Exposure Blending on Derwent Edge

Last week, I ventured out in the evening to Derwent Edge in the Peak District. I also shared one of the photos that I shot on this blog. In this week’s blog post I want to share another but from earlier in the evening. I shot this using my Fuji XT3 with Fuji 16-80 lens at 16mm.

Derwent Edge in the Peak District

When I took this shot, I realised the sky was extremely bright, although the scene looked great to the naked eye. Attempting tame the exposure, I used a Kase 3-stop Reverse ND graduate filter on the sky and tried to shoot a good exposure of the foreground. Here’s the result.

Image exposed for the ground

When I realised the filter wasn’t strong enough, I decided not to try a stronger filter. Instead, I opted to take a second shot but reduce the exposure by 3 stops. That gave me an image that had a reasonable sky that I could use to repair the problem shot.

Image with reduced exposure

After downloading the two images to my computer, I needed to combine them into a single image. Rather than using some automated HDR technique, I decided to blend them manually in Affinity Photo. This allowed me to only replace the sky in the problem area to keep the image looking natural.

If you want to see how I did this blending, that’s the subject of this week’s YouTube video. It’s a short video (less than 7 minutes) which you can watch here (https://youtu.be/LEwOYA_IzBQ).

I should also explain that I had my camera mounted on a tripod when I took the two exposures and was careful to not change any settings other than the exposure compensation. That enabled me to make the blend without needing to first align the two images.

In all honesty, when I took this shot, I had doubts that it would make a good image. The scene looked great to the eye, but the light was extremely harsh. I also don’t do much photography during the day (unless I’m shooting infrared) as I prefer warm light on the landscape. Now looking at the finished image, I’m extremely pleased that I made the effort.

I hope that you like the image and find the video useful.

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