Rainbow at Elam Bend
February 2, 2006
Elam Bend Conservation Area: McFall, Missouri
Photographer: Dan Bush
Equipment: Nikon D70 Camera & Lenses
My heart leaps up when I behold 
A rainbow in the sky:
                                           - William Wordsworth


As I pulled the truck up next to one of my favorite trees I looked over my left shoulder and there sat the most vivid rainbow that I had ever seen.  It  appeared to me to be about 100 yards away or maybe even closer.  I was unable to get a great shot at first.  I couldn't get out of the truck with the camera because it was still raining fairly hard.  I didn't want to get water on my lenses.   Due to the low altitude of the setting sun the red color of this rainbow was more vivid than the other colors.   Notice that the colors of the secondary rainbow are opposite in order of the primary rainbow colors with red appearing on the inside of the bow.  Also notice that the sky inside of a rainbow is much brighter than the area outside.  For more information about rainbows go HERE.


All images
                    Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush

All images
                    Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush

The pictures above are the first photos that I took.  It shows the apparent close proximity of the right flank of the rainbow.  That tree line is about 1500 feet away from me as measured on an aerial photo.    I have never seen a rainbow this close before other than one created by artificial sources of water such as a garden hose or sprinkler.  NOTE:  No pot of gold was found as a result of this event.


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                      Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush


At left is a fisheye lens view of the rainbow including the old tree near the road.  The hill behind me put part of my surroundings in shadow.  This was my first ever shot of a complete rainbow.  No other camera or lens that I have ever owned was capable of taking such a shot where both flanks of the rainbow were seen all the way down to the ground.  As an added attraction this was a double rainbow which is most often the case.




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                      Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush

This is a photo of the left flank of the rainbow.  The rain had moved beyond the tree line at this point.  These tall trees are near the southern bank of the Grand River as it runs to the east near Elam Bend.




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                      Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush


I moved closer to the tree with the fisheye lens for this composition.  The secondary rainbow is still there but is disappearing fairly quickly.




All images Copyright  2005-2006 D.
                  Bush
All images Copyright  2005-2006 D.
                  Bush

As the rain moved on and the  rainbow dissipated the view was still picturesque to the east.   Notice that a small portion of the rainbow (primary and secondary) is still visible on either side of the tree paralleling the trunk. 

A ghostly red hue lit up the landscape as the sun set deeper and deeper in the west.  Even though the rainbow was pretty much gone the sky still continued to put on a show of color.

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All images Copyright  2005-2006 D.
                  Bush
All images Copyright
                   2005-2006 D. Bush

The sunset colors filled the sky in every direction.  The images above show the view to the west.

 

All images Copyright
                     2005-2006 D. Bush



This image shows the sky as it looked to the south after the sun was below the horizon.  Rarely is an evening rainbow not followed by such a scene.


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                      Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush

All images Copyright  2005-2006 D. Bush

At left are summertime views of the same tree at Elam Bend shot in  2005.  The name "Elam Bend" is a descriptive place name that describes a sharp bend in the Grand River that occurs here.  The river has changed its course in this area several times including a major shift as a result of the flooding in 1993.   This area is also listed in the book Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri as a "shut-in" where  the river valley narrows considerably with bluffs very near the river.  You can see the area including the tree using the Google map link shown below.   The tree appears as a black dot in a tan colored field near the bend in the road.  The map should be centered right on the tree.  The tree has suffered much damage since the images were taken due to harsh winter ice storms.

All images Copyright  2014 D.
                  Bush






A more recent view of the area taken from the air.  The tree is still there on the northern (right) side of the curve in the road.  A firing range has since been dug into the side of the hill to the south.  This image was taken in January of 2014.

All images Copyright  2014 D.
                Bush
A wide panorama looking north of the Elam Bend Conservation Area taken in January of 2014.  The tree in the rainbow photo is at the left.  The McFall water tower can be seen on the horizon on the right side of the image.  The white windmills near King City can be seen on the horizon to the left of the image.  The GoPro fisheye lens used in this image makes objects look farther away than they really are.  It's fairly easy to tell the difference between old growth wooded areas and new growth in this view.  New growth areas have grown in just recently (10 years) due to the meandering of the Grand River.

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A final view looking south showing the Elam Bend Conservation Area and the "shut ins" part of the Grand River. 

Popularity and fraudulent claims:  The photos that were taken on this evening have become very popular on the internet. These rainbow  images have been used hundreds if not thousands of times on the internet for personal and commercial purposes without my permission.  I have received thousands of requests to use the images, especially the ones  taken with a fisheye lens, in various projects.  One image was even spread throughout the web in a "chain letter" type e-mail.  I did not start this e-mail.  Visits to this web page and other Missouri Skies pages of mine have soared into the tens of millions since these shots were taken.  This has brought with it both good and bad experiences for me.

Back in 2009 I was even accused on national New Zealand television and the internet of stealing one of these images from a woman in Auckland (3rd image from the top).   I was shocked that this happened.  Needless to say I complained about this.   They have since removed the video that claimed that I stole the image and admitted that I am the rightful owner after viewing my evidence.  I received quite a bit of hate mail accusing me of plagiarism and theft because of this story.  My brother summed up the irony in the whole mess by pointing out that they (TVNZ) used my photos without my permission in order to do a news story about using someone else's photos without permission.

The woman in the TVNZ story offered no proof at all that she was the owner but I was able to provide over 10 pieces of evidence to them including the items below:

  1. I showed the exact location including Google map evidence:  Google Map of the Area
  2. I took you back to the exact place in this video: YouTube Video of me at the tree
  3. I have proof of early publication: Missouri Conservation Magazine, page 2
  4. I have proof of early publication: Spaceweather web site.  Do an archive search for February 18, 2006


All images Copyright 2005-2014 D. Bush
Any use is prohibited without permission.

Site Updated: February 2, 2014 - 8 years to the day since the actual photo shoot.

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