Combined Exposures, Fisheye and Off Kilter for one photo

By Adam Hansen on October 4th, 2010   |    Posted in:  Processing   |    5 Comments

I had the opportunity to spend time at Walt Disney World last week when I was in Orlando for business.  Knowing I would only have limited times to do photography I wanted to try something different so I rented a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens before leaving.  I spent the first evening visiting World Showcase which is one of my favorite things to do at EPCOT.  I especially like to watch the band Off Kilter perform in the Canadian pavilion.  I have a number of photos of Off Kilter from past trips so I decided to use the fisheye to hopefully capture a different type of shot.

I decided to use the fisheye in order to capture the entire stage along with the area in front which would show some of the crowd.  This particular day the sky was that perfect Florida blue sky with big puffy white clouds.  The problem was when I took a photo capturing the sky the way I saw it then the entire stage was black.  If I took a shot that focused on the stage then the sky was completely washed out.  In order to fix this I would have to take two shots and combine them in post processing.

I ended up taking two different shots, one exposing the sky correctly and the other exposing the stage correctly.  I then loaded them both into PhotoShop CS5 as two layers in one document. Using a mask I was able to combine the two of them into one correct photo.

Below you can see the two shots I used to create the finished version.  These are taken directly from the camera without any processing.

I really enjoyed using the fisheye lens while shooting at Disney World.  I initially only planned to use it a small amount of time but I kept wondering what certain shots would look like through it.  I probably ended up over doing it at times but I had fun taking shots I have done in the past and recreating them using the fisheye.  I don’t plan on purchasing one anytime soon but I definitely enjoyed having it with me last week.


  1. Keith Kolmos   |   Oct 4, 2010

    Glad you posted the shots of both exposures to show how it all goes together. Great post.

  2. Allison Lee   |   Oct 4, 2010

    Love this photo and especially seeing how you were able to combine both shots like that. Excellent work.

  3. Charles Brabec   |   Oct 4, 2010

    Nice masking. Bringing the sky back really made it a photo and not a snapshot. When faced with a shot like this, I wonder if it makes more sense to layer the two frames into HDR and then tonemap, or just mask as you did? Would the HDR have worked here?

    • Adam Hansen   |   Oct 4, 2010

      I wondered how it would come out if I did it as an HDR in photmatix or Photoshop. In this case both photos were not aligned perfectly (or very close to be honest) so it may not work as well. I think I will try it later though and see the results I get.

      In a situation like this I personally find doing it manually with a mask is easier and I get a result that is more “real” looking as opposed to an HDR look.

  4. Andrew Evans   |   Oct 4, 2010

    Great capture! Using the fisheye is not something I would have thought of for this shot but it turned out great. You don’t normally see the entire stage like this.

    Showing the two original shots was perfect and why I love reading this site so much. Keep it up!



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