My husband claims that I’m part Leprechaun — because of my slightly pointed ears, my uncanny ability to locate four-leaf clovers, and my half-Irish heritage. I’m not so sure. I’ve never produced or found a pot of gold, I’m fairly tall (just how many leprechauns have played high-school basketball?), and I do not own a pair of buckle boots (which I think may be a requirement).
So for St. Patrick’s Day, all I can offer is a hearty, “Happy St. Pat’s!” to those of you that celebrate. Also, how about a technique for adding a rainbow to your photograph? It’s the best I can do, really. Because, as I mentioned, I’m not even a touch of Leprechaun. No magic here, other than the magic of Photoshop Elements (heh-heh).
For some rainbow fun, please follow these steps:
- Open your photo in Photoshop Elements. Then, create a new layer and select the Gradient Tool (G).
TIP: While a moody sky with lots of clouds, some rain, and obvious sunlight from somewhere is the perfect environment for rainbows, adding a rainbow to any photograph can be a lot of fun.
- Select Transparent Rainbow from the Gradient Picker and Radial Gradient from the tool bar.
- Click in the center of the horizon and drag the cursor to the top left corner. Then, release the mouse.
This will result in a radial rainbow, like the following:
- Once you have a radial rainbow, invert the colors by pressing Ctrl-I (Mac: Command-I). Then, select Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the blur radius to 250.
- Next, add a layer mask:
- For Photoshop Elements 9, select Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All.
- For Photoshop Elements 8, click on the Background Layer and select Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels and press OK. Then, click on the rainbow layer and select Layer>Create Clipping Mask to clip the rainbow layer to the Levels layer.
Then, click on the mask to select it and open the Gradient Picker again. Choose the Black, White option and click on the center of image. Next, drag the mouse to the top left corner, releasing the mouse at the corner. Finally, select Overlay for the blending mode.
Photoshop Elements 9
Photoshop Elements 8
- Depending on your preferences, set the opacity of the layer to somewhere between 10% and 50% (for the example, I chose 40%).
- Next, click on the Background layer and create a copy (Ctrl-J for PC/Command-J for Mac). Then click on and drag the layer copy (e.g., Background copy) to the top of the layer stack and release the mouse. (This will sandwich the radial rainbow between the background and background copy in the layer stack.)
- Press D to set the foreground and background colors to their defaults. Then, add a layer mask to Background copy (Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All). Next, select the Brush tool (B) and choose the soft 300 brush. Swap the foreground and background colors (X) and begin painting in the sky where you’d like to reveal the rainbow.