Blended to perfection
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine|September 2021
James Paterson utilizes exposure blending skills in Serif’s Affinity Photo for superbly balanced landscape images
James Paterson

When it comes to landscape photography, sometimes a single exposure simply isn’t enough. In high-contrast scenes the difference in brightness between land and sky can make it near-impossible to capture fine detail in one frame, which could mean sacrificing shadow detail to preserve the highlights, or capturing shadow detail while blowing the sky. It’s often a problem encountered at sunset, as when shooting towards the brightest and most vibrant part of the sky and the land in front can appear almost black. Thankfully, by varying our exposure across a couple of frames (taken using a tripod to keep them in alignment) we can capture the optimum amount of detail and then blend our photographs afterwards.

In this project we’ll show you how to blend your exposures in Affinity Photo for enhanced landscape photos. Exposure blending is similar in principle to HDR photography in that the aim is to expand our dynamic range beyond the limits of our camera. But HDR is a blanket approach to the problem. With exposure blending we can control exactly which parts of each image to use in our composite image. As such, we have ultimate control over the final results.

The technique is done by using a combination of layers and masks in Affinity Photo. We can paint the masks, or use selection tools to help us out by isolating areas of the frame. As well as combining exposures these fundamental image-editing tools can be used for a huge array of other tasks, from practical jobs like focus stacking to creative montages and composites.

THE MISSION

Learn how to blend exposures of land and sky to come up with a balanced landscape in Affinity Photo

Time needed 15 minutes

Skill level Beginner

Kit needed Affinity Photo

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PHOTOPLUS : THE CANON MAGAZINEView All

Update your EOS firmware

Firmware updates are released for new models to improve functions and add features

3 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

Misty Peaks

A last-minute swap of the days of a Canon Experience made for a beautiful cloud inversion at dawn and prompted some beautiful shots

3 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

TOM MARTIN

We speak to Canon pro photographer Tom before TPS 2021

4 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

KATHRYN CHAPMAN

Kathryn Chapman reveals how the power of selfies and photography helped her recover from lifelong depression

4 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

By the seaside

David tells us how he caught some top shots from his local coastline

3 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

Create a retro postcard

Age your photos with textures, borders and colour shifts for that old print look with James Paterson

3 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

Birds of a feather

Shayne shows how ‘ordinary’ animals can be turned into extraordinary photos

2 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

Blurred of a feather

James Paterson conveys the motion of wildlife with beautiful blurs

7 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

Color Grading explained

James Paterson shows you how to use this powerful tinting tool

4 mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021

10 EASY CANON TIPS! AUTUMN SKILLS SPECIAL

Hone your camera skills for the most photogenic season of the year with our top Canon pro photographer’s tips

10+ mins read
PhotoPlus : The Canon Magazine
October 2021
RELATED STORIES

‘AS SEEN ON TIKTOK' IS THE NEW ‘AS SEEN ON TV'

Near the Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids at a New York candy store are fruit-shaped soft jelly candies that earned a spot on the shelves because they went viral on TikTok.

5 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

WHO HONORS HENRIETTA LACKS, WOMAN WHOSE CELLS SERVED SCIENCE

The chief of the World Health Organization honored the late Henrietta Lacks, an American woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge during the 1950s and ended up providing the foundation for vast scientific breakthroughs, including research about the coronavirus.

2 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

WITH HUMOR, VENOM 2 LEANS INTO RELATIONSHIPS

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is best when it’s not trying to be a comic book movie.

3 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

INSTACART CEO SAYS ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING HAS ROOM TO GROW

When the pandemic hit the U.S. last year, grocery delivery company Instacart suddenly became a lifeline for millions of consumers. Sales volumes skyrocketed; in one month, the company added 300,000 drivers to keep up with its orders.

4 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

HYDROPOWER DECLINE ADDS STRAIN TO POWER GRIDS IN DROUGHT

After water levels at a California dam fell to historic lows this summer, the main hydropower plant it feeds was shut down. At the Hoover Dam in Nevada — one of the country’s biggest hydropower generators — production is down by 25%. If extreme drought persists, federal officials say a dam in Arizona could stop producing electricity in coming years.

3 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

MICROSOFT SHUTTING DOWN LINKEDIN IN CHINA

Microsoft is shutting down its LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.

1 min read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

WILLIAM SHATNER, TV'S CAPT. KIRK, BLASTS INTO SPACE

Hollywood’s Captain Kirk, 90-year-old William Shatner, blasted into space Wednesday in a convergence of science fiction and science reality, reaching the final frontier aboard a ship built by JeffBezos’ Blue Origin company.

3 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

US REGULATORS SEEK ANSWERS FROM TESLA OVER LACK OF RECALL

U.S. safety investigators want to know why Tesla didn’t file recall documents when it updated Autopilot software to better identify parked emergency vehicles, escalating a simmering clash between the automaker and regulators.

4 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

CHINA SET TO SEND 3 ASTRONAUTS ON LONGEST CREWED MISSION YET

China is preparing to send three astronauts to live on its space station for six months — a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years.

4 mins read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021

UNITED AIRLINES WILL ADD NEW INTERNATIONAL ROUTES NEXT YEAR

United Airlines said Thursday it will launch its biggest expansion of transatlantic service next year, a vote of confidence that international travel will rebound from the depths of the pandemic.

1 min read
Techlife News
October 16, 2021