How to Use Double Masking for Natural HDR Blending in Photoshop

If you want ultimate control over your High Dynamic Range images, manual blending is still the way to go. But creating a perfectly blended image from two or more exposures using layer masks can be challenging.

In this excerpt from my Ultimate HDR Master Class 2017, I am showing you a method that I call double masking. Instead of using straight luminosity masks or a mask I created manually with the Brush tool, I’ll combine these two techniques to make a complex blending task much simpler and gain ultimate control.

In a Nutshell…

The basic idea of this technique is to use two layer masks that are nested using a group in Photoshop. In this way, both layer masks are effectively intersected. The outer mask is a modified luminosity mask, the inner mask is created manually.

As you can see in the video, this enables me to gradually blend the sky from the darker exposure with the foreground of the brighter exposure without any visible seams or artifacts. Moreover, it is very easy to modify and correct the resulting mask.

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