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Merging two photos with different exposures

sam geller , Oct 18, 2006; 03:54 a.m.

Good morning, I'd like to get your help with a problem I have trying to merge two pictures with different exposure values on Photoshop. I want to achieve a balanced picture. Enclosed an example for two photos I need two merge: http://www.photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=2281285 Sam


M.I. Wijngaarde , Oct 18, 2006; 04:42 a.m.

I'm no expert but the hard part is that the images are not taken from the exact same position...However quick and dirty I gave it a try. I use the "layer mask" technique: first layer the dark image on top the light image which a added a layer mask on. Do a search in the forum on "layer mask" and "merging images" or so and you will find lot's of detailed descriptions.

good luck

quick and dirty

Kim Fullbrook , Oct 18, 2006; 08:03 a.m.

It's worth giving Photomatix a try: http://www.hdrsoft.com/

This will give an automated result with no manual intervention required. It has a number of different operating modes and one might give you a pleasing result.

Steve Marcantonio , Oct 18, 2006; 10:38 a.m.

PS workflow for any two images:

1 start with two images taken from the same spot with a tripod 2 copy the image with the best highlights and midtones 3 paste into the image with the best shadow detail 4 select the top layer highlights 5 apply a layer mask 6 restore sharpness (applying the layer mask will soften edges). Click on layer mask thumbnail and choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Gradually increase the radius until the edges appear sharp again. 7 refine the layer mask by painting with black or white or apply a curves adjustment layer in luminosity mode to further refine the brightness and contrast detail of each layer

Roger Smith , Oct 18, 2006; 12:45 p.m.

I strongly second the Photomatix suggestion for this. The free trial lets you average 2 images, and this works well.

Serge Winston , Oct 19, 2006; 06:43 a.m.

I'd recommend PhotoAcute Studio for this purpose. It can also merge the images that are not absoutely coincident. So you can take exposure-beacketed shots from hands..

Steve Bingham , Oct 19, 2006; 08:54 a.m.

Here is a simple method in PS CS2. I used two different raw conversions of one picture, but two separate pictures works as well. http://dustylens.com/luminosity_mask.htm

1- With View, make sure Snap is on.

2- Drag darker picture onto the lighter picture until it snaps into place.

3- ON PC hold down Control/Alt/Tilde keys together. PS CS2 will then select the highlight areas.

4- Click on the Quick Mask symbol. You now have a quick mask of the highlights.

5- Now click on the mask in the top layer (and hide the bottom layer - eye off). Paint the area you don't want in the mask with a very large white brush or simply erase them.

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