Three into one
Combine the best bits of each exposure in the digital darkroom
You could look at your three bracketed images and pick the one with the best exposure, but with Photoshop you can combine all three to create one perfectly-exposed picture. (If you don’t have Photoshop, you can tease out shadow and highlight detail using Nikon’s own free editing software, Capture NX-D. See page 94 for our step-by-step guide.)
Layer them up
Drag your images onto one canvas with the move tool (V). Hide the top layer, reduce the opacity on the second, then align the images. Reset the second layer’s opacity to 100%, and hide it. Reveal the top layer, reduce the opacity and repeat the aligning process with the third image.
Reveal the best bits
Reveal all the layers. Select your top layer. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All. Repeat for your second layer. Select the brush tool (B). Select the top layer mask, then paint with white over the areas you’d like to reveal from this image. Repeat for the second layer.
Finalise the image
With the top layer selected, hit Cmd/ Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to merge all the layers into a new layer. You can then make any further adjustments to this layer. We’ve removed some marks using the Healing Brush (J), increased the contrast with a Curves layer, and finally cropped our image to size (C).