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 Post subject: Help blending 2 images!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:27 pm
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Hello everyone!

I was shooting a landscape at dawn the other day and i noticed it is imposible to get both the foreground and the sky in one exposure without using an ND filter. Since i don`t have that type of filter, i decided to take 2 exposures: one for the sky, the other for the foreground.

My problem is that i can`t blend them in PS in a way it looks natural. I tried the HDR feature on CS5 but all i get are those nasty HDR like colors.

Can anyone tell me or, point me into a direction in how to achieve this task?

Thanks in advance!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:53 am 
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Photomatix is the way to go for HDR's. Follow the tutorial on stuckincustoms.com. Most feel that his photos are overdone, but to avoid this don't put the strength and luminiosity to max like he usually does.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Can you post the 2 images for us to have a look? and what version of Photoshop are you using?

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Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:39 pm 
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thanks for you replies!

I use PS CS5 on PC

I`ll upload a the jpgs as soon as i get home!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Have you tried the simple approach?


Just have both images on two layers, apply a mask to the top layer and then apply a black to white gradient to the mask.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:42 pm 
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yes, i tried it and was not too crazy about it.

Im uploading the pics now


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:18 pm 
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1. Image


2. Image

3. Image

here are my 3 images, they were shot in Raw so i can change the values a little bit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:16 pm 
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You have a lot to play with, but you also have a lot of movement in the water. I would suggest just using the first 2 images on 2 layers and a layer mask and gently brush away the areas that work best for you with a large brush and a low opacity and building up the image as you go along.

I think that would work better than a HDR software with these photos.

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"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order" - Eric Morecambe
________________________________________
D7000 and too many lenses.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:10 pm 
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I think you've got a nice composition here. I'm away on vacay, but when I get back would you mind if I play with these photos and see what I come up with?

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Trevor Harris

Nikon D200
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YN-560 II
YN RF 603 x 4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:48 pm 
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sure!!! have fun!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:16 am 
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Since this particular image doesn't have a clean linear transition (like a horizon running across the entire image), an ND filter wouldn't have done much good. (Also probably why you weren't satisfied with the results of the (linear) gradient.)

The easiest way I know to create a mask for an image like this is to turn the image to grayscale, play with the brightness/contrast (and maybe the shadows/highlights), and then use that as a mask. Or at least a starting point for a mask.

Then reopen the image in color, add your mask, and tweak until you're happy with the results.

HTH - Mark

{edit}Argh, tired of trying to get SkyDrive to work here. Let's try DropBox instead...

Quick and dirty edit...

Image

Zipped Photoshop file is here. WARNING: 2.6 MB file!

As you can see, I converted the middle image to grayscale and played with b/c and s/h as noted above. Then I opened a new color psd and copy/pasted the dark and bright images onto their own layers, and the edited grayscale middle image into channel Alpha 1.

Then, to soften the edges a little, I loaded Alpha 1 as a selection, inverted the selection, contracted it by 2 pixels, feathered it by 4 pixels, and filled the selection with white in Alpha 2.

Finally, I added a mask to the top (bright) layer, and c/p Alpha 2 into the Layer 2 Mask channel.

The waves near the shore need work, and there are still some bright halos (particularly around the branches) but it's not bad for 5 minutes of work. And you can continue to touch it up as time allows.
{/edit}


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:29 am 
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This is what I came up with in photomatix. It's a rough go, as I only took about a minute flicking through the sliders. Probably needs another 10~15 with photoshop to clean it up a bit. If you like it, I can give you more details.

Image

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Trevor Harris

Nikon D200
SB-600
YN-560 II
YN RF 603 x 4
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Image

Tried to keep it as natural as possible, if you PM me your email i'll send you the PS file if you want but I basically did as I suggested above, not perfect but done on my laptop with the touch pad.

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"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order" - Eric Morecambe
________________________________________
D7000 and too many lenses.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:27 pm
Posts: 30
First of all: THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for the interest you guys have put into helping me out!!!

Second: sorry for not answering earlier, i was being kick in the ass at my job :p

Third: i really like what you guys have come up with! I was about to delete all the pictures out of frustation!!

Again, i love what you guys have done!!! Lets see if i can come up with good results now! :D


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