Blend exposures manaully

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You can merge two or more photo of different exposure and blend it together to create a HDR image, in Photoshop there are many ways to achieve this, in this tutorial you will learn how to do that by using the Blend If function in the Layer Style menu.
I will use my overexposed photo as the base layer and place the underexposed photo on top of this. Turn it into a 16 bits/Channel Mode under the Image menu.
Copy and Paste the underexposed layer on top of the overexposed file. DOUBLE CLICK on the underexposed layer (on the layer pallet) to bring up the Layer Style
At the bottom of the dialog box you will see Blend If. This setting lets you blend (by revealing or making certain pixels transparent) with the current layer and the layer below it.
If you drag with “This Layer” black triangle, you will see the darkest area become transparent thus revealing the image below it. Same thing for White triangle, it makes the lightest area transparent. The further you drag the more pixels become transparent.
The opposite happens if you drag the Underlying Layer. When you drag the black triangle, the darkest pixels from the bottom layer starts to become visible or the lightest pixels if you drag the white triangle.
You will notice a harsh transition with no semi transparent, either it is 100% opaque or it is 100% transparent. You can make the transition more gradual by moving only half of the triangle. Hold ALT/option while dragging the triangle moves only half of the triangle. The distance between the two half of the triangle will determined how many levels of transparency you will get. The further apart the smoother the transition.
Now the darkest dark pixels on the underexposed layer become completely transparent revealing the bottom layer. But the brightest area is still opaque covering the bottom layer. You have gotten rid of all over and underexposed area, the only problem is it looks too flat from the lack of contrast.
Let’s fix the contrast by going to the bottom of the Layer pallet and select Curve Adjustment Layer. Create 4 points, the first point is to preserve the shadow detail so it should not move too far off from the original location, the second and third point should create an S curve to increase the overall contrast, and the 4th point will preserve the highlights, so don’t move it too far off the original location.
Let’s sharpen the overall photo and add some glow effect to the image as a bonus.
Select the entire canvas and Copy Merged (it will copy all visible pixel instead of just the active layer) Paste the copied information twice on the very top.
Select one of the pasted layers and go to Filter and High Pass, select a small radius than click ok. User Overlay blending mode on the layer pallet, you will notice that your overall image is sharper, you can decrease the opacity later if it makes the image too fake.
Turn on the other copy merged layer and apply a small amount of Gaussian Blur, enhance the contrast with Curve and lower this Layer’s Opacity down to 30%.
Here are the three layers side by side zoomed in. You will notice the original two either had overexposed light area with no detail or underexposed dark area with no detail. The final blended image shows detail on bot the light and shadow area.

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