I shot this photo on my way home from work recently. It had just rained and the sun started coming out. I looked out the window to the east and saw this rainbow forming. I knew I had to shoot it. I wasn't sure where though... It took a few moments before I thought to go to the railroad tracks in Tully near the mobile home park. I had been in that area to take photos before, so this seemed like the perfect location. I shot a handful of photos and started walking toward the corn field in the photo below. This is the one that turned out the best, in my opinion.
You might have noticed that there's no way my camera was going to pick up deep, rich colors like that. If it can, I haven't figured out how to get it to! If I was shooting JPEGs, the photo below is what would have come from my camera.
Fortunately, I decided to shoot RAW before I even had my camera. So, just about all my photos have a RAW file to go with them. This is what UFRaw produced, with a little tweaking.
I like it, but it needed a little tweaking. I learned of a technique called tone mapping. I don't fully understand what exactly it does, but I understand how it works. Here's the tutorial I started out with.
After applying those steps, I played with the curves. I brought in the end points of the 'Values' curve so they touched the edges of the histogram. After that, I brought up the center of the blue and green channels to boost those and left the red channel alone. I didn't want to warm up the photo any.
After the curves adjustment, I felt the sky was just a touch too green. I wanted it to be bluer... so, I duplicated the background layer and adjusted the curves on that. I boosted the blue channel and left the rest alone here. I then created a layer mask to mask out the corn field and the hills in the background as I wanted them to stay green.
I hope this is useful to someone. I know the photo doesn't look very realistic. I like the look.... now, anyways. I may look back at this as I mature in my hobby and see that it's grossly overdone. I hope not. I think I'll try making this into a 16x24 print from Mpix.com.