Exposure Blending: The Complete Guide From Camera to Process

Cover to free Exposure Blending eBook course.

100+ page ebook • 8 videos • 7 image files

Free to download when you subscribe by email!

Exposure blending is a revolutionary digital darkroom technique that will assist you in overcoming the limitations of your camera and capture a scene with the full tonal range you witnessed in the field. This is a common challenge for any area of photography, but landscape photographers find this especially difficult since we typically can not manipulate or alter the ambient light. You’ve probably recognized this challenge in your own work: an overexposed sky, a foreground with crushed shadows, or a disappointing combination of the two. The incredible detail and light you witnessed in person has disappeared, and you instead go home with a lackluster representation of the beauty you intended to capture.

In this free step-by-step course, I discuss the entire process of exposure blending by detailing my personal workflow from autobracketing in the field to blending exposures together in Adobe® Photoshop – available at no cost.

To receive your free copy, subscribe by email via the form below and you’ll be sent instructions on how to download the 100+ page eBook, 45 minutes of video instruction, and 7 image files instantly.

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This free eBook course will detail how to go from the before to the after with step-by-step instructional videos.

Since your camera sensor is limited to one aperture and one shutter speed across the same frame, it’s difficult to capture a scene with a dynamic tonal range without some areas falling outside of your selected exposure, which produce blown highlights and/or crushed shadows.This will result in a landscape with a washed out sky, a darkened foreground, or disappointing combination of both. Exposure blending is a revolutionary digital darkroom technique that allows you to recover this lost data for a more accurate representation of the beauty you saw in the field.

By using a combination of written instructions and step-by-step video tutorials, I’ll teach you how to achieve a seamless blend of exposures so you can fully enjoy your photography by overcoming the limitations of your camera.

Page samples from the free photography course on exposure blending with luminosity masks.

Page samples from the free eBook course on exposure blending with luminosity masks.

Simply put, in order to capture the full tonal range of a scene that extends outside of what your sensor can render, you’ll need to combine different exposures together. The number of exposures you need depends on how large your tonal range is, but typically you’ll have one exposure exposed for your highlights (a faster shutter speed to limit light), one for your shadows (a slower shutter speed to let more light in), and your base exposure (the average exposure between your highlights and shadows).This is where the term “bracketing” comes in since you’re creating a bracket that encapsulates your entire tonal range, from brightest to darkest.

Exposure blending can also be referred to as HDR blending in the sense that we’re expanding the tonal range, however this method will create a more natural looking image than tone-mapping with automated software. With exposure blending, you have much more control over the end result by manually choosing exactly where you want to blend your exposures together, and at what strength you want that blend to be. It’s a method that is entirely customizable to your scene, which will produce a more pleasing result.

What’s Included in the Exposure Blending eBook Course:

  • 100+ Page eBook: This extensive guide provides in-depth instruction on every aspect of exposure blending, from the in-the-field workflow with your camera to the final touches in Photoshop. I also take detours to explain important concepts that contribute to a better blending experience, such as the importance of RAW format and how to create your own luminosity masks.
  • 8 Video Tutorials: Photoshop processing workflows can be quite difficult to grasp by simple screenshots, so I have created 8 video tutorials that walk you through the entire blending process. I explain every step to blending brackets of three different scenes together, and also address how to avoid and reverse common nuisances of blending, such as sensor bloom, ghosting, and halos.
  • 7 Image Files:  To accompany the eBook and video tutorials, I’ve also included all of the image files used so you can process along with me for an easier flow of learning.

To download your copy, first you’ll need to subscribe to my email updates by filling out the form below:

Sign up for email updates to receive your FREE Exposure Blending eCourse!

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What editing program do you use for this eBook?

The actual blending of exposures is completed using Photoshop CC, but previous versions of Photoshop should be able to execute the workflows described.

Can I use this eBook for other processing programs such as Lightroom and GIMP?

The step-by-step instructions in this eBook are executed in Photoshop CC, however the basic workflow can be applied to any editing program that utilizes layers and layer masks. For example, the controls for your brush tool in Photoshop will be slightly different for GIMP, yet the process will be the same.

Lightroom does not come with layer functionality out-of-the-box, but you can purchase additional software that will give you layering ability – which means you can apply this workflow to your own photographs. onOne Software is the publisher of Perfect Layers, which is what I recommend for Lightroom users.

Do I need to know anything about my camera first?

If you’re a complete beginner to photography and have no idea how to use your manual settings, this book is still for you. I have included links to my Photography 101 tutorials which cover all you need to know to understand everything in this eBook.

What kind of format is the download in?

The Exposure Blending eBook course is downloaded as a Zip file, also known as a compressed file format. Inside the Zip file you’ll find the eBook, image folders, and a video folder. Zip files can be opened and accessed using a number of different devices, including laptop and desktop computers, iPhone or Android devices, iPads, and other tablets.

If for some reason you are not sure you’ll be able to access this file or have trouble doing so, feel free to email me.

Much frustration stems from having a limited amount of creative avenues to pursue when you approach a scene – and since the environment has countless variables, your creative process is more likely to become blocked when the workflows you have learned do not apply. Like with all my eBooks, I hope to provide you with new ideas and creative paths to take, and to inspire you to overcome any plateaus you may reach.

Complete eBook Collection: 25% Discount

You can now own my entire landscape photography eBook collection at a discount if purchased as a single transaction.