At the very top of the panel is the “Create Exposures” section.
This is a set of 6 buttons that you can use to create “faux bracketed exposures”
What this means is if you start out with one layer (or exposure) in your Photoshop document and you want to create a brighter version and a darker version as if you had captured three separate exposures in-camera, you can do this with a few simple clicks.
To create a duplicate of your background layer that is 2 stops darker than the original, click the “-2” button.
To create a duplicate that is 3 stops brighter, click the +3 button.
Each time you click a button the panel will create a duplicate of the layer that is currently selected, it will turn that duplicate into a smart object, then it will run the Camera RAW filter with the appropriate plus or minus value in the Exposure setting of the filter.
It also makes small white balance adjustments when creating the plus exposures, warming them slightly.
Because the new layer is a smart object, you can double-click the “Camera Raw Filter” link in the layers panel to tweak and adjust the settings used if you want.
- You must select a pixel layer in the layers panel for this function to work correctly. Technically it will work on any pixel layer, but I recommend you use it in the manner intended, at the start of your workflow to create darker and brighter versions of your background layer.
- Each exposure gets created with a white layer mask attached.