Part 1.

For the first part of this exercise I had to choose two landscape images taken in sequence to combine into a single image .

Exposed for the sky
ISO 100       F16     3.2 Sec   @ 10mm

Exposed for the foreground.
ISO 200      F16      2.5sec     @ 10mm

I opened both images as layers in Photoshop placing the image exposed for the foreground at the top. I then used the quick selection tool to  make a selection of the  overexposed sky and hit the delete key to erase it. As I chose quite an undetailed and clean horizon line it made the task easier than I expected. I am not sure if I am proficient enough yet  to make more complicated selections but am happy with the end result for my first attempt at combining two images to make a new one. 

Exposed for sky

Exposed for foreground

Final combined image

I see nothing wrong with this type of manipulation , The camera sensor , unlike the human eye , is unable to adjust when viewing a scene such as this. Combining these two images simply replicates how I initially visualized the scene and therefore do not consider it alters the truth. 

Graduated filters are considered a perfectly legitimate method of achieving a better exposure in-camera whilst shooting , what is the difference between using a digital method post shoot to achieve the same end result?

Part 2.

For the 2nd part of the Addition exercise I needed to replace the sky from one image and choose a sky from another image to replace it.

Using layers I created two different versions as I worked on the image.

I opened up both images in Photoshop choosing an image of Caitlin with a very pale and washed out sky behind her. I copied and pasted it onto the image created for the first part of the exercise as it had a more summery sky. 

I then created a duplicate copy layer image and turned this layer off.
Returning to my original first layer I made a selection of the areas I wanted protected and added a layer mask, white shows the areas to be protected and black areas will be hidden. I actually found it easier to make a selection of the sky and inverse the selection.

Version 1.
I think this looks false –the small area of horizon between the sky and sea creates a rather wonky looking line ! 

Version 2.
For my second version I also included the sea visible to Caitlin’s left  in my selection to be hidden. I think this second version looks better even if I have altered the actual reality of the scene. 

I returned to the duplicate copy layer making my original image visible again. Double clicking I then opened the blending options choosing blend to blue dragging the top slider from right to left until I was happy with how the sky looked. The image was then adjusted to reduce any fringing by holding the Option key (Alt on a PC)  and dragging the slider to the left which then split into two. At this point I could release the Option key and adjust my image.  

The final image.
I added a Vibrance and Curves layer.


I have enjoyed this exercise , but doubt I would use alteration of this type often. 

Landscape photographer of the year 2012 David Byrne lost his prize of £10,000 (ouch!) and was disqualified for excessive use of digital manipulation, including replacing the sky. 


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