Rainbow Peacock Edit

custom color editing for peacock photos

This tutorial teaches you how to color edit peacock photos in post-editing to give them a rainbow effect. This post-editing procedure has been customized for the photo seen on the left and will likely need significant tweaking to be successful with other images.

This post-editing tutorial was made using Adobe Photoshop CS5. However, most techniques may be generalized to other post-editing software such as GIMP, etc.

For more streamlined post-editing actions and script for Photoshop and GIMP, visit JFotography's actions/scripts section.


  1. Begin with a RAW photo. The photo must be in RAW format to take advantage of techniques in RAW editing.

  2. To bring out the natural rainbow colors in the peacock, increase Vibrance, Clarity, and Recovery as much as possible. Adjust Brightness, Black, and Contrast as needed (Fig. 1).

  3. Use curves to decrease Blue highlights (Fig. 2). This will give a warm hue to the overall photo.

  4. Use curves to increase Red midtones (Fig. 2). Again, this will give a warm hue to the overall photo.

  5. Create layers with different colored gradients (Fig. 3). The colored gradients should be used to help enhance existing colors. Multiply these colored gradient layers onto the main image at various opacities; 10%-30% opacity recommended. This is where the most customization and tweaking will be needed. 

  6. Add a curve layer to boost contrast. Re-tweak opacities of colored gradient layers as needed (Fig. 3). 

  7. Crop into composition to achieve the final image (Fig. 4)

Final Image

Other Results

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