How to Photograph a Rainbow

Wanna learn alchemy?

Then listen up because there’s photography gold at the end of this rainbow.

More specifically, we’re gonna show you three ways to create a rainbow and then photograph it.

Pick up a tip or two and you’ll be gold baby, solid gold.

Method 1: Water + Mirror


You probably have these in your house, right now!

Fill a glass with water, set it on a mirror in the sun and look around for that rainbow. Chances are it’s there somewhere.

Top tip: Move things around! Move the water glass, tilt the mirror. Move things closer/farther from the window. Experimentation is key to optimal rainbowiness.

Method 2: Compact Disc


CDs make amazing rainbows! Move it around in the sun till you find your rainbow.

Reflect one onto a wall, or take a close-up shot of the CD itself.

Top tip: Bright sun can make your rainbow harder to see and photograph, if you’re reflecting your rainbow onto the table or a wall, try to make just the reflection area shady to see a deeper rainbow.

Method 3: Prisms


Take a crystal down from your chandelier, or pick up a prism on Amazon.

The key here is twisting your prism ever so slowly to find the perfect rainbow.

Top tip: Try shining all kinds of lights through your prism – flashlights, lamps, lasers, the rainbow from a different prism!

Editing Tip

If your rainbow is a little faint, the Saturation setting is going to be your ticket to bolder colors.

Taking it Further


  • Find a sprinkler and you’re likely to find a rainbow to photograph. Hint: stand in between the sun and the water spray.
  • Bounce light all around with a handy Pocket Reflector.
  • Hang your camera from a Rainbow Camera Strap!