An Effective Way to Blend Exposures Using Photoshop

Modern digital cameras have some pretty impressive dynamic range, but the world at large still has many scenes that are simply too much to capture at peak quality in one exposure. This helpful tutorial will show you a powerful and effective technique for blending multiple exposures using Photoshop.

Coming to you from Anthony Morganti, this video shows you how to use Channels to blend exposures in Photoshop. Channels are probably one of the most underutilized yet effective features in the program, and they come to the forefront here. Personally, while I know both Lightroom and Photoshop have built-in exposure-blending functions and there are a ton of standalone applications designed for the same task, I'm rarely satisfied by the results for this particular technique; I almost always prefer to do it manually one way or another (different methods work for different situations). I especially enjoy this technique because as opposed to plain old masking, it truly blends the exposures (notice how the layer mask contains a lot of shades of gray instead of just black and white). The best advice I can give for exposure blending is to make sure your images are aligned before you ever shoot them; in other words, use a tripod and pay attention to any motion in your scene that you might have to blend out in post. 

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2 Comments

Elan Govan's picture

I lost count the number of time going into a cathedral in the UK, struggling to capture those centuries old stained glass windows with its unique features. Have a solution now. Thank you.

Tomasz Stramel's picture

Great tutorial, many thanks!