Using Photoshop Actions to Enhance a Blue Sky and a Rainbow

Using Photoshop Actions to Enhance a Blue Sky and a Rainbow

As photographers, we have no control over the weather conditions. Sometimes we get rained on and other times we get lucky enough to get beautiful light or even to cross paths with a rainbow.

This photo was sent in by Crystal Smith of Envision Image Photography. She wrote, “Saturday night, after a short cloudburst on their outdoor reception, Robin and Jeremy were lucky to be the beneficiaries of a beautiful full-arc rainbow on their wedding day.  It was a photographer’s dream!
When I got the pictures home that night and chose what shot I was using as my ‘sneak peek,’ the sky was a very overpowering gray do to the weather, which made the rainbow almost imperceptible. I knew the only Photoshop action I had in my arsenal that would bring out both the color of the sky and the the colors of the rainbow was color explosion from the Complete Workflow Action set for both Photoshop and Elements.  Here is what I did to this photo, step by step.”

1. I masked off the house in the background and cloned it out.
2. I ran PW’s “cooler” action from her Set 2 to bring some blue into the sky.  I had it at 100%.
3. I flattened the image.
4. I ran MCP’s Color Explosion to bring out vivid blue colors in the sky and all of colors of the rainbow. I was very careful to make sure Robin and Jeremy did not get brushed over with that powerful color action…her hair is already a fiery red!  This brought out the blue sky and the rainbow to perfection.
5.  I finished up with PW’s “boost” action from her set1, at about 50%.

getting more vivid skies in photoshop

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 2

    Brendan says

    I’d recommend masking out the clouds as well. The blue color in the clouds is a clear giveaway that the photo has been “shopped”


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