Mirrored Rainbow


What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Do the rain drops on the mud tiles bother you? I really want to get rid of them but it would take so long. Maybe it tells a better story with them?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

This is a two row pano, 8x2 so 16 images to capture the vast scene. Single exposures, 1/5 sec, f/11, ISO 200 at 10mm


David, please let the raindrops stay. It says that even there sometimes is falling a bit of water.And what a great image it is !

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The raindrops don’t diminish my enjoyment of this image. I would simply always mention something like “after the rain” to inform the viewer and not have them puzzle over the spots. It adds a dimension to the image.

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The raindrops are not a problem for my eye. Love the composition, especially with the offset rainbow, which also sort of speaks to there being moisture in the area. The colors are so soft and pleasing. And the 8x2 part is so interesting. Love the deep cracks in the tile. I love it!

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Ace shot David. Smart work getting this as a 16 shot pano.

I think having the rainbow and loose scattering of rain drops really complement each other. Ties the elements together. Without the rainbow I think they may have been a little lost in the scene. Rainbow without the drops would work but having them together tells a better story.

In a small scale image of the web they are harder to notice. Obviously this is a massive resolution image so having it as a big print, you would really notice them. However, seeing it on instagram you wouldn’t necessarily see them.

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I think the rain spots makes it even better!

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Rain drops… What rain drops :grinning: Sure they are there and I think they add to the image, not detract. They add texture and a greater sense of depth as the ones in the foreground are most visible and quickly diminish.

That is one WIDE view. Nicely visualized and captured.

How amazing it must have been to experience this wonderful nature moment in person. Okay here is the $64 million question, did you already know about this crack in advance, or did you run around like crazy trying to find a nice arrangement before the rainbow disappeared?

The rain drops are not a distraction for me, they actually add to the story if you know the desert. And even frequency separation on steroids couldn’t get rid of all of these raindrops anyways.

And, I’m sorry but I couldn’t resist, I just can’t get past a strong preference for symmetrical compositions :grin:

The bottom of the rainbow on the right got a little wonky.

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Oh, wow, this is so cool! What a great composition, and I love the raindrops. Definitely adds to the story and they add an interesting texture to the foreground without being overpowering. :+1:

Thank you all! I agree that the raindrops add to the story and I will certainly keep them. I did like @Ed_McGuirk’s suggestion and balanced out the rainbow a bit :wink: good call Ed. I added the revision to the original post. To answer your question; this was mostly serendipity that I saw this curve in the cracks. I wasn’t quite frantic, but wandering around being open to seeing something without stressing out about it. It was a huge curve that only came through with the pano. I did compose with intention of mirroring the rainbow, but I didn’t think it would actually work out! It was a magical morning in one of my favorite places, the rainbows kept coming and going for hours, it was surreal.

Nice, David. As mentioned, the raindrops add texture and are a huge bonus, IMO. It also helps that they add an additional storytelling element. This really turned out great.


I love the graphic nature of the cracks David and the rain drops don’t bother me at all. they look like they belong. The revision you posted looks a bit more crisp.

@Ed_McGuirk How was the rainbow ‘moved’?

This is David’s image, but I’ll explain what I did on my rework. And by the way, I only did this to have some fun with Davids image. On my own images, my philosophy is that I never bring in or move skies, and I never even warp objects in the image either. Even using focus stacking makes me a little uncomfortable, but I occasionally do it.

All of this was done in Photoshop. The first step was to use the Magnetic Lasso tool to select the sky, and this selection was saved as a channel.

This is how the selection looked

The next step was to load this selection, and go New Layer Via Copy. This added the sky only to a new layer on top of the base layer. Then I used the move tool on the sky layer to move the rainbow to center it better. Here is how that looked after the move. I was careful to slightly tuck the bottom left side of the rainbow under the mountain from the bottom layer. The sky will need to be cleaned up in the next step.

I added a white mask to the top sky layer. Then I reloaded the sky selection, and inverted it to create a land selection. With the land selection active, i painted black on the white mask to reveal the original mountain from the layer below. The selection restricted me from painting black into the sky, and kept the horizon seamless. Then I dealt with the funky sky sections. I used the Rectangular Marquee tool to select the strip of sky along the top and then did Content Aware Fill. The CAF did a great job on it’s own without any intervention. I then did a second CAF on the right side. It got it about half right, and then I did some cloning near the horizon to clean it up a bit. And here is the finished product. I did this all from scratch, so I centered the rainbow more than in my first rework, and did a better job of it. i did not even look at David’s rework before I did my second rework here, but coincidentally it comes pretty close to what David did.

If I really wanted to go to town, the next logical step would be to manipulate this into a double rainbow with some transform scale, but I’ve spent too much time on this already :sweat_smile:

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Thank you for the detailed explanation. I couldn’t figure out how the sky would be perfectly aligned with the mountain after the move. But you lowered the rainbow to allow the mountain to overlap the rainbow seamlessly.

David, this is a really nice combination of rainbow and dry, parched land, with rain drops on the cracked soil. The lighting, composition, all of it comes together, but I just really like that you have the rainbow, dry land, and rain drops.