Three into one

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

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).

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