Easy Exposure Blending Photoshop Secret
Quick Photoshop Secrets 3: Easy Exposure Blending Technique in CC
In the third episode of our Photoshop Secrets tutorials, we look at a very easy method for blending exposures in Photoshop, thus avoiding HDR programs which may leave us with less natural imagery.
The process we look at in the video is masking selections using the Color Range tool, and we look at two different ways to make this work for our exposure blending needs. As always, I hope you enjoy the video.
What does exposure blending give us?
In one word, Balance. Often it’s very hard to get a good balance of exposure without having areas of your image underexposed or overexposed. By blending images from different exposures, we can bring a healthy balance and add a lovely soft tone to the finished photo. Unlike in HDR processing, which will often add surreality and can ruin a good image. Exposure blending is a much better option, which brings a natural feel to your images which is much more pleasing to the eye.
Step by Step Guide: Exposure Blending using the Colour Range tool.
1. With two exposure layers stacked. Go to Select>Colour Range.
2. In our example, we want to effect highlights. So in the ‘Select’ field, we have selected Highlights. Depending on what you are wanting to blend you might need to choose a different option. There is nothing wrong with cycling through the options to see what they offer.
3. Adjust the Range and Fuzziness if needed to make your selection.
4. To see your selection more clearly select Grayscale in the ‘selection preview’ field. Remember whatever appears closest to white is what you will be selecting and will be affected most.
5. Once you’re happy with your selection press OK.
6. With your selection highlighted with marching ants add a mask to the layer that you want to blend from.
7. If you blend needs to be more subtle you can reduce the opacity to reduce the effect.
Let’s take a look at the before and after Exposure Blending.
8 thoughts on “Quick Photoshop Secrets 3: Easy Exposure Blending”
When I select – colour range – highlights on my image there are no fuzziness and range sliders, they are blanked out. I’ve set the mode to 8 bits, can’t think what else to try. This is so often the case with tutorials. You come to a step where the tools available to the tutor, are not the same or greyed out for the student. So frustrating.
Same for me. Greyed out.
It’s a feature of Photoshop CC and later.
I have photoshop CS6 surely it’s a feature if it’s there! Just greyed out for some reason.
No not in CS6 or earlier. It was added to Highlights, Midtones & Shadows for CC(v14).
For non-CC users, just select ‘Sampled Colors’ instead of ‘Highlights’ and check mark ‘Localized Color Clusters’. You’ll have the controls you seek.
After some research I can confirm that the Highlights etc. options are only able to access the Fuzziness and Range sliders in CC2014, sadly.
Usually when an option is greyed out there’s a feature in the option bar responsible. You are not the first. If you google on it, often you will find the solution.
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