A world without rainbows

One of the advantages of taking several cameras to a specific location is that you can use all your equipment to capture a moment – and then, after you’ve returned safely home, you can go through your photos and see how each camera interpreted the scene.

Such is what happened last month with my Niagara Falls trip.  Although I was able to capture a splitfilm image by jamming two different rolls of film in one camera, I also contemplated trying those two separate brands of film in their original respective cameras.  In other words – one with, one without.

You’ve already seen my successful combination of the two photos – Niagara 1970 1995 2016.

Here’s what happened when I shot a roll of Kodak Verichrome Pan BY ITSELF in the AGFA Chief.  Yes, I actually used a roll of film in its intended construct.  No, I have not taken ill.

And of the eight shots I pulled from that roll of film… this one caught me.

Crisp and spray. AGFA Chief camera, Kodak Verichrome Pan film, expiry unknown. Photo by Chuck Miller.
A world without rainbows.  AGFA Chief camera, Kodak Verichrome Pan film, expiry unknown. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I don’t think I’ll enter this picture in competition.  Not because of any concerns I have about the image itself, it is a striking one at that.

But the more I look at this picture – with its wispy curve that was supposed to be a rainbow bridging the water, with no tourist boat to witness it … it almost looks like a treasured, dark secret.  A rainbow that no one can see.  A covenant that has no co-signer.

We barely celebrate our successes, but we mark our failures as if they were birthdays.  We think about those we miss, and we wish they were still in our lives when we know they’re gone forever.

We truly must remember that we are blessed with only one chance in this magical constant called life.  God blessed us with this period of time.  And before God says to us, “Hey, your ride’s here,” let’s dance and celebrate and sing and party and love and cry and love and cry some more.

I’ve lived for a very long time in a world without rainbows.  It seems comfortable.  But it isn’t.  It’s insular and it’s confining and it’s confusing.  Sometimes I still feel like I’m in that world.  And I hate it.

That’s why I love photographing rainbows any time I can.  For me, a rainbow is proof that God exists, in all His confusing and complicated glory.  And with that, we have a chance to take this world and make something better.

And maybe, just maybe, we can find a way to crack out of that monochrome existence of ennui.  To rage against the dying of the light.  We can do it.

And even in the darkest moments of our lives … when the world feels like it’s closing over you…

There’s always hope.  There’s always an answer.  A good answer.

And in that moment… in that fraction of a second…

The answer is there.  The rainbow appears.  It isn’t where you thought it would be.  But it’s there.

We can find it.  You can find it by yourself.  You can ask for help.  Help might not even need to be asked.

And once that help arrives…

Then the symbolic rainbow truly comes to life.  Not in gradients of grey… but in all the visible and invisible colors of the spectrum.

Niagara 1970 1995 2016. AGFA Chief camera, Kodak Verichrome Pan 70mm film (expiry 1970), Kodak Instamatic Gold 200 film (expiry 1995). Photo by Chuck Miller.
Niagara 1970 1995 2016. AGFA Chief camera, Kodak Verichrome Pan 70mm film (expiry 1970), Kodak Instamatic Gold 200 film (expiry 1995). Photo by Chuck Miller.

We can live in a world without rainbows.

We can thrive, and make those rainbows appear.

And we can share those rainbows with others in need.

Share your rainbow today.  Don’t wait to ask for one.

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2 thoughts on “A world without rainbows”

  1. I love this. I looked at both pics several times. They are so reminiscent of “The Wizard of Oz.”

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  2. I just read this!! So beautifully written from the heart. Inspirational….”a rainbow, proof that God exists.” So true. Each one, so magnificent and majestic. One of my favorite posts Chuck. Thank you for sharing and thank you for posting the pictures. Stunning!!!

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