Shoot and blend two ex­po­sures for the ideal night shot

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO ACTIVE -

Pho­to­graph 1 the night sky

Find a com­po­si­tion with a strong fore­ground to achieve the best re­sults. We shot this from the very dark Pem­brokeshire coast, with the Green Bridge of Wales in the fore­ground. First, we took a photo of the night sky, us­ing a Canon 6D with a 14mm f/2.8 lens. On ISO 6,400, we opened the shut­ter for 30 sec­onds.

Pho­to­graph 2 the fore­ground

Although the im­age of the sky worked well, the cam­era wasn’t able to cap­ture enough light in the land­scape. So we re­duced the ISO to 1,600 and opened the shut­ter in Bulb mode for eight min­utes (us­ing an alarm on our phone). The fin­ished im­age has lots of de­tail of the rock, but the sky is over­ex­posed.

Post-process 3 the im­ages

Drag both raw im­ages into Pho­to­shop and process each. For the night sky im­age, we put High­lights slider to 0 and Shad­ows to 90, low­er­ing the black level and slightly in­creas­ing Clar­ity to bring out the stars. For the fore­ground shot, we in­creased Clar­ity, De­haze and Vi­brancy.

Blend the im­ages 4

In Pho­to­shop, go to File > Scripts Load Files Into Stack, and choose the two files. You will now have them both as lay­ers. Se­lect the night sky ex­po­sure and add a layer mask. Make both lay­ers vis­i­ble, se­lect the layer mask, then se­lect the Gra­di­ent tool and draw a small ver­ti­cal line on the hori­zon. The two im­ages will be blended to­gether.

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