Rainbow Road: Light Painting Blazes a Trail Through Forests, Cities & the Sea

Surreal and at times a bit eerie, a rainbow road made of pure light winds through muted landscapes as if illuminating a path to another world. As it makes its way through snowy forests, across rocky creeks and along the seashore before pausing within an abandoned shed, it almost seems alive. For filmmaker and photographer Daniel Mercadante, there’s a sense of hope to it, a narrative that only becomes apparent when you see all of the images in the series on his Instagram. “When the journey felt long and lonely, can you remember you’re on the Rainbow Road?”



The rainbow first appears in a dark and mysterious forest. It travels throughout the many diverse landscapes of California, skips all the way down to the lush jungles and weathered alleyways of Guatemala, reappears briefly on the West Coast and then finds its way to Connecticut before encircling Mercadante’s wife and creative partner, Katina Mercadante, in celebration of their anniversary.



The project is a gorgeous example of just how magical long-exposure photography can be. It’s so simple to make – you just wave sources of light against a darkened backdrop while keeping the camera shutter open longer than usual – yet it seems to open a portal to another universe. Check out the Mercadantes’ Instagram to see the whole journey, or their website for their collaborative film projects.