How do you catch a rainbow? (and a PP question)

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coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185
How do you catch a rainbow? (and a PP question)

It rained all afternoon, and as the kids were getting ready for bed, Andrew spotted a rainbow. We went out (the kids all in their pajamas), and it was still lightly sprinkling. I took 18 pictures of the rainbow - you could see both sides. But I was stupid and forgot to shoot in RAW. The WB is AWFUL on these. I don't have time to mess with them in PSE right now, so I used Picasa's auto color tool to fix them - I think it did a really good job.

1. This is my favorite of the actual rainbow (the other side was over neighboring houses, I did shoot that too, but I like it better over the trees)

Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 100
the rainbow

I have no idea what aperture I needed to use for this. I closed it up some because I didn't want it blurry, but I think that might have been too limiting. What would you have used?

2. Then I tried catching the kids with the rainbow behind them - VERY hard to PP these - used Picasa for the next two

Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 400

the rainbow

3. LOVE this one of Andrew and Natalie
Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/500)
Aperture: f/2.2
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 400

the rainbow

4. I tried to PP in PSE, mainly using levels and then a screen layer to brighten, and a soft light to add a bit of contrast. I think I overdid it with the contrast, and I completely lost the rainbow. It's the same photo as above - I used the auto color in Picasa above, and my PSE edit looks not so good (I actually tried several versions, but I really need to get away from the computer and can't spend more time on it right now). I really don't know how I can PP this to get the colors right and not lose the rainbow (with PSE7). Any ideas?

the rainbow

For kicks, here's SOOC (if you're a Flickr friend, you can click for a bigger version to play with)

the rainbow

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I have only ever tried to take pics of a rainbow once and it was with my d40 in auto. So I really cant help you out there. I know that I really messed around with it in CS2 to get it to look bright. I love #3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The second edit looks really grainy or something esp on his face, well, at least on my screen. SOmetimes flickr does wierd things too. IDK.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

just bumping for more replies. really want to know about how to best shoot a rainbow (AP). and thoughts on PPing the second picture while still keeping the rainbow in the background

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Maybe you could mask out everything but the rainbow and use a levels layer and a hue/sat layer to bring out the color of it. Then pp the rest like you normally would.

ETA: As far as AP goes, I would think that because it is so far from you that it doesn't really matter. At an infinite distance all ap's have an infinite DOF.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

I tried playing with hue/sat but struggled. Need to try it again, fresh. Smile