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News The Time-Lapse of Rainbows

20 November 2023 Holly Eckersley

Rainbows are a phenomenon caused by airborne water droplets which are illuminated with light creating a multicoloured arc. This optical spectacle, which can be caused by mist, dew, rain or spray, has fascinated philosophers such as Aristotle as-well as inspiring legends in Irish folklore. Additionally, the rainbow flag is a triumphant symbol of LGBT pride and social movements and the rainbow symbol was also used during the recent COVID- 19 pandemic when people came together to thank the NHS in the UK. These beautiful arcs of light have been captured by many time-lapse enthusiasts online, which show and track their formation in the sky. Here we look at some wonderful examples of time-lapse which show the power of this media to capture such natural phenomenons beautifully.

An image of a rainbow arching over a grassy meadow. Time-Lapse Systems.

In this short time-lapse video by TwisterTV a supernumerary rainbow is seen arching over a grassy meadow. This rainbow shows faint bow lines just inside the main multicoloured rainbow. Moving clouds and changing lights in the sky are the only references for the passing of time in this video, giving it a tranquil and calm ambience.

Tim Ziegler’s time-lapse video of a rainbow forming shows the changing weather in the build-up to a rainbow appearing in the sky. Strong winds can be seen blowing the leaves on trees and bushes, the video then transitions to a grey rainy sky and rain droplets can be seen trickling down the camera’s lens. The video then shows the rain shower easing and the sky slowly changing to a bright blue colour with white clouds moving overhead as a rainbow begins to form in the mid-ground of the shot. This time-lapse video perfectly articulates the transient nature of rainbows as it slowly starts to fade as the video comes to an end.

This time-lapse video was filmed from the top of a hill by Canyon Lake in Texas and shows the remnants of a mesoscale convective vortex as low hanging clouds swirl and move vigorously through the frame. The clouds eventually part as sunlight shines over the canyon and a double rainbow arches over the hills creating a magical scene. The video was filmed on a Go Pro Hero 5 showing how affordable equipment can be used by enthusiasts to create striking time-lapse videos. We think that this video shows the wonder and power of nature in incredible detail.

Through these videos we can see how time-lapse can perfectly document the subtlety and nuances of a process and these video show the natural phenomena of rainbows appearing. Time-lapse can also clearly capture building and demolition processes showing each stage of a project in detail. At Time-Lapse Systems we are experts in our field and we only use the very best equipment. Additionally our experienced and accredited team can confidently offer appropriate solutions for any site, on any project, for any duration.

If you would like to discuss your project with our team, please get in touch and we can talk through the range of services that we offer.

A rainbow at Shotton Mill captured with one of Time-Lapse Systems' cameras.A shot of a rainbow captured on one of our time-lapse cameras as we document works at Shotton Mill.


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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.