HO W TO… com­bine ex­po­sures

For bet­ter starscape shots, you’ll need to delve into Pho­to­shop and blend ex­po­sures for the sky and land

NPhoto - - Feature -

Ex­po­sure

Start work­ing on the sky frame in Light­room, us­ing ex­actly the same slid­ers as in the sin­gle frame method. Adding Vi­brance and/or Sat­u­ra­tion is per­sonal pref­er­ence and a lit­tle can be added if de­sired.

Im­age fore­ground

If you ad­just white bal­ance for the sky frame, make sure the same val­ues are added to the fore­ground frame or the two im­ages will look dif­fer­ent. Once these ad­just­ments are made, send both im­ages to Pho­to­shop as lay­ers.

Edit in Pho­to­shop

With the fore­ground as the top layer, add a layer mask and care­fully brush in the sky. Ad­just the brush opac­ity, and go back and forth around the hori­zon un­til there is a seam­less blend, and the fore­ground and sky ap­pear uni­form.

Layer blend­ing

Both sec­tions of the im­age can be edited as sep­a­rate en­ti­ties; try an ad­di­tional sub­tle S-curve ad­just­ment to the sky. When happy, flat­ten the im­age, then pro­ceed to clean out any un­wanted arte­facts be­fore crop­ping.

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