Add a rainbow on the photo in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will create a realistic rainbow and add it to the photo. This is a very simple lesson for beginners with detailed explanations of each step.

The final image.

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1

Open in Photoshop a stock image with a tree. This will be your main image, on which a rainbow will be created. First of all create a new layer Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N. Next select the tool Rectangular marque tool (Rectangular selection) and create a selection as shown below.

Step 2

Choose a tool Gradient tool (G) (Gradient) and click on the gradient window as shown below to access its settings.

A window will open which is called Gradient editor (Gradient Editor). The bottom markers at the bottom of the window define the colors that form the gradient. In order to add a new color to the gradient, you need to click somewhere below the gradient bar. A new color marker will appear. To change the color, double-click on the desired marker. You can also move the markers, thereby continuing to change the gradient.

Add colors to the Gradient Editor as shown below and click OK. The colors should be in this order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, blue, violet.

Make sure the Gradient is still active. Click at the top edge of the selection and drag to the bottom while holding down the Shift key to apply a gradient with the colors created earlier. To deselect, press Ctrl + D.

Step 3

Duplicate the gradient layer (Ctrl + J) just to have a backup of the layer if something goes wrong. Turn off the visibility of the original gradient layer by clicking on the eye icon to the left of the layer icon in the layers palette.

Choose a tool Eraser tool (E) (Eraser), select a soft round brush and erase from the left and right edges of the gradient, as shown in the figure below.

You can also use a layer mask to hide unnecessary parts of the gradient, but the Eraser is easier to use.

Step 4

Now let’s add some blur to blend colors. To do this, go to the menu Filter> Blur> Gaussian Вlur (Filter-Blur-Blur according to Gauss) and set the blur radius of 20 px. Make sure the selection is disabled (just in case, press Ctrl + D), otherwise you will get an undesirable effect.

Step 5

Our rainbow is almost ready. Let’s give it a slight bend, as befits a rainbow. Select a gradient layer, press Ctrl + T to turn on the transformation mode. Right-click inside the transformation frame and select the item in the context menu Warp (Deformation).

In order to create a uniform right bend, on the top toolbar of the parameters, select from the drop-down list Arc (Arch). Experiment with the magnitude of the bend to create a realistic bend of the rainbow. To exit the transformation mode, press Enter.

Step 6

Let’s increase the size of the rainbow and change its location. Press Ctrl + T to enter the free transform mode and change the size and location as in the image below. To maintain the proportions of the transformation, hold down the Shift + Alt key combination.

Step 7

It looks beautiful, but the effect is too bright. To soften it, in the rainbow layer, change the blending mode to Color (Chroma) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 51%.

Step 8

Now it looks good. But I think that the result can be slightly improved by giving our rainbow a bit of glow. Duplicate this layer (Ctrl + J), double-click on it in the layers palette to open the style window. Set the following settings.

We are done!

Here’s what the final image should look like. If you want to get a more interesting effect, then experiment with the opacity of the layer and / or change the effect of an arched fold (Step 5)

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