Friday, August 12, 2011
Top five: iReport's rainbow colors

Editor's note: iReport, CNN's citizen journalism initiative, is celebrating its fifth birthday this month. To mark the occasion, we're taking a look at some of iReport's shining moments in a series of top five posts on a variety of topics. Today, we’re taking a look at some of our shiniest rainbow imagery. Many thanks to Seattle band Wonderful, for letting us pair their song "Rainbow Colors" to the video compilation seen below.


Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In grade school you may have been taught to remember the colors of the rainbow by using the name "Roy G. Biv" as a mnemonic. But when I think of rainbows, I can only remember one name: Hungrybear9562.

Paul Vasquez, aka. Hungrybear9562, aka. "Double Rainbow Guy," delighted millions of people with his highly entertaining video and voice-over reaction to a double rainbow at Yosemite, California, which went viral in January 2010.

His video inspired us to create an assignment to welcome rainbow photos and videos. iReporters didn't need to be told twice. To date we've received hundreds of iReports documenting this colorful phenomenon.

Here are five of our favorites.


One of the most "intense" double rainbows we've seen was recorded by iReporter Mike Stouffer of Wausau, Wisconsin, on May 4, 2010. When I first saw his photos, I immediately thought the rainbow had been "Photoshopped," but then my jaw dropped when I saw his video. Mike says he "looked for the pot of gold," but it was nowhere to be found. He thinks of that rainbow as a "symbol of hope."

Natural beauty

This beautiful rainbow comes courtesy of John O'Neal, who captured it in late June 2009 at Yellowstone National Park. He says, "The rainbow brought peace after what was quite a severe and sudden storm. This was the first time I've been able to see an entire rainbow from one end to the other. As you walk and drive, the rainbow travels with you as if you are stationary. It's quite an awesome sight."

Electric photo bomb

David Johnson's double rainbow stands out with its electric "photo bomb." He says that while he was photographing the rainbow during a sunset in Ridgecrest, California, his daughter asked him to try to get a shot of the lightning with the rainbow. He explains, "I got lucky and captured it on the first attempt. I tried (unsuccessfully) several more times to get another, but none were as good as the first."

Color stitching

This double rainbow appeared over Dobbs Ferry, New York, on October 1, 2010, after the remnants of tropical storm Nicole passed through the region. iReporter Rob Mintzes stitched together six different images to create this high quality rendition.

A different kind of rainbow apple

And just on July 13, Nicholas Kistner submitted video of this beautiful double rainbow hanging over Manhattan. "I thought it looked really cool, and I had to get it on camera," Kistner said.

The beauty of rainbows is clear to see in these and all the wonderful iReports we've received over the years. But, to quote Hungrybear9562, "What does it mean?"

I think Mike Stouffer hit the nail on the head. Rainbows will always be "symbols of hope." They remind us of the beauty of the world, a beauty that outlasts storms, catastrophes, credit downgrades, political scandals and other breaking news.

We hope you'll keep them coming. Have you ever taken a picture of a double rainbow? Share your photos and videos here on CNN iReport.

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