Digital Blending Using Color Range

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Among my favorite subjects there are certainly the cityscapes, during my travels in Asia I had the opportunity to explore urban landscapes like these many times, which offer beautiful shots from an architectural point of view, especially at dusk in these spots you can work with colors of city lights in contrast with the night twilight

In this article I want to talk about a very simple digital blending technique that I often use whenever I find myself managing an image like this. It’s very usefull to speed up and optimize the workflow, I recommend that small tip that in a few steps allows you to exposure blend two or more images in order to easily obtain an exposure with optimal highlights

So let’s start the digital blending using color range technique:

I captured a series of shots of this place and I selected this two exposures

Darker Exposure
Brighter Exposure

The darker expousure is nicely exposed along the lights on the buildings and a brighter exposure better for reflections and everything else. In this case we need to recover the highlights in the brighter exposure from the darker one

The first thing to do is to stack both layers as you normally do when you digital blend and make the darker exposure unvisible


After this create a mask on the darker exposure

Than navigate to to Select>Color Range and here select Highlights

In this selection the highlights are the brights parts and the shadows are the darker ones, we need to separate the brighter tones with the darker tones

When you’re happy with the selection press ok, than put the layer thumbnail visible of the darker exposure and you will see the digital blending using color range have recovered the highlights just with a click in the brighter exposure

Result image with recovered highlights

If you don’t want to affect some part of the exposure like this colored reflections on the foreground you can always select a black brush and paint those parts out as I do for the colored spot at the bottom 🙂


Site Founder

Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

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