Low Down Rainbow

The phrase “low down” has a lot of uses. You can always condemn low down dirty tricks, or if you remove the space, you can get the lowdown on someone. If you swap it around, it can describe sneaky behavior–on the down low, or you can use it to describe a rainbow next to the horizon, which is what I’ve done here. I have a low down rainbow.

Taken a few miles south of Portales, New Mexico, this is one of the few times I’ve seen a rainbow this low in the sky. Almost every other rainbow I’ve seen arched its way across the sky, climbing to the zenith. But not this one; it was low down.

It might have something to do with how flat that territory is; it seems you can see a million miles in any direction. If I had turned to my left, I would have seen the grain elevators in Clovis, and they’re almost twenty miles away. Now that’s flat.

I don’t normally take photographs of rainbows…or of sunsets or sunrises. In every case it’s because I haven’t figured out how to make it original, how to make it say something that hasn’t been said before. In the case of sunrises, it’s also because I don’t think anyone gets up that early. If NASA can fake a moon landing, then sunrise pictures should be no problem. I think they’re all sunset pictures that have been Photoshopped.

For this photograph, the circumstances were different. It wasn’t a normal rainbow, and, honestly, I was bored. I just had to take a picture of something, even if it was worthless, because I had driven out there thinking of a different subject. Unfortunately, my memory played me false or time had erased what I was searching for.

But at least I have my rainbow photo: one more check mark on the photographer’s bucket list.


This entry was posted in Photography.

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