Tuesday, April 30, 2024

5 Minutes in Nature: Finding your rainbow

Rainbow over Haleakala, Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

When a bright rainbow can stretch all the way across the horizon, it might be hard to think of it as your own. Dozens, if not hundreds, of other people must be seeing it, too, right?

But even if that rainbow spans one of the world’s largest cities, any rainbow you see is decidedly your own. Everybody gets their own. Any rainbow you see forms on a personal arc drawn from the shadow of your head. Even if we’re standing side-by-side, we’re technically seeing different rainbows.

This idea that even a vast rainbow can be something personal is a core element of my Five Minutes in Nature project, which is on view until July 21 at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York.

Nature photography often leads to mimicry, often by design. For much of my career, I supplied images to travel guide publishers. National Geographic used an image of mine from the north rim of the Grand Canyon in a book called The World’s Greatest Travel Experiences.

Fiery Sunrise, Tuweep, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Personally, it was an amazing experience. The place where I took the photograph was about 70 miles from paved road. Early in the night, a lightning storm illuminated the canyon. After it passed, I took more photographs as stars filled the sky. Then the rain returned, though I hiked back out to the rim about 45 minutes before sunrise, just in case the sun could shine through. It did – turning the sky fiery red for a few minutes.

It's implied in the National Geographic book that to have a great experience, you should stand where I once stood. But with Five Minutes in Nature, I would rather inspire people to open themselves up to the wonderful experiences in nature that happen all the time. Maybe your experience is at the Grand Canyon. Or maybe it’s in a little park down the street.

And quite likely an amazing experience isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime event. With the right mindset, it might happen every day.

Through the project, I share both my images and the experiences behind them. Sometimes wonderful things happen when you just stop for five minutes to see what happens. Other times, I make deeper connections by studying shades of green or considering what time looks like.

Five Minutes in Nature is an invitation to explore — to find your own rainbow. I hope you can see it at the museum where my experiences are shared in 33 large-scale photographs, some presented larger than life-size. I also have a companion book (preview or buy here), which shares many more images and experiences.

(Prints of Kevin Ebi's images are available through LivingWilderness.com. Learn about new work by joining his mailing list.)

No comments: