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Showing posts from October, 2012

Easy Manual Exposure Blending with The Gimp

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We talked about a simplified and easy 2 layers exposure blending in the last article and so here it comes. In most scenes the dynamic range of the scenes are just slightly out of range of the image sensors' dynamic range.  Therefore, we only need to extend the highlight or shadow area by about 2  to 3 stops and the 2 layers blending method can handle that easily.


In this 2 layers method we use the +1 EV and the -1 EV photos from the three bracketed images. The 0 EV or "normal exposed" image from the camera is not required here. The +1 EV overexposed image has enough details to cover most of the scenes from the very dark to the mid-tone area. The high light details can be easily blended in from the -1 EV underexposure photo.

We use layer mask to hide or display areas where we want the image to be hidden or displayed. A black mask will display what is from the bottom layer and a white mask shows what is on the current layer that is connected to the mask. With that in mind …

Manual Exposure Blending

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We saw a nice scene where the sun was shining brightly in deep blue sky and colourful flowers in the foreground contrasting beautifully with the buildings in the background. We took a shot and what we got was a well exposed building with overly dark flowers in deep shadows and a pale featureless white sky. A total letdown!  The beautiful high contrast scene was not represented on the photo we took so we became frustrated and disappointed with our camera. The problem is the tonal and contrast range of the scene is too large for the imaging sensor in the camera to capture.


We had the same situation when we were at the Western Courtyard of The Curve mall.  In the center we had natural sunlight streaming in from the top of the open courtyard surrounded by a darkened but clearly visible dining area, leading towards the courtyard were rows of hanging incandescent lamps in beautiful orange glow. However it was all lost with the photo we took - only the beautiful pillars in the courtyard look…