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Trouble with HDR skies?


TPF Noob!
Sep 6, 2011
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South England
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I just want to mix 2 images one exposed to the sky and the other exposed to the ground. The problem i have is i don't how to put them together without using the quick selection tool which doesn't work, failed outcome (hopefully) below on a screen shot, If it works that its. I only have Photoshop elements on the mac so I'm quite restricted and don't have merge to HDR option. The two images are actually just one raw file both processed differently to expose the sky and foreground.

So this is the first image exposed to the sky which i patiently went round the tree's with a quick selection tool.

Here's the 2nd image exposed to the foreground which i copy and pasted the sky into this layer.

The failed outcome.
If anybody knows a better way around this i would be grateful.
Thank you.

Last edited:
Can you use layer masks in Elements?

If so, layer the two images and then create a layer mask for the top one. Then click on the layer mask and choose a large, soft bush. Set the opacity to something low, maybe 20-25%. Then paint black onto the layer mask to cover the part where you want the bottom image to show though. Using a lower opacity means that you don't have to be exact, but you'll have to make more passes. If you want to take the time, you could get in close to the tree line and use a smaller brush at a higher opacity.

But the key thing is that you are using a layer mask and not just selecting/erasing parts of one image. With a layer mask, you can paint black to cover/mask a layer, but you can paint white to open it up again.

You can get a head start by making the selection first, then create the mask. Then just go in and clean up the areas that need extra attention.
Don't think masks in Elements.
You can use the clone tool soft brush darken.

This photo looks the tones are fairly even, not really an HDR required candidate.

Why not process it normally?
Thanks Big Mike, Layer masks are on Elements thankfully.
Massive improvements in minutes!
Cheers, Big help!
Looks like you've got some big dust spots (or you clicked a heavy brush in a few spots).
I used a brush of 80% opacity in the foreground then down to 10% towards the horizon, I'll give another shot!
Looks like you've got some big dust spots (or you clicked a heavy brush in a few spots).

OH YEAH, right there in the middle. Your camera is a dirty girl like mine.

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