Crown Monochrome Group                              RAW Blending

 

Pictures to follow

 

Select your RAW file and develop the file in the normal way,

Find the White and Black points and Recovery point.

 

Open into Photoshop or Elements.

 

Convert your image to mono in your normal way so as to get a balanced representation; this will be your base image.

 

Go back to your Bridge and re-launch the same RAW file into the RAW handler, this time darken down so as to give the bright areas some detail.

Open this second addition into Photoshop.

You will now have two of the same file open.

 

 

Now with two images on screen place the lighter image on top of the darker image by using the “move tool” and depressing the shift key at the same time.

This will ensure that the pixels of each image are inline one above the other.

 

By placing one image over the other the files are now in Layers, now add a “Layer mask” from the Layers options at the base of the Layers palette.

Select the “Brush tool” whilst ensuring the foreground square on the Tools Palette is black.

Turn the opacity down to about 30% and click onto the mask, paint over the lighter areas as required.

Note the Layer Mask showing

both the Gradient tool and Brush use.

 

Painting on black to paint through the layer, switch black to white to paint back the layer.

In Elements this can be done without a layer mask by using the “Eraser tool”.

Another tool that is good for the sky in photoshop is the Gradient Tool but should you need to use both the Brush and the Gradient Tool you must use the gradient first.

 

Should you wish to develop the burning and dodging of the image by using the original RAW again it would be best to flatten at this point.

The advantage of using and blending RAWs is that you are always working with the best possible pixels so there will not be the degraded pixels that is often seen in over processed JPEGs.

Care needs to taken when sharpening and it is recommended that sharpening be done on a duplicate layer.

Sharpening is an increase in contrast and when applied to an image that has had much manipulation causes noticeable defects.

 

Again use a Layer mask and paint through the layer so as to un-sharpen areas such as the sky and the horizon (the Eraser can be used in Elements).

 

The above method is so much quicker than selective Layer enhancement and may be used with additional processes.