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Lightroom to Photoshop - Stack for Landscape Photography

Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2020 Nov 12, 2020

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Stacks can help to create landscape images for when shooting conditions aren't ideal

 

panoramic-ireland-river-stack.jpg

 

It happens sometimes; usually for landscape photography the photographer will carry a polariser, tripod and ND filter - but on occasions, for some reason, we might be found with only a camera.

 

In such a case, it is possible to create something of a long exposure image with a sequence of shots, preferably taken on a tripod or with the camera perched on something solid.

 

Here was one such occasion from the days before lockdown in Ireland back in March, when I didn't even have a tripod with me.

 

I took a sequence of images, with a high ISO of 1000, at f11 with 1/15th on the shutter. With a tripod I would have been able to get a longer exposure by using a lower ISO and a smaller aperture of f16 or f22.

 

I knew that I could combine these images, if held relatively steady between frames, into a stack in Photoshop.

 

So here is the method:

 

Select the images in Lightroom

  • I have one or two extra but clicking between them shows too much movement so I pick those that are most similar. In this case there are seven so processing shouldn't take too long or be too taxing on the system.

 

river-stack-01.jpeg

 

 

  • Right click on the selected images and choose Edit In>Edit in Adobe Photoshop 2020...

 

❷ Load images into a stack in Photoshop

  • Once in Photoshop go to File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack...

 

river-stack-03.jpeg

 

 

  • Choose Add Open Files to add all of those open.

 

river-stack-05a.jpeg

 

 

  • Check Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images and Create Smart Object after Loading Layers

 

river-stack-06a.jpg

 

 

  • There is no need to align source images if you have used a tripod but because I took these handheld I know there will be movement, and flicking through the images in Lightroom does show that there is a slight variation in the sequence.
  • Then OK, wait for the Progress bar to finish then close the original seven files.

 

❸ Set Stack Mode

  • On the Smart Object file go to Layer>Smart Objects>Stack Mode and choose from one of the options.

 

river-stack-09.jpeg

 

 

  • Usually here Mean will work best, but play around with the options to see what effects you get.
  • Here is how Median looks, it is closer to a single image from the sequence, there is less softening of the white water.

 

river-stack-13.jpeg

 

 

  • And here is a comparison of the Mean stack vs one of the original seven images.

 

river-stack-collage-text.jpg

 

 

❹ Finish with usual edits - crop, saturation etc.

  • I have finished up with some edits to the Mean Stack, including cropping - (important to check if aligning images has taken place), contrast, saturation.

 

river-stack-final.jpeg

 

 

Using stacks can be a good option to gain a little from not ideal conditions. As long as you have more than one image and these are closely aligned then using stacks in Photoshop can deliver a finished image that is more than just a snapshot. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 19, 2020 Nov 19, 2020

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Very cool.

Many DSLRs have a similar option for shooting multiple exposures usually with the restriction that you must be shooting JPG not raw files.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 24, 2021 Oct 24, 2021

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very cool, thank you, i'm studying under your instruction

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 25, 2021 Nov 25, 2021

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Install Lighroom free on Android https://gameloop.mobi/apps/en/lightroom-apk/ 

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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Well, thank you, I learned under your guidance

Beetv

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