1. Multiple Exposure Blending
  2. Time Blending
  3. Object Blending
  4. Double-Process Blending
  5. Blending Skies

3. Object Blending

After an early start in Prague, I got myself to the Charles Bridge for a half-decent sunrise and took the long-exposure photo below, entirely edited in Lightroom using the Lightroom Develop System.

A long-exposure early morning in Prague
A long-exposure early morning in Prague

As the sun started rising, and light began to filter onto the bridge, the local bird population woke up and flocks of birds began flying up and around me. But as the good light had now gone, I couldn’t retake the first photo with birds in it. So, what to do? Take a photo of the birds and blend it.

High ISO, fast shutter speed shot of the birds.
High ISO, fast shutter speed shot of the birds.

This is a very easy process and something I often do if there are any birds flying around me while I am taking photos. You don’t have to do this with birds, but for landscape and cityscape photographers this is a pretty good example.

How to select and blend objects like birds.
How to select and blend objects like birds.
  • So, simply load your base photo and the bird photo into the same workspace in Photoshop.
  • Select the ‘Magic Wand’ tool and click on each bird in turn, holding down Shift to add to the selection. Make sure that the ‘Sample All Layers’ box is unchecked, and you may need to increase the tolerance depending on how well the birds are separated from the background. In this case, I have set tolerance for 70.
  • Once all birds are selected, click on the birds layer to make sure that it is active, and click on add layer mask. The birds, or other object, will now show through on your base image.
  • If the birds (or object) doesn’t blend well because of colour differences between it and the layer below, try setting the blending mode to Darken.

And here’s the final result, after putting the blended photo through the Landscapes Masterclass process.

Prague

Turn to Part 4 to learn how to blend double-processed photos.

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