Rainbow over the Lake

Photomerge in Photoshop

The photo below was made by using Photomerge in Photoshop… do you use that much? I don’t make a lot of panoramas (for a variety of reasons), but whenever I do, this feature is really incredible.

To make this one, I:

1) took about 20 photos of the rainbow at 28mm
2) held the camera in a portrait orientation as I mowed across the horizon
3) imported everything into Lightroom
4) picked one of the middle frames and fully developed it in the Develop Module
5) “synced” those changes to all the other photos
6) exported them then imported into Photoshop using Photomerge
7) cropping and final cleanup!

Daily Photo – Rainbow over the Lake in Queenstown

I had just dropped my kids off for their first day of school. I had my D3S with me because I was taking photos of that momentous event, so it was still with me when I went downtown to sign some papers. When I got downtown, the rain was just starting to slow down, but there was still a thick morning dampness in the air over the lake, and a full rainbow was right in front of me. I didn’t have the right equipment with me to get the rainbow all at once, so I went through the steps listed above! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rainbow over the Lake in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-06 10:12:48
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

  • Casper van Zyl

    Have seen but never been able to catch the perfect rainbow. Well caught,I like

  • isay haveacupoftea

    When not going fisheye-y, I’m more a Hugin type ๐Ÿ™‚ (hugin.sourceforge.net – haven’t invested in recent PS releases) entering a half frenzy half trance state selecting control points ๐Ÿ˜€ Not to mention when trying to merge pictures that were not intended to make for a panorama – can’t resist when spotting complementary ones in a batch ๐Ÿ˜› The odd thing with panoramas is that quite often the sense of scale gets lost, more so than with a wide angle lens – paradoxical…

  • Fran Pike

    I think it’s rare to see an entire rainbow like that. I caught a part of one after it rained at South Boca Beach in Florida a few weeks ago, and tonemapped it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7625713734/ If it wasn’t for Trey’s tutorial, I wouldn’t have known about Photomatix!

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Great shot. I like seeing some panos posted here, it’s rare. I do a bunch of HDR panos with Photomatix and then Kolor Autopano

  • susan ratcliff

    Sooo beautiful – super awesome!

  • Ignacio Garcia Losa

    You never stop surprising me with new tricks. Your ability to improvise is notable. Well done, and well explained, which is greatly appreciated.

  • When I read this post, my mind used the voice of the Dos Equis commercial guy. “I don’t always make panoramas…” I’m a fan of the photomerge tool in photoshop..I think this shot is great!

  • I use the Photomerge tool a fair bit. I typically come back with a couple panoramas from each trip. They then sit around for a while until I decide I’ve got the energy to process them. Partly because panorama’s in HDR really push my computer to the edge, there’s a lot of freezing and starting over involved. I think my most succesful effort was at Niagara falls: http://traverseearth.com/niagara-falls

  • Awesome and HUGE photo. I’m in the same boat. I don’t shoot many panos, but when I do I get pretty fired up about the results. Nice work as always Trey!

  • Trey Ratcliff


  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks for the link! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Theo Fenraven

    I use it often, and it works incredibly well!

  • I must play a bit more with some panoramas, I see a bit of a change in your processing style of late to a more rustic look!

  • Beautiful shot Trey. I recently used photomerge for a panorama of the Tetons. I was surprised how easy it was. Your work continues to inspire me.

  • Great shots as always Trey. Glad you have gotten settled in NZ. Take care.

  • Brandon Watts

    Awesome capture, only thing I would recommend is if you have the latest and greatest photoshop (which I’m sure you do) is to use the “Adaptive Wide Angle” filter to straighten out those leaning buildings. Unless you prefer the leaning look, which I’ve always been a stickler about in my panos, but I digress…

  • No prob, I was inspired to work up another panorama tonight. This one’s from on top of Gullfoss, Iceland. http://traverseearth.com/atop-gullfoss-iceland-looking-upstream/

  • Andrea Boyle

    Beautiful photo. Hope your kids’ 1st day at school was equally spectacular!

  • Wow, very beautiful, Trey!! This is now on my desktop!!! Thanks so much for sharing, have a great Friday!!

  • Great photo posted as usual. Extra thanks on what general direction you took to post process.

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!