Blended exposures, or how to extend your dynamic range...

  • OK, in some situations you're faced with a dilemma - if you expose for the brightest parts of a scene then you'll have no shadow detail, but if you expose for shadows then you'll have blown out areas - what to do?

    Using a tripod if possible, take two exposures from exactly the same place - one exposed for the highlights, and one for midtones/shadows - then combine the two in Photoshop.

    Link to a technique here:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/blended_exposures.shtml
  • Re: Blended exposures, or how to extend your dynamic range..
    In case anyone's interested there's a new version of this article here:
    www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml
  • Re: Blended exposures, or how to extend your dynamic range..
    ... and here's an example -

    http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/North_America/United_States/photo17781.htm

    Cheers,

    Ron.
  • Re: Blended exposures, or how to extend your dynamic range
    I have a trick which I use as a mater of course for interiors which extends the dynamic range to 12 stops and beyond:
    Shooting in RAW mode at -1 stop(Fuji raw extractor only allows -1 stop compensation) I then convert 1 file at -1 stop(notional -2EV), 1 at +1 stop(notional 0EV), and final 1 at +3 stops (notional +2EV).
    In PS stack the files in asending order.
    1st layer (-2EV) curves adjusted for shadow detail only, 2nd layer (0EV)set to screen. 3rd layer (+2EV)set to multiply and adjust curves for highlight detail only.
    I have succesfully used the above twice at +/-3EV and once at +/-4EV although at that dynamic range its an uphill struggle to print.
  • Re: Blended exposures, or how to extend your dynamic range.
    thank you for the link.

    This is a technique that I have tried several times without knowing that a lot of people were already using it ;-o

    an example with a factor 1000 (many stops!) in between the highlights and the shadows can be found here:
    http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/Switzerland/photo23693.htm
  • Re: Blended exposures
    Adam should put out the Trekearth Book of Technical Tips based on this forum :-).