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Old 21-02-09
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Combining exposures using Layers

I dragged myself out of bed at 5am this morning, and walked a mile down to the beach. It was worth it, because there was a gorgeous sunrise. However, I forgot to take my ND Grad filters. The only solution I could think of was to take two photos of everything - one exposing for the sky, one for the sea / land.

I've tried combining them into an HDR image, and I don't like the look - the clouds are out of sync on the image. So I thought that I could perhaps layer them in Photoshop. I know how to layer files and erase selections, but my question is - what is the best way to blend them at the 'seam' - is there a way in Photoshop to use Gaussian Blur on just the edges of a layer?

Not sure I've phrased this too well. Does it make any sense?
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Old 21-02-09
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Re: Combining exposures using Layers

I don't think I'd use Gaussian Blur. Usually I found the best way is to make sure any selection is suitably feathered. The transition will hopefully be smooth and you won't see the join so to speak
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Old 21-02-09
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Re: Combining exposures using Layers

Photoshop is much like the Kama Sutra... Many many ways to do the same thing.

So. I tend to use a layer mask on all the layers and with a soft edge brush, adjust the mask to achieve the desired effect. The big advantage being that if you over do the brush work on the mask, simply switch from black to white and put back the bit of the mask.

Using layer masks is completely non distructive to the layer.

Have fun

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Old 22-02-09
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Re: Combining exposures using Layers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryme-intrinseca View Post
I dragged myself out of bed at 5am this morning, and walked a mile down to the beach. It was worth it, because there was a gorgeous sunrise. However, I forgot to take my ND Grad filters. The only solution I could think of was to take two photos of everything - one exposing for the sky, one for the sea / land.

I've tried combining them into an HDR image, and I don't like the look - the clouds are out of sync on the image. So I thought that I could perhaps layer them in Photoshop. I know how to layer files and erase selections, but my question is - what is the best way to blend them at the 'seam' - is there a way in Photoshop to use Gaussian Blur on just the edges of a layer?

Not sure I've phrased this too well. : Does it make any sense?
why not post both pics, and maybe your attempt, we may be able to see what needs doing?

What you may have to do, is (and this is rather over simplified) is to almost cut and past one sky to the other.
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Old 22-02-09
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Re: Combining exposures using Layers

A very good write-up on one method is to be found HERE It's a pdf and can be printed off.

Roger
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Old 22-02-09
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Re: Combining exposures using Layers

Thanks for the replies everyone. I've had a go! I processed the RAW files twice - I tried using the two seperate exposures that I'd taken, but the tones seemed different, or something! Here are a couple of examples. There's some kind of problem on the horizon in the first edited one, there's a strip of light and a strip of dark. I feathered the selection, but possibly I should have moved the edge of the selected part slightly, or something.

Original:


Edited:



Original:


Edited:


Editing included adjusting levels, saturation and contrast, and cropping / straightening. Seeing those bottom two pics side by side, the sky doesn't look too much darker, actually. Does it balance with the sea okay?
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