Friday, April 27, 2007

Blinded by the light

Circular Rainbow, Amherst, NH, April 2007, Nikon D40 with 18-200mm VR lens, Focal length 20mm, Exposure 1/800 sec @ f14, ISO 200, no flash, circular polarizing filter © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Mama always told me not to look into the eye's of the sun
But mama, that's where the fun is
~~ from Manfred Mann's version of Blinded by the Light,
~~ originally written by Bruce Springstein
The other day, I happened to look up at the sun. Yes, it had been a while since we last saw it ;-) And what did my eyes behold? Blindingly bright light, surrounded by a circular rainbow. For this picture, I let the peak of our garage block the sun. So you don't see the entire rainbow, but trust me, it goes all the way around.

I've seen these kinds of rainbows before, but only from airplanes, looking down onto the tops of clouds. This was the first one I've ever seen from the ground. I did a little Google research, and every reference I found to circular rainbows said you need to see them from on high -- but this one is from the ground looking up. Perhaps a little more rare than I had imagined.

Anyone else ever see one of these from the ground?


Pat said...

Gorgeous! I've got an insipid one that needs help from Photoshop, but this one is fantastic! Congratulations!

Steven Crisp said...

Gee, thanks Pat.

If I had realized this was a somewhat rare phenomenon, I would have just kept clicking away.

You would think my nearly 50 years of never having seen one might have registered as a small clue. Well, I guess that's whee the world "clueless" comes from ;-)

But then again, it took me pretty much the same length of time to realize that is not such a bad state to be in ;-)

Anonymous said...

The circular rainbow must perplex those lookings for the pots of gold that are spozed to be sitting at each end of a rainbow.

Nice photo. Didn't know that there were any pyrimids in N.Hampshire, but seeing is baleaving I guess.

tol said...

It's awesome and stunning. I've seen rainbow many times but never have I seen such spectacular one like this and it reminds me that our life is indeed as colourful as the rainbow, only if we are aware. Thanks Stephen, for the beautiful shot!

Steven Crisp said...


Actually, you can see that the pots of gold would have to be in my house. And of course, they are, aren't they?


Thanks for the comment. And for your reflection on awareness. Please come back again, and I'll try to find another interesting photo for you.

Tol said...

A glorious day to you Steven and also to all those beautiful souls out there! I certainly look forward to your beautiful photos and I see uniqueness in each and every one of the shots. Keep them coming --- Thank you !

T O M said...

There are many questions to ponder??? Did Steven actually shot any, directly at the sun and how it will look like? Why almost all emphases are on the colourful rainbow and not on the sun or the dark house? Will the rainbow comes out so very bright if not because of the block by the house? Can the sun be replaced by a street light and yet generate a rainbow effect? Since the odds are so very great, then why do all still have great faith or take for granted that the rainbow is circular despite the actual photo and what Steven had himself admitted that over fifty years this is the only one round? It is indeed an honour to Steven's integrity bestowed by his friends? Now the gist of the wisdom of Mama that had been completely overlooked.The sun usually represent the Divine and one can't see into the divine unless one is 100% divine himself.To see the divine then is to look elsewhere in the reflections or refractions as in the case of the rainbow. One will be blinded by the divine just like the eye of the sun? But Mama that's where the fun is? The child is always innocent and what is fun is bright. There is no fear for the divine as there is no understanding of the fear. To progress towards the divine is the original objective but not after experiencing the distractions by beautiful rainbow and the dark side first???
You are fantastic and Mama too.

Steven Crisp said...

t o m,

I'm not sure you really wanted answers to your questions, but here goes:

Yes, I took some into the sun, but they did not come out -- rather, you cannot see the rainbow. Note, however, no problem seeing it with my own eyes. I expect one can "self blank" the sun -- the mind is a powerful image processor ;-)

Yes, I htink you are right -- the sun could be replaced by another light source. It likely depends on the atmospheric conditions between the light and the observer. In this case, I expect it was high altitude atmospherics that enabled this somewhat rare event.

As for your faith in my integrity, you'll just have to read more of the blog(s) and make your own assesment based on what you read ;-) No, I don't think integrity is bestowed by others, but is a quality of the self, which can be observed by others.

As for the Divine -- such an overladed concept. Whatever you mean by that word is likely different from what I mean, or what another reader means. Such is the problem with (and duality of) language.
By implication, you don't think you are 100% divine yourself. Maybe you are and do not realize it. Maybe that is a condition that lies beyond your own ego/self. Maybe that is your Authentic Self.

But I also like your notion that you glimpse the Divine by looking elsewhere -- in reflections and refractions. I would agree with this. We have such a hard time describing the Divine (or God, or Oneness, or the Void, etc., take your pick). Indeed, I think it is accurate to say that you CANNOT accurately describe it in words, because it is not part of our duality -- rather the non-dual source of our manifestations.

But it seems as if there is the possibility of a non-thinking "knowing". I think this is the source of intuition. A "recognition" of reality of sorts. A seed or spark of Divine knowledge that exists within each of us, just awaiting recognition. A state of awareness that can be found beyond our conditioning, beyond our past, beyond our ego.

Yes, it is possible to get distracted. By the rainbows and the dark side. By life, and happiness, and suffering. But it is also possible to have a detached appreciation for the ebb and flow of life, all from the perspective of the Divine. You are fantastic too t o m -- thanks for your comment.