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Is this possible?

New Here ,
Jul 06, 2024 Jul 06, 2024

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Here's the deal: I have several photos of lightning strikes, taken a few seconds or more apart. Is there any way to combine them into a single image, to look like they were all at the same time?

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Community Expert ,
Jul 07, 2024 Jul 07, 2024

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Yes.

Were they taken on a tripod?

If you want to post a couple of the images, we can show you how to do it.

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2024 Jul 07, 2024

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Thanks. Yes, they were taken on a tripod. Here are a couple images:

IMG_8878_2.jpgIMG_8878_5.jpg

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Community Expert ,
Jul 07, 2024 Jul 07, 2024

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This is not as easy as I first thought.  The problem with your two samples is that they have very different color and lighting tones.  However, I played around a little and have the following suggestions:

 

  • If you have Elements 2024, try using the Effects Panel to Color Match the photos.  Choose the darkest one as the image to match.  (You do this , by clicking on the Custom button and navigating to the image)  Also use the sliders to match the images as closely as possible.

Ashampoo_Snap_Sunday, July 7, 2024_17h5m23s.png

 

  • WIth the two images visible in the Photo Bin, select the lighter one, and drag and drop the thumbnail of the darker one to the canvas.  You will now have the darker layer over the lighter one.
  • Change the Blend Mode of the top layer to Lighten.   This will cause any lighter pixels in the layer below (such as the lightning strikes) to show through the darker sky pixels on the top layer. 

 

Here is what happens with your images:

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Sunday, July 7, 2024_17h24m51s.png

 

Now, you will notice that the some of the strikes in the top layer have been removed because of the blending mode and the lighter tone of the second image.  To bring them back into view, I created a mask on the lower layer and blacked out a section on the right side of that image:

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Sunday, July 7, 2024_17h28m43s.png

 

BTW, it looks like the tripod was moved during shooting, so I used the mask to hide the different horizons.  And, obviously, there is some overlap in the lightning strikes, so you may get some unusual effects.  Using masks will allow you to select the most desired portions of each photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2024 Jul 07, 2024

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Thank you very much! I will give that a try. 

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