Video tutorial

Video tutorial

MASTER EXPOSURE BLENDING

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Under the Matthias Church tower

Yesterday’s photo was from under one tower, today we have another. This is the Matthias Church on the right and the Holi Trinity statue to the left. If you ever at this place in Budapest, definitively check out the church. It’s very beautiful inside. And if you have the stamina to do so, try also to walk up to the top of the tower. It’s not the easiest walk, but the view is great. I think it’s the heighes point you can get to in Budapest, not sure if the Citadel is higher or not. Still, it’s higher that the city.

This is a two exposure vertorama, combined and edited in Photoshop.

Under the Matthias Church tower

Burj Khalifa lights

Today’s photo is one from under the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. It was taken right during the light show, that is there every evening. Actually, the reason the whole tower was red that day, is because it was the Chinese new year. They really like to change up the lights based on different occasions. I really liked these dandelions so I have them as the foreground element in many of my Burj Khalifa shots. I even wanted to go close to the tower to get a shot even more from under it, but the security guards were not happy with the tripod. Strangely, they have no problem with them in the tower, just outside. Photo rules are strange all over the place.

This is a single exposure, split into two and blended together in Photoshop.

Burj Khalifa lights

Sunny day reflection at Lago di Braies

Today’s photo is another one from the Lago di Braies in Dolomites, Italy. I have most of my photos from this lake, as when I was there, the weather was best that day. This is a smaller part to the side of the lake. I wanted to do a photo from that little bridge, that you can see on the right, but there was a huge pile of broken tree branches in front of it in the water. And I did not want that in my photo. If you look in this photo, the spot from today’s photo was taken is on the left in it.

This is a two exposure blend, done in Photoshop. I used the 12mm lens here, to get a lot of the reflection in the photo.

Sunny day reflection at Lago di Braies

Morning at the wooden bridges in Bokod

One of the places I really have to revisit is the wooden bridges at the fisherman’s houses in Bokod in Hungary. They are like made to be a perfect photo subject. I took this photo in late 2017 while stopping there for one day. The weather was not the best, as the sky was very bland, even for the sunrise. Still, few photos turned out alright.

This one, is a single exposure, taken with a 10stop ND filter. The bridges make the view looking very wide, even if this is only taken at 25mm.

Morning at the wooden bridges in Bokod, Hungary

Raya Pro 4

I have been using the Raya Pro 4 toolbar to speed up my edits for a while now, so I thought I will create few guides for it. I shared one a few days ago on how to sharpen your photos with it for web and today I will show you how quickly blend two exposures. This is a quicker way of doing the same as I explain in my Luminosity masking tutorials, so if you don’t have Raya Pro 4, you can check out those here.

For more on Raya Pro 4, you can check out the official site here.

Simply blend two exposures with the help of Raya Pro 4

The whole process is very simple. First, you need two exposures you want to work with. To make the blend more realistic, they should be no more than 1-2 EV steps between them. If you have more, the transition after the blend won’t look natural (there are ways to fix that, but that’s for another guide).

These are the two exposures I will use here. One as a base and the second, darker one, from which I want to recover the bright areas.

Open both exposures in Photoshop as layers in the same file, – There are multiple ways you can do this, and you can find some of them here.
Put the darker exposure on top and hide it. – Since we need to create out a selection from the brighter exposure, we need to have only that one visible. So click on the eye icon next to the darker one and hide it.

Open the RP4 Instamask 3 panel (from the menu Window/Extensions/RP4 Instamask 3). – We will work with this panel, but only with few buttons of it.
Select the bright areas of the base photo. – Now we have to create our selection. Look at the 6 number next to B in the panel. Clicking on any of them will create a mask. 1 is the broadest selection of bright areas, 6 is the most restrictive. So just click on 1, see if it matches the areas you want to replace. If not, click on 2 and so on. In our example, the 2 matches the base photo the best.

Apply the mask. – You will see a new group with a layer in the layers window but ignore that. Instead, now just select the hidden darker layer and in the RP4 Instamask 3 panel just click on apply. This will add the mask to that layer and those extra ones will disappear.
Unhide the layer. – Now just unhide the darker layer and you are done.

What we actually did here, is to select all the brightest areas base on the bottom layer and then replaced them all from the top layer. One can go also the other way, have the darker image on the bottom, select the dark areas and then apply that selection to the bright ones.

One can use this also for more than 2 exposures, just hide all except the base one, follow this step to combine it with one. Once that is done, combine it again with another one. Since now already 2 layers are visible, your selection will be based on their combination.

If the blended areas look great, that means the difference between the photos was too big. You can try changing the opacity of the top layer, to make the transition softer. Editing the photos, so they are closer in appearance is another option. If you are working with RAW files, you can just jump in Camera RAW by double-clicking the layer and tweak them there.

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