Animal Magnetism
Vachement Joli!

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View from Fourmilab: Vachement Joli!

Okay, cows are hardly an exotic species, nor something one should be astonished to observe in Switzerland, but this view from the Fourmilab conference room nicely captures the bucolic ambiance of our rural location. The rainbow is authentic; I popped it out against the sky by holding a polarising filter in front of the lens, turned to obtain maximum contrast. Note that the sky above the rainbow is darker than below. This is the signature of a genuine rainbow; if you look at most photos to which a rainbow has been added by trucage, you'll notice few get this subtle detail correct.

The field across from the Fourmilab driveway is a hay-mow; during the summer hay is harvested from it several times to feed livestock during the winter. In the fall, cows are moved into the field to consume the last of the grass, too short to harvest for hay, before retiring to the barn for winter.

This photo was taken by John Walker in September 1998 with a Kodak DC120 digital camera and auxiliary wide-angle lens with a polarising filter hand-held in front of the objective. Exposure and focus were automatic.

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by John Walker
July 10th, 2003
This document is in the public domain.