40. Photomerge Exposure

This feature for merging photos to get the type of exposure your eyes detect naturally is at best exciting, and at worst finicky.  Recently, I made 4 different exposures with the intention of making an awesome picture showing the inside and outside of a picture window (later in the post, you’ll find out that this isn’t necessary).  Even though I used a tripod and a trigger release (thinking this would ensure no movement of the camera) I was disappointed at the results.  But on a lighter note, I have seen this merging of images turn out well.  Here’s the technique – best wishes for success!

  1. Using a tripod and if possible, bracketing on your camera.  Take at least 3 pictures: one underexposed, one exposed correctly, one over exposed. If bracketing is not an option, just take pictures using different exposure settings and being very careful about keeping the camera still.  If the camera doesn’t move, the pictures can be merged effortlessly.  You can still get a very good result from your pictures by making the merge in the manual mode, described below.
  2. Open all the photos you want to merge into the Full Edit tab of the program.
  3. In the Menu: >File  >New  >Photomerge Exposure
  4. A pop-up menu will tell you to pull your pictures into the project bin or click on Open All.  We have the pictures opened, so click on the button for Open All.  If you don’t have the project bin opened, it can be opened from >Window >Project Bin (there will be a check mark in front of the words Project Bin, if it has been selected)
  5. The program automatically merges the photos using the Automatic, Smart Blending.  You can see the tab for Automatic on the right and the choices for Simple Blending and Smart Blending.  By clicking on the dot before the words you can switch between the two to see any differences and leave it on the one you prefer.
  6. Additionally, notice that under the merged image in the work space, you see the photos you selected.  To the left of each photo is a small box.  If you uncheck, in the box, the image will readjust to make a merged photo with the changes, not using the one you just unchecked.
  7. When you like what you see, click Done and you’ll be directed to save and name this new image.
  8. Now let’s get brave and click the tab on the right – Manual.  In this mode the computer selects an image and puts in on the left (you can change this selection by clicking and dragging on any of the images below). On the right, you are instructed to drag an image from the project bin and put it in this blank space to set the background image.  You can then click on the selection tool to select what you want from the image on the left.  By putting the cursor in the space on the image to the left, you’ll see it has a round shape with cross hairs in the middle of this circle.  Draw a line across the part in this photo that you want merged into the photo on the right.
  9. For the photo below I selected a picture for the background that had the best exposure for the outside of the building.  To get the bow, I had the image on the left selected for the purpose of selecting the bow.  Using the selection tool I drew a diagonal line from the upper left of the door to the lower right, going straight across the bow.  This worked better than merging the 4 different exposures, as I had originally planned to do.  KISS – keep it simple, Sandy!
  10. There is also a way to edit for regions of a picture and I have watched the video that is included in PSE under Help, but I don’t know enough about it to post any more until I have practiced with some measure of success.

About momentsphotographybysandy

This blog is designed to enrich the world of digital photography by expanding the creative potential allowed in Photoshop programs. Shoot - that sounds like fun!
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