Continuing from the previous article on HDR editing in Photoshop.
1. Using 3 image exposures, open all three images and using the Move (V) tool; copy darkest to lightest on top of the darkest image.
Holding down the shift key aligns each image as you copy it over.
2. Add a layer mask to layer 1 and 2.
3. Close layer 2 by clicking on the eye of that layer.
Ensure all settings are correct:
a. The gradient type must be foreground to background ( top left )
b. Orientation of the gradient must linear ( left )
c. Mode – normal
d. Opacity – 100%
e. Ensure that the layer mask thumbnail is highlighted.
4. Using the gradient (G) tool, following your background horizon drag the line accross the horizon line. The greater the distance you drag the line the more gradual the gradation, repeat till you get the right effect. Each new drag creates a new effect.
5. Activate layer 2 and repeat the process above for your foreground exposure.
Remember you can add to your mask layer by using the Brush tool (B) and painting black on areas you want to hide and white over areas you want to expose more.
6. Highlighting various layers, the Layer Thumbnail must be highlighted; add one or a combination of the following to each layer as well as the background layer:
- Image = Adjustment = Photo Filters; cooling blues, cyan, and violet work well for the sky generally - Warming, yellow and green work well on the foreground.
- Image = Adjustment = Exposure adjustments; Changing the exposure can create more depth to our image.
- Filter = Other = High Pass filters as per previous grunge article - increase the texture of a wall, road, or paving individually using a layer mask specifically created for this feature.
7. Adjust each effect correctly using that tool's density or opacity adjustment. The Layer opacity should not be adjusted. Unless you want the effect and exposure to revert towards the darker layer below.
8. When you are happy flatten your image
You will notice the Background layer, the darkest layer, is your sky, layer 1 is your middleground, and layer 2 is your foreground.
Hope you enjoy this one and discover some new ways to play with your images.
Another option is to copy one image (Cntrl+J) several times and try the above method to improve on its colour, texture and exposure.