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Special Effects Photography in a Minute

Updated on June 16, 2013

Most of the time I use my digital camera for photographing eBay items, but it is enjoyable to occasionally experiment with other subjects. This evening I returned home just after a rain storm and spotted a brilliant double rainbow above the house. The sun was setting and there was the perfect combination of sunlight and rain to create a light show rarely seen. I ran inside and grabbed my digital camera to shoot a few photos. The results are displayed here...

The tools to create these colorful photo art pieces are readily available and easy to use. I created the images in literally just a few minutes. My preferred tools are:

  • Nikon Coolpix L100 Digital Camera
  • Picasa Photo Editor Version 3.9.0 (available free online)
  • Compaq Presario CQ62 Laptop computer

After transferring the photos to my laptop, I made a copy of the original I wanted to work with so that I could easily start over if my photo editing went wrong. I opened the copy in Picasa and selected the Heat Map effect tool under the More fun and useful image processing tab. The Heat Map effect simulates a false-color thermal image. I moved the Hue slider to the right until I had contrasting colors above and below the rainbow. I prefer to keep the Fade slider all the way to the left for maximum effect. I saved the file and I was finished! Yes, I know that his is kind of a no-brainer, but the final results are stunning. I had no idea that I could get the "dome" effect before I started experimenting with the hue setting..


Another shot modified in Picasa. This one again used the Heat Map effect. I chose a different hue this time to create the illusion of a huge setting sun. (When I took the original photo the real setting sun was behind me). The orange sphere is actually just the sky below the rainbow. The more yellow area is sky above the rainbow. The faint arc of the second rainbow can be seen. This was a very quick and easy effect with spectacular results. The hardest part? Knowing when to be outside the house at the precise time a double rainbow appeared in the sky!

The original photos appear below.

Original #1
Original #1
Original #2
Original #2

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