How To Blend Multiple Exposures Together


These days digital SLRs and new compact pro cameras are getting better at averaging high contrast scenes. Some cameras like the new Fujifilm X-E1 even offer AE Bracketing (Auto Exposure Bracketing) in camera. I will be testing this feature out as soon as my X-E1 arrives.

Achieving the correct exposure in a single photo can be quite challenging in difficult lighting situations. I have seen quite a few landscape photos with the most common problem being blown out skies where the photographer has exposed for the foreground and hasn’t taken an additional photo exposing for the sky. Gradient filters work to a certain degree but for the best exposure result I would recommend bracketing.

Bracketing means to take three separate photos of the same scene; one exposing for the highlights and the other two exposing for mid-tones and shadow areas. The result should look something like these images a friend took:

Bracketing Exposures TutorialExposing for the shadows

Bracketing Multiple Exposures TutorialExposing for the mid-tones

Bracketing Multiple Exposures TutorialExposing for the highlights

So now that the photos have been taken the big question is how do you go about merging the photos together into one high dynamic range photo? My answer….Photoshop.
Watch and learn as I take these photos  (taken by a friend) through a quick lesson in Photoshop. The end result of the 2 part tutorial can be seen below (Part 2 will be out tomorrow).

Bracketing Multiple Exposures Tutorial

If you have any questions on bracketing let me know by submitting a comment below.

Until next time – Happy Shooting

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6 comments on “How To Blend Multiple Exposures Together

  1. Justin says:

    Excellent tutorial Leigh. This is an area where I particularly struggle. No problem on the image capture bracketing but bringing it all together in post production is where I tend to fall over. Looking forward to applying this technique to some of my images over the weekend.
    Thanks and all the best.

  2. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the tute and can’t wait for part 2.

  3. elleturner4 says:

    Hi, thanks for visiting and following my blog. This is a very informative post…look forward to next bit :)

  4. Thanks. I’m glad you found it informative. You can check out the second part here – http://wp.me/pIhV6-Wb
    Thank you for commenting.

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