All posts by Sabine Hermann

Eight dead amid California heavy rains and mudslides

Heavy rains triggered massive mud flows as emergency crews worked to rescue people from their homes.


How to Add a Rainbow to Your Images Using Photoshop

A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that needs many specific conditions to come together in order to appear, which is why they are not that easy to come across. They are, however, a beautiful and evocative sight, and they are associated with different cultural and even religious meanings.

For all these reasons you might want to have a rainbow in your image even when there isn’t one, not to worry though, here’s an easy way to create them in Photoshop.

Rainbow landscape

Choosing the right image

Because of its significance and symbolism, you can incorporate a rainbow into almost any scene. However, if you want it to look natural it’s important that you choose a scenario in which it would be possible to see a rainbow in real life. To do so, you first need to understand how rainbows are formed.

When sunlight passes through a droplet of water it gets refracted and what we originally perceived as white light is now spread out into a band of colors called spectrum. Once it’s dispersed, we are able to perceive seven different colors in that light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. This is what we call a rainbow.

Rainbow with reflection

Because it needs sunlight and water drops in the air, a common place to find a rainbow is near a fountain or a waterfall. This is what I’ll use to show you how to do it in Photoshop.

Getting started in Photoshop

Once you have your image opened in Photoshop, add a new empty layer by going to the top Menu > Layer > New Layer. A window will pop-up, you can name it “rainbow” just to keep things organized and then Click OK.

New Rainbow Layer

Then select the Gradient tool from the tools panel and a set of settings appear on the top bar as part of the options to adjust the gradient. On the left side of that top bar there is the Gradient Editor; if you open the menu for that by clicking on the down arrow, another window will pop-up with different gradient colors and styles. On the right of it, there is a gear icon that you can click on for more settings. From that menu, you need to choose the one called Special Effects.

Special Effects - rainbow photoshop

Creating the rainbow

A window appears to ask you if you want to replace current gradients with those from Special Effects. You need to agree to it so that a new set of gradients appears.

Replace Gradients - rainbow

From those select Russell’s Rainbow and adjust the width of each color to your liking with the slider.

Russell Rainbow

Shape the rainbow

A rainbow is theoretically a circle. However, it’s almost impossible to see it complete, only in rare circumstances from a plane. Usually, we see only a part of a rainbow and maximum the top half. In any case, you need to give it curviness. To achieve this just select the Radial Gradient from the top menu.

Curve rainbow photoshop

Then you can use any of the tools from the Menu > Edit > Transform options to rotate, distort or scale the rainbow.

Transform rainbow

Blend it to look more natural

Finally, to incorporate the rainbow into the image naturally, you can change the Layer Blend Mode from the drop-down menu you’ll find on top of the layers window. Select the Screen mode and move the slider to control the opacity.

You can also soften the edges to make it more believable by going to Menu> Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and move the Radius slider until you are satisfied with the result.

Blur rainbow

Then you just have to erase (hide) the parts that are overlapping the landscape by adding a layer mask and using the eraser tool. Note: make sure you are erasing on the mask, not the actual layer.

Erase rainbow


There you have it, a perfectly natural rainbow that can appear anytime when the sunlight passes through raindrops. It’s frequently seen after showers and rainstorms or near a fountain or waterfall. As long as you are looking opposite the sun and are at a low altitude angle.

Splash Rainbow

If you are more interested in the symbolic sense of the rainbow, you don’t have to worry so much about it looking natural. According to different cultures and periods in time, rainbows have been associated with different things.

For Christians, it’s found in the Bible after the big flooding as a covenant from God that water will no longer kill mankind, as a symbol of love. A different interpretation originated in ancient Europe as a legend that says that a leprechaun can be found at the end of the rainbow and if you can stare at it long enough, it will tell you where its pot of gold is hidden. And in contemporary cultures, a rainbow has been picked for the flag of the LGBT community as a sign of pride and symbolism of diversity.

Rainbow in the rain

In this case, I used it with this purpose by adding a rainbow to this photo from an Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Parade where it conveniently was raining so it would have been possible to see one. And you, how are you going to use this technique? Please share with us in the comment section below.

The post How to Add a Rainbow to Your Images Using Photoshop by Ana Mireles appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Pro street photographer: why I swapped my Canon 5D Mark IV for the Sony A9

2017 has been an exciting year for the photographic industry with new launches, innovations and a mass of kit lined up as we approach 2018.

Away from the camera manufacturers and photo press, it’s the photographers who ultimately decide what kit will survive and dive in the year ahead.

Over 2017 I’ve met plenty of fantastic photographers, many with strong opinions about the kit presently on offer and ultimately what they as photographers want and expected.

Across the board there are familiar themes, everyone wants to go smaller, ditch the old DSLR and switch to lighter weight CSC’s (compact system or mirrorless cameras), but as I’ve found out there’s also conflict.

Do we really want to ditch the trusted Canon 5D’s for slimline Sony Alpha 9?

One such photographer is Salisbury-based Mark Wylie; you can check out more of his work at:

I caught up with him about his switch from Canon, through Fuji to Sony in search of the perfect camera.


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Why have you swapped from DSLR to mirrorless?

I initially swapped over to mirrorless for the smaller size, less threatening form factor (for street photography), silent shutter, and the ability to see a scene immediately in black and white in the electronic viewfinder (as my main interest is shooting in monochrome).

Mark Wylie

Is there anything you miss about DSLRs?

Yes, definitely. I missed my Canon 5D series for two reasons: sentimental value, as this is the camera that I have taken most of the photos of my kids growing up on! Also, typically, the Canon colours. They are just lovely.

Fujifilm is really good on that front too, but for me, Canon still had the edge, particularly the blues and reds, they are done just so well. I like using my Canon camera for street photography for the colours, but the approach has to be quite different as it’s not subtle!

How to set up your camera to shoot an urban landscape

Are there situations where you’d opt to use the Fuji X-T2 over the Sony Alpha 9?

No, I sold my Fuji and bought my Canon back! The Fuji was great in many ways, but I found that it was very slow and buggy in practice. I would often take a while to wake up, meaning that I would miss a lot of quick grab shots.

Also, the image review was awful. I counted how long it took for an image to appear after pressing the button, and it was 8 seconds. This was with the latest firmware update. I also find that the Sony A9 feels much better built (it should be at that price), but it is also very responsive.

It never ceases to amaze me how quick the camera acquires focus and gets the image. I rarely miss anything with the Sony.

Mark Wylie

What features of the Sony Alpha 9 impress you the most?

Silent shooting is a big one for me, and the AF system covering 93% of the frame. The spread of the AF points is incredible and makes it quicker and easier to grab street shots where I want the interest to be on the edge of the frame. It’s just an awesome street photography camera; I can’t imagine anything better.

What is it that makes the A9 enjoyable to use?

It’s such a lot of fun; it puts a smile on my face when I use it. The camera is pretty perfect for me, I don’t really need more than 24MP, especially as most of my work lives on the computer and not in print. I have a great Canon Pro-1 printer, which I bought for black and white printing. The images look great when they are printed.

The AF system is just so quick and accurate. It’s a fantastic street camera, especially in London with a 28mm lens. The main errors in images are mine, not the camera’s – such as setting too slow a shutter speed.

Which lens did you go for and what is next on the shopping list?

I went for the 24-70 GM zoom when I first bought it. The lens is incredible, I love the look of the images it produces. Because the camera is so quiet, I find that by using the flip screen and looking at it I can take images without causing too much offence.

It’s a bit like using a TLR and looking downwards, rather than directly at people – seems much less threatening than pointing a large camera and lens at people! Of course, shooting for quite a while with a DSLR has meant that I have had to learn a few tricks to avoid too much confrontation.

Mark Wylie

I quite like the idea of the 16-35 GM lens next, mainly for landscape, but also for street photography. I started shooting street stuff with a 50mm, but my style is to put people in their context, so I have gravitated to wider lenses over time. It looks to be an amazing lens.

I have a Canon 16-35 vIII lens, which is also amazing, I haven’t used it for street photography (yet!) as the combined weight of a 5D Mark 4 camera and lens is arm wrenching – I wrap the camera strap around my wrist, as I don’t like the feel of it on my neck (a consequence of nearly drowning as a kid – ironically whilst doing surf life-saving training in Cornwall!).

Do you use any accessories and are there some you have your eye on?

I am toying with the grip, mostly as the camera is a little too small for my large hands. I see that Sony does a finger grip adaptor, but I am not so sure about that for me. I have just bought an intervalometer for doing time-lapses, as I want to start trying out video work. I have also just got hold of a Zhiyun Crane gimbal for this purpose.

Salisbury is my main shooting ground, due to work and family commitments. I love night photography, but this year I am going to try and spice it up with some video work. I have no real idea about video, so that is going to be quite a learning curve. I like to stretch my photographic practice, making mistakes and learning is part of the fun.

Street photography tips: how to photograph strangers with confidence

If there was one recommendation you could make to Sony about the A9 what would it be?

For me, I wish the menu system was more like the Canon’s as that is excellent. The menu system is a bit of a pain to navigate, but I am getting used to it. Better touchscreen functionality would be great, too!

Mark Wylie

The post Pro street photographer: why I swapped my Canon 5D Mark IV for the Sony A9 appeared first on Camera Jabber.

Miles Johnston Illustrations

Surreal drawings by Miles Johnston aka Miles_Art.

Miles Johnston aka Miles_Art is an artist and illustrator who mainly specializes in surreal drawings and paintings. Today I want to show you some of his latest drawings. Using a graphite pencil, the skilled illustrator creates surreal drawings full of emotions and mystery. His dreamy work inspires a huge fan base throughout all common social networks. To keep up with his latest work, please visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Miles Johnston Illustrations, Over Flow
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Over Flow
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Magic pencil drawings.
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Magic pencil drawings.
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Ball Sea
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Ball Sea
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Surreal and magical.
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Surreal and magical.
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Disturbance
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Disturbance
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Surreal illustration
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Surreal illustration
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Emotional drawings with a surreal touch.
Miles Johnston Illustrations, Emotional drawings with a surreal touch.

All images © by Miles Johnston. Feel free to find more talented illustrators on WE AND THE COLOR. Our Illustration category features a variety of work ranging from handmade drawings to modern computer graphics. WE AND THE COLOR is your source of creative inspiration!

The post Miles Johnston Illustrations appeared first on WE AND THE COLOR.