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Combining two exposures with a Hide All layer mask

  1. Click on the “Light Rim” layer in the Layers panel to make sure it is selected. (When it is selected, it is highlighted in blue, as shown above right in the Layers panel.)
  2. Select Layer ► Layer Mask ► Hide All. A black Hide All layer mask will appear attached to the “Light Rim” layer. Also, since the Hide All layer mask hides the layer it is attached to, the “Light Rim” layer will no longer be visible in the image window. (It’s still there, though!) You will now be able to see the “Graffiti” layer in the image window.

  3. Select the Brush Tool from the Tool panel and set the Brush Tool tool-brush.jpg to the width of the pipe rims. Set the Foreground color in the Tool panel to white and the Brush Tool’s Hardness setting to 0%. Then, use the Options Bar to set the brush Opacity to 50% and the Flow to 50%. (For more about the Brush Tool and its settings, turn to pages 51–57.)
  4. With the black Hide All layer mask selected in the Layers panel, use the Brush Tool to paint in the image window along the pipe rims (don’t try to paint on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel).

    Zoom in as close as you need to in order to see the pipes. As you paint with white on the black layer mask, the area on the “Pipe Rim” layer will become visible. If you need to, you can also alter the size and opacity of the brush as you paint.

    When you are finished painting, the layer mask will probably look something like the one shown to the right.

    The finished Oakland Pipes image is shown on pages 48–49.

  • Pages 48–49: Wandering around a deserted industrial area near the West Oakland docks, I came across some large, apparently abandoned pipes in a field covered with weeds and surrounded by walls that had been painted with graffiti. I used a telephoto focal length to compress a composition showing the saturated graffiti, making several exposures to get the details I wanted. In Photoshop, I processed one of the images for the fully saturated paintings, then painted in the outline of the pipes from a lighter exposure (as explained in the text).

    130mm, two exposures, one at 1/4 of a second (lighter) and one at 1/15 of a second (darker), both exposures at f/36 and ISO 200, tripod mounted; exposures combined in Photoshop.

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