In this tutorial, we'll create a rainbow lens flare Photoshop overlay for a photo using standard Photoshop brushes and adjustment layers.
If you want to learn these techniques via video, check out our lesson on the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:
You'll need the following resource in order to complete this tutorial:
1. How to Prepare the Document
First of all, we need to open the image. Press Control-O and select the image you want to use.
Right-Click on the layer, and then click Convert to Smart Object.
Now let's create swatches with the colors we will use for our rainbow lens flare. Go to Window > Swatches to open the Swatches panel.
Open the Color Picker in the Tools panel, choose
#9f61f6 for the color code, and then hit Add to Swatches.
After that, you need to add the following colors to the swatches:
2. How to Add the Color Correction
Before we start to create the sun lens flare, we need to add some color correction to our image. Select the smart object and hit Shift-Control-A to open the Camera Raw settings and use the following settings:
- Exposure: -1.30
- Clarity: -18
After that, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and create a point in the center of the curves, and then drag it down.
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels and use the following settings: 8; 1.00; 251.
And finally, to add the faded look to our photo, let's create another adjustment layer. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Exposure and set the Offset to +0.0100.
3. How to Create a Rainbow Lens Flare Photo Overlay
Now we can start to create our sun lens flare overlay. Create three new layers by pressing Alt-Shift-Control-N, and put them below the exposure layer.
Hit B to activate the brush tool and use the following settings for our brush:
- Size: 50 px
- Hardness: 45%
Pick the first color from the Swatches panel, and create the first element of the rainbow lens flare on the first empty layer.
After that, create five more strokes using the colors from the swatches.
In the same way, create two more strokes on the empty layers.
Select the first layer with the brush strokes and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 40 px.
After that, add the Gaussian Blur effect to the second and third layers by pressing Alt-Control-F.
Select the lens flare layers while holding Shift and then change the Blending Mode of the lens flare layers to Overlay.
Create another layer under the rainbow lens flare layers, and then hit B and draw white strokes under the lens flare effect.
Add the Gaussian Blur effect to the layer by pressing Alt-Control-F.
And for the last step, we need to change the Blending Mode of the layer to Overlay and the Opacity to 25%.
Awesome Work, You're Now Done!
In this simple way, we can create a rainbow lens flare photo overlay in Adobe Photoshop using standard brushes, smart filters, and adjustment layers.
Looking for an overlay for a photo or want to create more effects like this? Check these awesome Photoshop resources from Envato Elements:
This pack of overlays is useful for creating soft photos. This overlay pack contains not only sun lens flare overlays but also haze and simple flare. It's extremely easy to use—just put it over your image and set the blending mode to screen.
This collection of 50 light leaks will help you to create cool photo overlays in a few simple clicks. All textures come in 5000 x 5000 px resolution and could be used with almost any image.
This little pack of lens flare transparent overlays could be extremely useful for creating visual effects for your photos, prints, and wallpapers. All textures come in PNG format and 5000 x 2000 px resolution.
If you are looking for a light effect Photoshop creation kit, this pack is the best choice! It contains 40 high-resolution JPEG files suitable for any photos and purposes: from light leaks and flares to glass effects.
If you want to create photo overlay effects in Photoshop with bold colors and a magical style, then take a look at this pack of 20 hi-resolution JPEG files.
Want to learn how to create more photo overlay effects? Check these awesome tutorials:
- Photoshop ActionsHow to Create a Light Leak Photoshop Color EffectIvan Gromov
- Photo EffectsHow to Create a Sparkle Overlay Effect in PhotoshopMonika Zagrobelna
- Photoshop ActionsHow to Create a Light Leak Photoshop ActionMarko Kožokar