Over the years, different software solutions for creating an HDR image from a set of source exposures have emerged. First, it was Photomatix and other dedicated software tools that where mainly used. In parallel, people always used to do manual blending for more subtle results. Then HDR was added to Photoshop and with Lightroom CC/6, it was finally possible to merge your source exposures directly in Lightroom. In this article, you will get an overview of the most commonly used methods and techniques. They are quite diverse and can be used to achieve different types of results, ranging from a classical colorful, detail-rich HDR look to very subtle and natural looking images.
Digital blending is a technique by which you blend selected regions of one photo with regions from another photo to combine the best aspects of both images. Of course, this is also possible for set of more than two images. One typical use case is manual HDR where you blend the well-exposed areas of each photo in a bracketed series of shots. But digital blending techniques are not only applicable to multiple exposures. While that's usually how these techniques are used, you can actually use the same technique to blend a single photo with itself, or rather, with a different version of itself. In the video below, Jimmy McIntyre shows you the basics of this technique.
Blending selective adjustments into an image in Photoshop is one of the key skills you need to master. But what are the tools and techniques you need to really control the area and the intensity of an adjustment you blend in? In this video tutorial, I am going to show you a simple and yet powerful technique to gently blend in any adjustment layer and give it just the right strength. I am going to use a Quick Selection and the Brush tool to brush in a Curves layer in a very controlled way.