My First Attempt at Luminosity Masks – Photoshop Challenge Part VII

A Powerful Tool

How to do Luminosity masks is definitely the most important Photoshop Technique I've learned this month. Also the most difficult one, it was even a bit intimidating to get started. In short, luminosity masks are a way of controlling the luminosity or brightness of a selected tonal value in the picture. Kind of like the lights/darks sliders in Lightroom but you can define the range of each "slider". On top of that comes all the other tools of Photoshop.

Finding a good tutorial was a challenge for this. Many videos use an unnecessary complex way or don't explain it very well. This tutorial is great though, he explains everything very precisely. Also if you just want to know more about what Luminosity masks this is a great video.

For this experiment I chose a picture with high dynamic range so that I would have more challenging material to work with. Also I wanted to know how effective it would be to bring forward the extreme values in the photograph. This was just a first try so I no way near master it yet. However, I am quite happy with the results so far and it didn't require that much adjusting. In Lighroom I wasn't able to process the photo in a way that I was completely happy with. When I tried to bring out the contrast in the sky I would mess up the shadow areas or loose the orange reflection in the windows. I could possible achieve a similar result with the adjustment brush in Lighroom. But using luminosity masks is actually much easier and less limiting!

To get better at this method I will try it on more pictures. From now on I plan to do most of my landscape photography processing in Photoshop. At this point I wouldn't want to go back to just using Lightroom!

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