Landscape Photography: How To Blend Two Exposures in Photoshop
The video below is fairly self-explanatory. Here I demonstrate and narrate how to blend two different landscape exposures in Adobe Photoshop so that the finish product comes closer to resembling what I saw and felt as I stood behind the camera. For a scene of this type, most camera (as of this writing – imaging sensor technology is making rapid gains in expanding dynamic range) cannot record all the detail from the brightest highlights to the darkest shadows, even though our eyes and visual system can do this fairly easily.
There are many different methods for expanding the dynamic range of a scene using Photoshop, Lightroom, or other HDR software and I have a dozen or so methods and techniques I use personally, depending on the type of scene with which I am working. But this method is the most simple and effective for natural-looking results.
For best results, you should use a tripod so that the two exposures are properly aligned. If there is some movement between exposures, the Auto Align feature in Photoshop can help fix this. You also want to be sure you are using the same f-stop with each exposure and that your brightest exposure (for foreground detail) has no blacks and the darkest exposure (for the bright sky) has no overexposed areas. Consult your camera’s histogram for each exposure to verify it. Good luck!
Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer in the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.