Interesting Photo of the Day: Motel 6 Rainbow Light Painting

Joaquin Baldwin was sitting in a downtown Motel 6 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when he noticed something odd coming through the peephole of his front door. The sun was shining directly into it, casting a circular rainbow on the far wall of the room. While most of us would mutter a “huh” and move on, Baldwin had a different idea—to take this shot:

peephole rainbow

(Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

Baldwin is a 3D designer and photographer from Paraguay working as an animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios in California. So when he saw the rainbow through the peephole, he saw it through the eyes of a visual artist. He picked up his Canon 5D Mark II and took a 3.2-second exposure and got to work. As he wrote on Reddit:

“The sun was shining directly through the hole, casting a circular rainbow on the far wall of the room. I sat with my lens right over that tiny rainbow (2 inches small), and hit the shutter as the lens hit the white part (center) of it, then did a jerky motion sideways, very fast, as I moved away from the center and captured the different colors on the circular shape. By having the camera at the center for the first second, not only did it give the center hole a bright white color, but it also gave it a nice streak.”

Here are the non-processed outtakes he tried before ultimately landing on the rainbow zigzag:

rainbow made through peephole in door

(Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

And lastly, here’s Baldwin’s more technical explanation of what’s going on:

“The hole is a regular peephole with those fish-eye type lenses, maybe half and inch or so? Light source was hydrogen fusion 8 light-minutes away. The room’s light were off, window was covered with a curtain, but light spill from window/peephole/under the door was enough to get some light into the room, and it also made it pretty neutral and monochromatic.”

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