I found this photo on an inactive flickr page and was wondering how to create those colours and reflections.

Subject; https://flic.kr/p/vLCv4b

Similar unedited Image: https://flic.kr/p/q5TwbC

It's next to impossible to find an identical photo due to the secrecy involved in getting exclusive photos.

I have been told lightroom and Photoshop were used to create this effect.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried anything on your own and got stuck somewhere? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 13, 2015 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ryan Yes I tried playing with luminance and contrast and vibrance in lightroom \$\endgroup\$
    – Edmund
    Aug 13, 2015 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


I'm sorry to tell you that whoever told you that it was some 'secret sauce' added in post production either doesn't know as much as they think they do or has been having you on.

What you're seeing in the example images is from an effect called cross-polarisation. It's where light entering the camera has interacted with multiple polarisers. In the images you've used as examples probably polariser on the camera and polarised film on the cockpit glass. The effect occurs primarily in-camera but you don't need a camera if you have a pair of polarised sunglasses.

Photoshop is not involved in creating the effect although the bright colours can be enhanced with it obviously.

It's very easy to do there are various examples of how you can do it at home online.

This ePhotozine article has a write up on how it works for some more detailed background.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much for this information. Can I do it with a raw image on a computer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Edmund
    Aug 12, 2015 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ As per the answer... What you've given us is done in-camera, so no. You can paint in something similar if you want to but how good that will be is reliant on your post processing tools and your competency with the airbrush tool. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2015 at 22:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how this would work as the image was taken using a 200mm lens from a long distance. So how can he put a polariser on the subject? \$\endgroup\$
    – Edmund
    Aug 13, 2015 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Edmund: You mean you don't know about polarizing filters? Or you're forgetting that the cockpit glass probably has a polarized film on it? \$\endgroup\$
    – feetwet
    Aug 13, 2015 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @feetwet I understand what you are saying but. I have been planespotting for years and taken closeup of this plane with no effect like this. Anyway I will give the advice a shot, will ask a friend of mine to lead me some polarisers \$\endgroup\$
    – Edmund
    Aug 13, 2015 at 16:59

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