Merging two photos with different exposures

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by sam_geller, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. 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
    Enclosed an example for two photos I need two merge:
  2. 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
  3. x


    It's worth giving Photomatix a try:

    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.
  4. 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
  5. I strongly second the Photomatix suggestion for this. The free trial lets you average 2 images, and this works well.
  6. 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..
  7. Here is a simple method in PS CS2. I used two different raw conversions of one picture, but two separate pictures works as well.

    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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