength blue and green colors are more readily attenuated by the atmosphere -- greater path length of sunlight. Note also that the reflected bow inadvertently portrays what it would look like if viewed from aloft, where the Earth's surface isn't in the way.

Photo details: Camera Make: FUJIFILM; Camera Model: FinePix HS10 HS11; Shutter Speed: 1/20 sec; Exposure Program: Aperture priority; F-Stop: f/6.4; Aperture Value: f/6.5; Max Aperture Value: f/2.8; ISO Speed Ratings: 100; Focal Length: 4.2 mm; Flash: Did not fire; Metering Mode: Spot.