Shooting for Photoshop

Getting the shot right in the camera should always be the goal of any photographer but sometimes the shot you want is beyond the camera’s capabilities.  So what do you do when you know what it is you want but you know you can’t get it in one exposure?  In those circumstances, you can shoot for Photoshop.  Here’s a good example of what I mean.

While walking in a cathedral in Bruges last week I saw a beautiful stained glass window at the end of a large hall.  I wanted to capture the entire scene but when I shot with a proper exposure for the hall, the window was completely over-exposed.  When I shot to get a good exposure of the window, the hall became so dark that you couldn’t see any detail.  To remedy this, I decided to shoot two exposures with the intent of combining the two images in Photoshop.

Exposed for the window

Exposed for the hall

A combination of both photos

To get the two images as one, I adjust the images in Lightroom and then opened both of them as layers in one Photoshop document.  I then had Photoshop align the two layers and used a layer mask to combine the best parts of both.  I am sure that some of you are wondering why I didn’t shoot an HDR and the truth is that I considered it but I think that the processing would not have given me the result that I was after.

So here’s another shot that I took with the intention of fixing it in Photoshop.  I’m not going to tell you what I did but take a look at it and see if you can figure it out (Jeff and Scott Kelby are not allowed to comment).  I’ll post the answer on Friday.

Fixed in Photoshop

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  • http://www.ensler.de Gaensler

    Well I think you did several shots to get rid of some people that are in front of the sculpture in PS.

    Enjoy,
    Kay

  • Marco

    Hi Jeff,

    It must have been pretty hard to get a shot of the Amsterdam-sign without people standing in front of it.
    So my guess is: you took a few shots and only used the non-obstructed parts from each pic.

    Hope you enjoyed your stay with us.

    Greatings from the Netherlands,

    Marco

  • http://forayfoto.blogspot.com Mark

    One vote for Marco’s reply (he beat me to it!)

  • http://www.johnslaughterbeck.blogspot.com JohnS

    Because the front of the sign is in shadow, I think you shot one image over exposed to make the letters white without blowing them out, and another image properly exposed for the background.

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  • mike meyer

    If you take five shots or more you can use the stacking feature to remove any items that are not in every frame. Add HDR and Panorama and you’ve got what I like to call the HDR Pano Stack along with a whole lot of images.

    mike meyer

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  • http://www.stillwaterarchitecture.com Michael

    I am guessing you took two or three shots, and used the script feature in PS to stack and remove the moving parts People) in the front of the sign

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  • Kathy

    I agree with the general idea that you took multiple shots, removed the people and their shadows in PS. I also agree with JohnS that you did a couple of exposures and merged them (like you did with the cathedral window) to get the foreground and background exposure the way you wanted them to look.

    • JohnS

      I think Kathy sounds like a very smart person. :)

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