How to Add a Rainbow in Photoshop CC2021

How to Add a Rainbow in Photoshop

Capturing an exciting big blue sky can be challenging, and most landscape photographers avoid the midday shots. If you’ve captured a lovely scene during the middle of the day and are looking for inspiration to liven up the image, why not add a Rainbow. Everyone loves a rainbow, don’t they? It can be a really gentle way of bringing another element to your image. Thi image used in this example is perfect for this photoshop tutorial. A very prominent tree in the centre of the image with an abundance of blue sky above populated by various clouds. The scene is almost set, let’s look at how to add a Rainbow in Photoshop to complete the scene nicely.

How To Add A Rainbow in Photoshop CC2021


Make A Rainbow Using Photoshop CC2021


1. First go to the Window menu and choose Gradients.


2. When the Gradients window appears click on the horizontal lines in the top corner.


3. When the list appears, click on Legacy Gradients.


4. Click on the drop-down icon on the Legacy Gradients folder.


5. Now, click on the drop-down arrow of the Special Effects folder and select the Russells Rainbow gradient.

How to Add a Rainbow in Photoshop


6. Now you have the Rainbow gradient selected you can close the Gradient window.


7. Select the Gradient Tool.


8. Now make sure you have the Radial Gradient selected in the top menu.

create rainbow photoshop tutorial


9. Hold left-click where the centre of the rainbow will be and drag your cursor to where you want the edges to be, then release the left mouse button to make a rainbow.


10. The Rainbow will cover the whole image, so to fix this we’ll add a layer mask.


11. With the Layer mask thumbnail selected choose the brush tool.


12. Set your foreground to black.


13. And make sure your Brush Opacity is set to 100%.


14. Now paint over the areas where you want to completely remove the Rainbow from.

How to Add a Rainbow in Photoshop


15. Set the Brush Opacity to 30%.


16. And paint over the areas where you want the rainbow to fade out. You will need to click and paint several times for a smooth fade.

make a rainbow using photoshop


17. Now select the Rainbow layer thumbnail and change the blend mode by clicking this little down arrow.

photoshop cc2021 rainbow


18. Set the blend mode to Soft Light.


19. If you like you can lower the layer Opacity to soften the appearance of the Rainbow.


20. If the strength of the colours is too strong, you can add an Adjustment layer.


21. On this occasion, we have used a Vibrance adjustment.


22. To ensure the Vibrance adjustment layer only affects the layer directly below it and not the whole image, click on this little icon to create a clipping mask.


23. Slide the Saturation slider to the left to soften the strength of the colours of the rainbow.



The image composition was perfect for this tutorial for adding a rainbow in Photoshop. Here’s our before and after comparison.

Photo by Luke Richardson on Unsplash


More articles on Rainbows in Photoshop

Draw A Rainbow in Photoshop

How to Take Pictures of Rainbows

Create Rainbows in Your Photos


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