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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Picture editing software question

    I am basically a noob in photo editing. I read somewhere about taking multiple pictures at different exposures and combine them in Adobe Photoshop using Layer masks and such. Anyways, I donít have $600 to spend on Photoshop, and it doesnít seem that Photoshop Elements can do this. Am I correct in this assumption?

    If Photoshop Elements cannot do this, is there software out there that will allow me to merge multiple pictures together to make a perfectly exposed picture where it won't cost me an arm and a leg?

    And If Photoshop Elements can do it, could you explain how? The help files only say what a layer mask is and not how to create one...this is why I was thinking Elements could not do layer masks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    PSE can do this but not using masks. You have to use the eraser tool to bring what you want to the fore selecting the layer you want to delete each time.

    The one thing that PSE could do with is LAB mode for colour and B&W conversion, but not a huge issue.

    PSP Piant shop Pro has the ability using masks and its only £70 or so.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  3. #3
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    Changed, welcome to PR. What you're looking for is software that will create a high dynamic range image. Photoshop CS2 has a tool that handles most of this automatically, and there are other programs available (some that are more mature than others) if you don't want to spring for the latest version of PS.

    The one that I found is called Photomatix, and it is available at http://www.hdrsoft.com/. The program retails for $99 and is free to try before you buy.
    Sean Massey
    Massey Photography

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  4. #4
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    Thanks for the help. I tried the Photomatix and it seems to work great. It does all the work for you. However It didnt seem to have much flexibility. For instance I had two pictures and there was something in the picture that was moving. This program merged the two pictures together and the moving item was ghosted sortof. Not sure if you can manually select things to not be merged?

    I also tried a program from Ulead called PhotoImpact. That one didnt seem to want to let me make layers. I know its possible, but its not very straight forward and the help files suck.

    I will try PSE again and try the eraser tool and see how that goes for me. That software seemed very buggy though. It was very slow and unresponsive.

  5. #5
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    Changed, with software, there is usually an interface for regular users that does the work for you and doesn't offer a lot of flexibility and an interface for power users that grants you more creative control. Try poking around the different programs and learning the interfaces - you'll often find that you can do much more by learning the controls.
    Sean Massey
    Massey Photography

    Canon 20D
    Canon Digital Rebel XT (backup)
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    Sigma 28-105 f/2.8-4.0
    Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Printer

    Blog:
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  6. #6
    That Victory guy kball's Avatar
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    There is a free alternative if you don't mind living on the edge ;)

    The GIMP is a free picture editing package that has a LOT of features. A lot of reviews I've read report that they would put it up against PS, but I'm not so sure.

    Here's a link to the download for windows:

    http://www.gimp.org/windows/

    Here's a link to the documentation.

    http://docs.gimp.org/en/

    If you're going to use The GIMP, please keep in mind that it is free software, and as such has not been as tested as some of the more expensive alternatives. If you don't mind a learning curve and know how to search for help on the net, it can be a great experience.

    Hope this helps, and good luck.

  7. #7
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    GIMP doesn't have the features for what the poster is looking for.
    Sean Massey
    Massey Photography

    Canon 20D
    Canon Digital Rebel XT (backup)
    Canon 70-200 f/2.8L
    Canon 50mm f/1.4
    Sigma 28-105 f/2.8-4.0
    Epson Stylus Photo R1800 Printer

    Blog:
    IT 4 Photography


  8. #8
    That Victory guy kball's Avatar
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    Re: Picture editing software question

    That's what I get for not reading it correctly. I thought he was just looking for something to work with layers with.

    BTW, interesting blog you have there. I intend to make it part of my regular browsing. Being in the tech field, I've been looking for discussions and articles on how tech can help photography. My background is a lot more technical that photographical (is that even a word).

    Thanks .. Ken

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