How To Cleanly Blend 3 Exposures in Photoshop

How to CLEANLY Blend 3 Exposures in Photoshop (Landscape Workflow)

How To Cleanly Blend 3 Exposures in Photoshop

A big thank you to Lin Dong for sending in his beautiful images for Challenge Jimmy. If you would like to take part in Challenge Jimmy, please send your initial jpegs (no RAWs please), to

In today’s tutorial we look at how to naturally blend 3 exposures in Photoshop using a clean, 100% non-destructive workflow.

As always we see how to this with Raya Pro and without Raya Pro. In this example we use 3 exposures because the difference between the brightest exposure (also the base exposure) and the darkest exposure is too much. So we bridge the gap by using a middle exposure.

We learn how to use Precision Masks, and we manually adjust those masks to give us a more precise selection.

Our workflow is completely non-destructive because we can return to any step, make an adjustment, and it will affect our overall image. There is nothing we cannot undo, or adjust later down the line.

What makes this workflow even cleaner, is that we are working purely with 16 bit masks. When working in 16bit in Photoshop, our Precision Masks or the masks generated by Apply Image are also 16bit. And we are working with smart objects imported directly from Adobe Camera Raw, so we still have full access to our RAW files.

Making adjustments to RAW files is always cleaner than adjustments made to the 16 bit or 8 bit versions of our images in Photoshop.

As always, I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

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How To Cleanly Blend 3 Exposures in Photoshop

8 thoughts on “How To Cleanly Blend 3 Exposures in Photoshop

  1. Thank you Jimmy Mcintyre for making a tutorial using my raw photographs shot by more than 10 years old Canon 5D with 24-105mm F4L USM lens. In the field, I knew my camera’s dynamic range is very limited in one exposure, therefore I took tons of exposure bracketing from -2EV, -1EV, 0EV, 1EV, and 2EV. But the problem is when I get back home and watching those exciting raw images cluttered here and there, I don’t have a good idea to work on them systematically so that the captured scene and digital information can represent what I have seen in the field. This tutorial is a great one and shows how to do it CLEANLY!!! Enjoy my fellow photography friends!

  2. Awesome tutorial I really enjoyed it, certainly inspired me to go out and shoot more landscapes. Fun fact Michael Orton actually lives here in Nanaimo.

  3. Very useful Jimmy, thanks. A question though. Shouldn’t you align the images first? I’ve tried it both ways with three images I have taken recently but neither have worked. The first time I presumed because I hadn’t aligned them but even when I did the masking reveals any problems there are with the chosen images.

  4. Hi Jimmy

    Thanks a lot for the course , really helpful and added a lot of information which i did not know before about Photoshop capabilities and Technics !

  5. great tutorial, after weeks of watching various tutorials it finally made sense after watching yours. Thanks Jimmy, great work.

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