PHOTOSHOP How To: Contrast Masking / Digital Blending

JerseyJay

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Jan 6, 2005
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Contrast Masking / Digital Blending.

This process has been used by photographers in different fields. It could be easily applied to any landscape/nature photograph as well as aquatic image – especially full aquarium shot.

A. The key is to use identical images by using tripod or RAW settings in your digital camera. Expose one image for sky (*dark image) and second for land (*light image).

* You can also use RAW setting and during post-processing save one dark and one light image. This will not work for “true” High Dynamic Range output though.

Dark Image



Light Image




B. Open both images in Photoshop and drag dark image on top of the light image.

C. Open your Layers Tab and do the following:

1. Click on Dark Image
2. Click on Layer Mask
3. Click on Light Image
3a. Click CTRL-A
3b. Click CTRL-C




4. Press ALT and Click on white rectangle (*your image will turn white)




5. Click CTRL-V to paste greyscale
6. Go to Filter Menu
7. Select Blur
8. Select Gaussian Blur
9. Set Radius ~20 (*this step should be repeated to your liking)
10. Click OK
11. Click on pointed image




12. After that selection you will see your final blended photograph.




D. Flatten Image
E. Adjust Histogram / Levels / Contrast

Enjoy your final photograph

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rob G

Feeder Fish
Feb 16, 2005
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Jay, thanks for putting this article together. I especially appreciate the fact that the instructions are presented in both verbal and visual formats. The red arrows are helpful. Great article!
 

hir0

Moderator
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Oct 16, 2004
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o yah, another thing. before you do the gaussian blur, if you click on a different layer and then back on the layer mask first - you can see the effects of the gaussian blur in the preview window.
 

jcardona1

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jun 5, 2007
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nice bump! this is a great write-up :)
 

stratusfearrr

Feeder Fish
Sep 12, 2009
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Connecticut
sweet! so its a really easy of hdr. i like it. great tutorial.
 
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