The power of photo merge to get a well exposed landscape image

The struggle is real when you want to get both the foreground and background well exposed when capturing a beautiful landscape picture. Adobe Lightroom has the powerful ability to merge three images of different exposures into one image! I took the following image at 9pm at Kelly Canyon in Ririe, Idaho with my sweet friend Kaley. Check out the images she captured at http://www.kaleymichellephotography.com/2018/06/08/golden-hour-landscapes-at-kellys-canyon/.

Let’s get into the details of how I got the landscape picture to be well exposed during golden hour!

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

First, my settings were 1/500 shutter speed, f/8 aperture, at ISO 800. Next, I set my camera settings to bracketing which means that it will take three sequential images of 3 different exposures. One that is over exposed to get detail in the foreground (grass and flowers), one that is the normal exposure (everything is shadowed), and finally one that is under exposed to get detail in the background (sky and sunset colors).

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

Over Exposed

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

Normal Exposure

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

Under Exposed

After getting the three different images, I opened them into Adobe Lightroom. After selecting all three, right-click on the image and click on Photo Merge – HDR. When the information box comes up make sure Auto Align and Auto Tone are checked. Then click low on deghosting which just means that if there is slight movement between the three pictures due to wind it will made sure it merges the similar things together. Once it loads, click on merge. It will take a bit of time, so feel free to grab a quick snack. 🙂 After the image loads you will get both the foreground and background well exposed during the beautiful golden hour.

Here are a few more examples in the same location but with different angles. Have fun using photo merge to create a beautiful, well exposed, landscape image during golden hour! Check out http://www.carynesplin.com/fine-art-photography-contest/ to see some more amazing well exposed fine art images.

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

Emilee-Wright-How-to-take-a-golden-hour-landscape-image

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