How To Match Total Exposures in LR CC
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How To Match Total Exposures in LR CC

How To Match Total Exposures in LR CC

In this post I’ll be explaining how to use a really powerful, but not very well-known feature that’s particularly useful for wedding photographers, or anyone who shoots a lot of frames using aperture or shutter speed priority.
A good friend of mine asked me to take some photographs of his house this evening, as he was considering building an extension to his property.
The idea behind the photographs was for me to construct what the property would look like after all the building work had been completed.
I’ll be compositing the architects drawings onto the photographs, and then adding the textures and brickwork into the completed composite.

For the shoot, I decided that I’d bracket the photographs and create a HDR image, but the photographs I shot this evening, are ideal to demonstrate how powerful the match total exposures feature in LR CC actually is.

The photographs are nothing really special, but they fit both of my purposes.

I know a few photographers that use aperture priority mode when shooting weddings, and although this is a convenient and fast way to work, it can produce uneven exposures from frame to frame if exposure compensation isn’t applied correctly.

Personally I nearly always shoot with my camera in Manual mode, so differences in my exposures aren’t normally a problem I have to deal with, but still, this is an important technique, and can really speed up a photographers work flow.

If we look at the first four images in this screenshot, you’ll notice I’m in Lightroom’s Library Module and that I’ve highlighted and selected the images I want to adjust.
The image with the brighter frame around it, is the image I’ve chosen as the datum exposure that the other three images will be compensated to mirror it.

How To Match Total Exposures in LR CC

As I mentioned earlier, I bracketed these shots, and my camera was set on a tripod. All the exposures were taken at f16, ISO 100 and the datum exposure (Seen in the highlighted frame) was shot at 1/25 of a second, my camera was set to capture RAW and the focal length was 24mm.
The three other frames were taken at -2, -1 & +1 stops. (1/100, 1/50 & 1/13 seconds).
The difference in the exposures can clearly be seen below.

How To Match Total Exposure in LR CC

Once I’d selected my datum exposure and included the other images I wanted to adjust, I moved from the Library Module to the Develop Module, by pressing ‘D’ on my keyboard.

How To Match Total Exposure in LR CC

The ‘Settings’ drop down menu, where we find ‘Match Total Exposures’, is only available in the ‘Develop’ menu, and so it’s important to make sure that your datum image is the one highlighted when you transition from the Library to Develop module.

From here it’s a simple step, to complete this great workflow aid.
Go to – Settings > Match Total Exposures
Or use the shortcut keys Alt+Shift+Command+M on a Macintosh or Opt+Shift+Control+M on a P.C

How To Match Total Exposure in LR CC

In this next image I’ve selected survey mode to show the automatic exposure changes more clearly. (Press ‘N’ on your keyboard to switch to survey mode).
So there you have it, a really simple and quick method to compensate for different exposures which have been shot under similar lighting conditions.

How To Match Total Exposure in LR CC

I didn’t actually need to use this technique for my final images, as I’d already decided to use the new Lighroom CC  ‘Merge To HDR’ capability, but I hope that you may have learned a really useful technique that will speed up your workflow, and help you to produce more consistent results from your next wedding shoot.

Here’s the final image I submitted to my friend this evening. It’s the first time I’ve actually used the new HDR feature in LR CC, and although it was pretty fast, I think that I’ll stick to using Photomatix Pro, as it gives much more control with its numerous tone mapping options.

How To Match Total Exposures in LR CC
Thanks for reading, I hope you find this explanation on How To Match Total Exposures in LR CC useful.


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