How to Create the Perfect Sunset Photo with Paint Shop Pro

Sunsets are very beautiful, but taking the perfect sunset photo is much more difficult than you might imagine. When the sun is setting, it is still quite bright, which makes it difficult for your camera to correctly focus on the foreground and background. Software such as Corel Paint Shop Pro can help you capture the perfect sunset photo.

Step 1 - Taking the Photos

In order to get the best photo of a sunset,, you will need to take two photos. Change the exposure so that you can take a photo of the foreground and background. When taking these images you will get the best results if you can take them in exactly the same position. To make this easier you should consider using a tripod so that you can simply adjust the exposure every time you take a photo.

Step 2 - Loading Your Image

When you've taken your photos you then need to transfer them to your computer. Transferring the photos to your computer will differ depending on your camera. Open up the background photo in paintshop pro and carry out any enhancements required. Open the foreground photo into paintshop pro.

Step 3 - Dealing with Layers

To create the ultimate sunset photo, you will need to master layers. Make sure that the layer palette is visible, if not then click on View, then Palettes, then Layers. You should not notice a layer palette pop up at the side of the screen--there should be only one background layer.

Step 4 - Copying the Foreground

Select the image which is your foreground picture and then select it all by pressing Control +  A. Then copy the entire selection by either clicking Edit and then Copy, or simply pressing Control and C. When you're using the select all command make sure that you can see the entire picture on your screen. Select all in paintshop pro only selects the visible parts of a photo and does not include anything which is out of view.

Step 5 - Pasting as New Layer

Next you need to paste your foreground picture on top of your background picture as a new layer. To do this click on Edit, then Paste and then Paste as New Layer.

You can then rename each of these layers so that it's much easier to understand what is happening. The pasted image will be called "Raster1" you can rename this by right clicking on the layer and selecting Rename. Enter a new name which will help you identify the foreground layer.

Step 6 - Creating a Mask

Right click on your foreground layer and click Duplicate. This will create a copy of your foreground layer, which can then be used as a mask. Rename this layer as "Mask," and convert it into a grayscale image by pressing Shift + H. In this dialog box change the saturation to -100, and leave all the other values as they were before. Press Shift + B to bring up the brightness controls. and then set the brightness to -10 to convert this into a black and white image.

Step 7 - Creating the Image

Click on your foreground layer to select it and then choose Layers, then New Mask Layer and From Image to set up the mask layer. Check the Invert Mask Data box and click OK. The image should then be created and you can view your handiwork.

All that's left to do is save your perfect sunset photo to your computer.

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