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20 Stunning Rainbow Photos That Will Brighten Your Day

Whether taken in a national park or their own backyards, these amazing pictures from readers are sure to inspire you.

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Courtesy of Grace Westerman/Farm and Ranch Living

How to snap your own perfect rainbow pic

Is there anything more naturally beautiful than a rainbow?! Just looking at a rainbow, or even a gorgeous photo of one, can have an instant calming effect. Of course, rainbows are fleeting, and that’s part of what makes them so beautiful. But if you manage to snap a picture of one, you can immortalize that beauty! Our sister magazine, Farm & Ranch Living, offers some advice for how to take a perfect rainbow photo: “Late afternoon showers can lead to dramatic skyscapes, including rainbows! Shoot with the sun at your back or side. Be patient and ready for the colors to intensify as the conditions change.”

This particular photo was taken by Grace Westerman of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, and appeared in the December/January 2017 issue of Farm & Ranch Living. Check out some more truly stunning rainbow photos submitted by readers of our sister brands—and check out these other calming pictures we all need right now.

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Courtesy of James R. Doughty/Country

Spacious skies

“This brilliant double rainbow appeared over our three-acre property after a spring storm. I have photographed storms for more than 30 years now, but this is by far the most intense rainbow I have seen. We counted three or four layers of violet and purple.” –James Doughty, Hot Springs, AK, Country February/March 2017. Rainbows are pretty incredible, just like the most colorful natural features on Earth.

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Courtesy of Erica Harvey/Country

Good as gold

“Fall is a great time to visit Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. Moody weather often leads to spectacular photographs like this one.” –Erica Harvey, Rapid City, SD, Country June/July 2016. We can totally see why this photo was the winner of Country Magazine‘s “National Park Photo” competition. Here are some more photos of America’s national parks that need to be seen to be believed.

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After a big rain storm we saw this rainbow
Courtesy Lou Ann Rugg/Country

After the storm

“After a big rainstorm, we saw this rainbow.” –Lou Ann Rugg, Mill Run, PA, Country

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sunflower rainbow
Courtesy Deanna Tomkins/Birds & Blooms

Photo op

“A storm rolled in and out quickly one summer day. I thought a rainbow was a huge possibility and ran in to grab my camera.” –Deanna Tomkins, Birds & Blooms. Get ready to marvel at these 50 gorgeous photos of the world’s most beautiful countries.

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Devil's Punchbowl on the Oregon coast rainbow
Courtesy Debra Harris/Country

When Devil’s Punchbowl is heavenly

“Photographing Devil’s Punchbowl on the Oregon coast is a favorite pastime. Suddenly one sunny day, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the mist, illuminating the rocks behind it as the crashing wave receded.” –Debra Harris, Dallas, OR, Country

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Arches park in Utah rainbow
Courtesy Don Page/Country

Natural beauty

“On the last day of my visit to Arches National Park in Utah, a storm came up from the south. At the end of the day, I set up at Balanced Rock. I was getting ready to leave when the rainbow appeared out of nowhere.” –Don Page, Country. Experience some man-made rainbows with these beautiful photos of colorful towns around the world.

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Bryce Canyon National Park after a rainstorm rainbow
Courtesy Kelli Frank/Country

Extra-scenic hike

“This photo was taken at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah after a rainstorm that had lasted all day. The storm was on standstill, which is when I made a beeline for the trails in order to see what I could without getting rained on. The dark sky and the red rocks were a beautiful contrast and made for an awesome end of the day hike through the park.” –Kelli Frank, Country

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Our two horses enjoying the pasture summer rain
Courtesy Lisa Sprague/Country

Humans aren’t the only ones who love rainbows

“Our two horses enjoyed the pasture after a summer rain.” –Lisa Sprague, Country. While being amazed by all these rainbows, read up on these amazing facts about rain!

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rainbow drive road ALCAN in British Colombia
Courtesy Sherry Pederson/Country

Welcoming us

“This is one of my favorite photos from the summer. I love how the rainbow is welcoming us on the road. The photo was taken on the ALCAN Highway in British Columbia. It is an amazing scenic drive full of wildlife.” –Sherry Pederson, Country. This drive might be in British Columbia, but check out our choices for the most scenic drives in America.

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Hawaii's Kauai island lighthouse rainbow
Courtesy Wendy Harrison/Country

Top down

“We thought we were so smart renting a convertible on our first trip to Hawaii’s Kauai island, and we were sorely disappointed when it started to sprinkle. After rolling up the top we came across this lighthouse and discovered the rain was not so bad after all—we got a beautiful rainbow to celebrate our trip!” –Wendy Harrison, Country

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spring rainbow windmill
Courtesy Katherine Plessner/Country

A nice bonus

“We seem to get lots of showers that pass through in the spring. Always a nice bonus when a rainbow shows up, too.” –Katherine Plessner, Country. Get a look at these spectacular photos to celebrate the start of spring.

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kids rainbow farm
Courtesy Kyle Miller/Country

Not a care in the world

“While trying to get a tractor started, I looked over and the two boys were playing on straw bales under a rainbow.” –Kyle Miller, Country.

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Courtesy of Shaye Cobb/Farm and Ranch Living

Cows and colors

“My daughter, Trinity, was out petting the cows after the rain passed. She loves playing in the fields with the cattle.” –Shaye Cobb, Blairsville, GA, Farm & Ranch Living August/September 2017. 

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Courtesy of Jody Langford/Country Extra

Rusty pot of gold

“Carrizo Plain National Monument, 100 miles north of Los Angeles, has lots of agricultural history. This old tractor sits outside the entrance, and after years of driving by, we stopped when the conditions were ideal for this gorgeous shot.” –Jody Langford, Templeton, CA, Country Extra March 2017

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Dennis Cochran/Farm and Ranch living

Rainbow bright

“I took a number of photos after an August thunderstorm, but this is my favorite. It kind of looks as if the rainbow is coming right out of the barn roof.” –Dennis Cochran, La Fontaine, IN, Farm & Ranch Living August/September 2017

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Courtesy of April Powell/Country Extra

View from our place

“I took this photo while my husband, Cody, and I were outside running. We live within the city limits of our very small town, and this farm pasture is on a street near our house. We love it here because we have beautiful scenery to look at every day.” –April Powell, Crawfordville, GA, Country Extra July 2016. Here are some more photos that’ll make you fall in love with country life.

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Courtesy of Cindy Gibson/Farm and Ranch Living

Blue skies ahead

“Our farm was the pot of gold for this double rainbow. I think our horses were happy to have the weather break.” –Cindy Gibson, East Liverpool, OH, Farm & Ranch Living August/September 2017

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Courtesy of Becky Farrell/Country Extra

“A picture waiting to be taken”

“At 54, I took the chance of a lifetime and got a summer job in Yellowstone National Park. Photography became my favorite activity because around every corner there’s a picture waiting to be taken.” –Becky Farrell, McCalla, AL, Country Extra July 2015.

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Courtesy of Lisa Green/Country-Extra

Hope after the storm

“Back in 2010, a major storm struck the rural area where I live with my husband. It rained for two days straight, and on the third day, a nearby creek overflowed its banks. Though we lost our home that day to a flood, we were blessed that no one was hurt. I took this picture on the road by our house; whenever I look at it, I remember the blessings that came from many unexpected places. The rainbow is a reminder that even when there is dark all around, love and light will always be with us.” –Lisa Green, Tonto Basin, AZ, Country Extra May 2015. We think all of these rainbow photos can be a reminder of that!

Originally Published in www.country-magazine.com

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.