Stop just enhancing reality and start subverting it with our guide to surreal digital effects in Photoshop. Part two: the end of the rainbow.

Thanks to The Wizard of Oz, the myth of the Leprechaun’s gold, and a hundred other childhood tales, the rainbow is a powerful image in all our dream landscapes. This image is the answer to a question on every child’s lips at some stage of their development – where do rainbows start or end?

If you haven't done so already, check out part 1.

Step 1:



The whirlpool effect will be built up in two stages. First, create a feathered elliptical selection on the surface of the water. Press Ctrl/Cmd + J to copy and paste the selection to a new layer. Name the new layer ‘whirlpool’. Now make another feathered elliptical selection smaller than the first one but with matching centre points. Hiding the background layer will allow you to gauge the size as you draw.

Step 2:


Activate the Background layer Ctrl/Cmd + J again. Name the new layer ‘spout’ and drag it to the top of the Layers palette.

Step 3:


For the moment hide the spout layer and activate the whirlpool layer. We need to load the selection of the whirlpool layer prior to applying the Twirl filter. To load the layers selection, press Ctrl/Cmd and click the whirlpool layer in the Layers palette. Now go to Filter > Distort > Twirl. Apply just enough twirl to create the idea of a whirlpool.