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Help with Rainbow

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  • Help with Rainbow

    Hi! This is my first post so bear with me....I'm trying to learn photoshop elements with the hidden tools on my own. I've also been working with the Eisman retouching book so here goes.

    I was lucky enough to catch a great rainbow at Niagara Falls last summer and wanted to try my hand at making this picture pop. What I've done so far is:
    • Use gaussian blur to remove some of the noise in the sky
    • Added a levels adjustment layer and clipped the tails
    • Added a curves layer to blue up the sky and river
    • Removed the balloon in the air and the lampost on a separate layer with the close stamp tool
    • Used the Burn tool on some of the people on the deck so they weren't prominent

    I'd like to make the rainbow really pop but I don't know where to begin. Any help or comments on my technique so far would be greatly appreciated.

    I've attached the original and my work in progress.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Karen, and welcome to RetouchPro!

    First off, the burning technique on the people hasn't really worked. When I looked at your work in progress without having read what you'd done my eye was immediately drawn to those spots - they just don't look natural, partly because you've done a burning of the area around them so they have dark auras. What I tried was decreasing the saturation (and slightly decreasing the lightness, although not much) just on those areas. Since I have Photoshop I did this with a hue/sat/lightness adjustment layer masked to show only the area over the people, but you can probably achieve a similar result another way in Elements + HPE.

    Also, you've cloned out the top part of the lamppost but left the bottom - that looks strange.

    I followed basically your series of steps, but on Levels I tweaked Red, Green and Blue individually which seemed to give a better colour balance. Also, I'm not sure what you did with your Curves adjustment layer, but I had mine masked to affect only the sky and water (not the rainbow or land) and that seemed to help the rainbow pop a bit more.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi Karen,

      You did quite well with your picture, but I agree with Leah about the effect of the burning Tool and the 'clutter' at the bottom of the picture,

      I work with Photoshop and have no experience with PSE .... but if it allows you to work with Layer Masks, here is what I did:
      • Used the 'Copy and Move' technique and the Clone Tool to drastically remove everybody and 'clutter' from the picture .... (gosh.... I sound like from a scene of 'Terminator X' ..... )

      • Played with 'Luminosity' or 'Shadow' Masks (blurring, sharpening and changing Layer Blending) to selectively enhance contrast and colour in various parts of the picture.

      • Created a new empty Layer on top of the others and used the Gradient Tool (dark blue to transparent) to darken part of the sky to 'liven up' the rainbow a bit.


      I like your version very much!

      Attached Files
      Last edited by Flora; 03-30-2004, 05:03 AM.


      • #4
        Thank you for the input Flora and Leah. I too thought the people were distracting but was trying to just diminish them since I'm not that adept at quickly copying and moving things yet. I have a few questions.

        How do you get the attachments downloaded ? When I do a right click Save As and open them in PSE I just get the little thumbnails.

        How did you create your masks? Flora you said you used Luminosity, how did you create the mask after you create the Luminosity layer? Leah you didn't mention which one you used. Was it just a selection mask?

        I also tried adjusting the levels individually and that seems to help more.

        Thanks for all the help!



        • #5
          Don't do a right click save as. Click on them as normal and they'll open full size in a new window, then you can right click and Save As on that.

          In the full version of PS you can base a mask on a selection, or just add a hide-all or show-all mask to a layer and then paint on the mask as desired, or combine the two (start with a selection, create a mask from that, then paint to refine it). I think for the Curves layer I started with a selection of the sky and water and then painted to adjust, while for the saturation on the people I just used a hide-all mask and painted it out where desired. Flora can explain luminosity masks better than anyone I know so I'll leave that to her...

          I actually differ from Flora on this one - I would leave the people in because they provide a valuable sense of scale - otherwise it could just be your ordinary common-or-garden waterfall. But that's just a personal opinion.


          • #6
            Hi Karen,

            Originally posted by kbeatrice
            ....How did you create your masks? Flora you said you used Luminosity, how did you create the mask after you create the Luminosity layer? Leah you didn't mention which one you used. Was it just a selection mask? ...
            Here you can find the description on how to create a Luminosity Mask.... (just scroll down the page to "Method 2: LUMINOSITY MASK")

            For the Shadow Mask, the procedure is the same but, after having pressed Ctrl+Alt+~, press Ctrl+I to invert your mask ....


            actually, I agree with you ... I removed "everybody" because I thought that was what Karen wanted ....


            • #7
              First off Karen, well done. You did an excellent job with the rainbow. I like your sky too. However, like others said, the lower part of the picture is much too dark.
              If Elements has layer masks then you should investigate how to use them, as the darkening in the bottom of the picture can be removed with one simple gradient and a layer mask.
              I won't get into how I did this rainbow because it's too involving (and the rainbow isn't very good anyway), but also, I plan to be making a tutorial using this technique soon, which is better suited to faces and hair and clothes.

              One last thing, It struck me as I was looking at this - was your picture, by any chance, taken from the Canadian side of the falls?

              Keep up the good work.

              Attached Files


              • #8
                Hi Karen, as you will know by now, Photoshop Elements does not have Layer Masks. But all is not lost. If you create a new blank layer, and position it below your adjustment layer in the stack, name it Mask Layer, then click on your adjustment later to make it active. Now click Layers-Group with previous. Your adjustment layer is now linked to the layer below, the Mask Layer. Its effects will only show where there are pixels on the Mask Layer, so paint on the mask layer where you want the effects of your adjustment layer to show. The proper name for this is a clipping group, its a sort of mask in reverse. Hope this helps.


                • #9
                  Thanks for all the help!

                  Thanks everyone... it's gonna take a lot of practice to be able to up my skill level. In the mean time I'm working on an old picture of my mother and her brother from the the late 1930's.

                  BTW, I did take this pic from the Canadian side. I grew up in Buffalo and brought the kids up for vacation last summer.

                  Last edited by kbeatrice; 04-21-2004, 07:51 PM. Reason: update


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