Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have several similar images (17 at the moment), which I would like to blend/overlap so that I can see a combination of all the air bubbles in total.

I've tried to place the images on top of each other while lowering the opacity in Photoshop, but this didn't work very well. Is there any tool, method or software which would allow me to achieve this?

For reference, a couple of my example images: 1, 2.

share|improve this question
Don't change the opacity but change the blend mode. – Unapiedra May 12 '13 at 18:12… According to this screen might give good results. I tried it in Gimp and Screen is okay. – Unapiedra May 12 '13 at 18:15
Or "lighten". This is suggested here:… – Unapiedra May 12 '13 at 18:17
Do you want all of the air bubbles from the different images to be recognizable (that is, increase the sheer number of bubbles), or do you want them to be smoothed out into one blended image (as if you had a single longer exposure)? – mattdm May 13 '13 at 4:04

I would use a program use as COmbineZ; normally used for improving the depth of field of a macro shot it should be able to layer your images together well.

see for links to the freeware software.

IF that fails, which might depends on the algorithm (it may try and align the images rather than just stacking) then the star trail action from it will simply open all the files in a folder and layer them for you.

On reflection, I'd try the star trail action first !

good luck.

share|improve this answer

You could try hdrinstant. You would need Lightroom though and it's not its primary function

share|improve this answer
Could you give a little more detail? What is this tool, and why/how would it work for this use case? – mattdm Mar 10 '14 at 13:40
I am about to suggest this on an HDR thread that just came up! I will get back to you asap :) – user26683 Mar 10 '14 at 14:21
It's software for hdr images with movement but it may work for you as it automatically aligns images - as you want to count the bubbles in your final image, it might be able to do this. – user26683 Mar 10 '14 at 14:50

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.