Mastering Photoshop Luminosity Masking | Robin Whalley | Skillshare

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Mastering Photoshop Luminosity Masking

teacher avatar Robin Whalley, Landscape Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to the Course


    • 2.

      Introduction, Configuring the Photoshop Workspace


    • 3.

      Introduction, An Introduction to Masks


    • 4.

      4) Section 1, Creating the Lights Masks


    • 5.

      Section 1, Naming Your Masks


    • 6.

      Section 1, Creating the Darks Masks


    • 7.

      Section 1, Creating the Midtone Masks


    • 8.

      Section 2, Introduction


    • 9.

      Section 2, Recording the Masking Actions


    • 10.

      Section 2, Organising Actions


    • 11.

      Section 3, Introduction


    • 12.

      Section 3, Converting Channels to Masks


    • 13.

      Section 3, Merging Selections for Flexibility


    • 14.

      Section 4, Introduction


    • 15.

      Section 4, Combining and Aligning Images


    • 16.

      Section 4, Applying the Masks


    • 17.

      Section 4, Adjusting the Image


    • 18.

      Bonus Lesson


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About This Class

Welcome to Mastering Photoshop Luminosity with Robin Whalley.

Get ready to learn the powerful techniques of Luminosity Masking. These are the same techniques used by some of today’s very best photographers and digital artists. Techniques that can substantially improve your photography and help you exploit the power of Photoshop.

Many people like to make these techniques appear overly complex. Allow me to show you how simple they can be and how easy Luminosity Masks are to create. You’ll be amazed at what we can achieve in this short course.

Together, we will work on two class projects. A beautiful landscape sunrise.

And a challenging shot from below a pier.

Best of all, you don't need the latest version of Photoshop for this course. It will work with versions from 5, 10 or even 15 years back.

Class Outline

Here's how the course is structured:

Course Introduction

Photoshop is a wonderful and powerful tool. But it can also be confusing and difficult to learn. These lessons familiarise you with the Photoshop tools we will be using in the course. We also cover the basics of Photoshop Layer masks to ensure you understand the essential elements.

Section 1 – Creating Luminosity Masks

Here you will learn to create detailed and complex masks, with ease and in seconds. By the end of this section, you will have created a complete set of Luminosity Masks for our image.

Section 2 – Automating the Process

Having learned in the previous section of the course how to generate Luminosity Masks, the lessons in this section show you how to automate the process. By the end of the section, you will have a set of Photoshop Actions you can use to create Luminosity Masks for any image, with a single click of your mouse.

Section 3 – Image Editing with Luminosity Masks

Now that you can generate Luminosity Masks in seconds, this section looks at how to use them. Here you will learn how to target adjustments to specific areas of an image. You will also learn a simple technique for combining your Luminosity Techniques with selection tools, like the Lasso Tool, for even greater flexibility.

Section 4 – Exposure Blending with Luminosity Masks

One of the most common applications of Luminosity Masks is exposure blending. Have you had that experience where a scene such as a sunset, looks beautiful but your photograph looks ugly? This usually happens when the exposure range is too much for the camera to handle.  By using Luminosity Masks to blend together images with different exposures, we can capture these amazing scenes. This is one of the most powerful “secrets” used by many professional photographers.

Bonus Lesson

I intended to end the course after Section 4, but I couldn’t resist sharing another powerful technique. But I’m not going to reveal it here. You need to watch the first four sections to take advantage of this.

I hope you enjoy the course.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Robin Whalley

Landscape Photographer


I’m a Landscape Photographer based in the UK. Over the years my work has sold around the world, appearing in advertising, magazines, calendars, greetings cards and the popular photographic press. Some of my photography has also appeared in several exhibitions, including The Landscape Photographer of the Year.

Whilst I spend a lot of time photographing great locations in the UK and around the world, I also spend a lot of time teaching. In fact, since 2011 I’ve spent much of my time teaching other photographers how to do what I do, through my books, courses, and club presentations. I especially like to take complex, technical software and make it accessible, helping everyone to improve their photography.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction to the Course: welcome to this introductory course, covering the creation on application of luminosity masks in photo shop luminosity. Masking is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to edit photographer. It's what the professionals turned to when they want to improve their photographs. Now, although our emphasis here is on photographer, you can use these techniques in all sorts of ways. On the techniques of creating luminosity. Masks are identical. No matter what your intended application, the course has broken into a number of sections. In Section one of the course, we're going to dive straight in and create your first set of luminosity masks once you know how to create your masks. Section two shows you how to automate the process so you can use it with any image very, very quickly. In Section three, we're going to take a look at how you can use of the masks to precisely target your adjustments, just like with this photo. Then, in Section four, we're going to take a look. It's exposure, blending with luminosity masks. You learn how to take multiple images on blend them together just like this. Then there's also a bonus section where I show you how to combine the art in effect with luminosity masks to improve the image. In this introductory section of the course, you'll find two lessons. The first lesson looks that configuring the Photoshopped workspace to help you work effectively. The other lesson is an introduction to Photoshopped masks and how they work. If you're an experience photo shop user, do feel free to skip ahead. The move to section one of the course I'll see you in the next lesson. 2. Introduction, Configuring the Photoshop Workspace: photo shop is always changing, so let's take a moment to configure the interface. If you set up your workspace to look the same as mine, you'll find the videos in this course easier to follow. To the left of the interface, you see the tools palette this hold commonly used tools such as the brush to. There are a number of tools that we might need and use throughout the course, and the British two is just one of these. Along the top of the interface, you see the context sensitive toolbar. When you select a tool from the tools palette, the toolbar is updated to provide control over the two you're using over to the right of the interface. We have the windows, which windows you have shown depends on your workspace and how you've got it configured. You can change this configuration and save it for regular use. When I'm working with luminosity masks, I'd like to work with three sections of windows. If I see a window I don't need, I can drug you toe to the group and close it. The configuration I like to use is in the top window. I have the navigator on the hissed a gram show. If you can't see a window you want, use the windows menu and then you can drag these and drop them into position. You can also resize the windows as well as change the view in the central panel. I like toe have the adjustment window in the channels window. I don't need styles so I can close that, and I don't need brushes again. I can close that, and in the lower cuddles, I keep only the layers window open. No, I have Photoshopped configured in this way I can save. This is a new workspace call luminosity masking. I already have a luminosity masking works based, so photo shop is asking if I want to replace it and I'll say yes. If you close one of these windows in era, you can easily return by using the reset function where we can reset luminosity. Masking Photo shop has a number of these workspaces that come with it. Each of these is intended toe, have a specific use and is designed for that type of work. It's a good idea to get used to a workspace and to save it and then reuse it on a regular basis. You can easily then switch between different work spaces, depending on the type of work that you're doing. If you set up and saved your workspace, you're now ready to progress to the next Western in the course. 3. Introduction, An Introduction to Masks: this lesson introduces masks in photo shop. If you already understand masks, please feel free to skip ahead to section one of the course on the screen. You can see one of the sample images provided in this course well, no at a black and white adjustment layer to the image using the adjustment window. This converts the image to black and white. Let's know, adjust the color response of the layer just to create an image or a conversion with a higher contrast. This is going to make it easier to see the mask adjustments we apply shortly in the layers window, you can see the new layer that's being added. You should also notice the layer has a layer mask attached to it. This layer mask is the same shape as the image it's attached. To think of the lame ask as being a piece of transparent paper and that it's sitting between the adjustment layer on top on the image below it. Where this layer mask is white, it alos the effect of the adjustment layer to be seen on the image as this layer mask use all white. The effect of the black and white conversion could be seen everywhere on the image, but if we would paint black on this layer, it would hide the effect of the layer in that area. We can do this by selecting the brush to unloading it with black paint. We can then make sure that we have Gilliam ask selected. If I click on the layer itself, you can see the edges. All the corners of the layer have white lines around them that indicates that the layer is selected. If I click onto the layer mask that now has the collars with my lame ass selected that can no paint onto the image as I paint. What I'm doing is actually painting onto the layer mask. This is revealing the color in the areas that I paint the colors revealed because on blocking the effects off the adjustment layer with the black in the mask, notice that the layer mask thumbnail in the layers window no shows the areas of black that we've painted. If you want to see the lay a mask, you can hold down the old key on your keyboard and click the mask. If you're using a Mac, hold down the option key and click. If you repeat this, you return to the image preview. Although we've been using black and white in this example, you can also paint with different shades of gray. Let's use the midterm grades. Paint over parts of the layer mask. Notice how this causes the area of the image I've just painted to partially show color the dark of the gray that you paint with, the more the effect of the adjustment layer is hidden and the light of the grey you paint with, the more the effect of adjustment layer can be seen as well as painting with grey paint. We can use black or white and lower the opacity of the brush notice as I've painted. This alters the other areas of the landmass that we've already painted. You can also build up brushstrokes. The more you repeat a stroke in an area, the more that area builds up to the color that you're actually painting with a helpful saying to remember how masks work is that black conceals whilst white reveals. When you right click on the layer mask, you see a pop up menu here we contemporary Aly disabled the mask, noticed this causes the mask toe have no effect. You can also re enable it. If you want to permanently remove the lame, ask, you can delete it. You can then add a new layer mask if you wish. Using the musk icon at the bottom of the layers window. Luminosity. Massine Photo shop Use all these basic principles. The reason we call from luminosity masks is because they're the technique used to create them. They may look complex and elaborate, but ultimately they just used the same basic principles we've covered in this lesson. If you still feel a little unsure about using masks, just watch this lesson again. I'll then see you in the next section of the course. 4. 4) Section 1, Creating the Lights Masks: in this lesson, We're going to create a Siris of mask but can be used to select the light areas of your image. Each mask will select an increasing little lighter tone until the final mask. Select only the brightest areas of the image. We're also going to be saving these masks. This channels in our image on I may use the term channel and mask interchangeably. To start, you need to open an image in photo shopped to work with. You can use any image for this, but I suggest you use the sample image provided with the course. You can see this on screen Now, if you look at the channels window, you should see the RGB channel open on below. This you'll see the channels red green on blue quickly RGB channel to select it. And then we're going to click the low channel as selection icon at the bottom of the channels window. You can know, see what we call marching ants. These show the areas of the image that was selected when we loaded the RGB Channel. We call this the active selection. You can cancel the active selection using the menu command select on de select. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shark it control and D on a Windows PC or command and D on a Mac. An alternative to loading the channel with the low chalice selection icon is toe. Hold down the control key and click. Or, if you're using a Mac, hold on your command key and click the channel you want to load. You could do this to load any of the channels in the channels window. Notice that as you load each channel, it will replace the existing channel selection. We're going to start by loading the RGB channel using the control and click short coat. No, we're going to save our selection as a new channel by clicking. The safe selection is Channel Icon found at the bottom of the channels window. You can now see the new channel at the bottom of the channels window. If you click the new channel, you can see the light areas of the image I showed lighter on the dark Areas have shown darker. This is our first luminosity mask. We no need to create our second channel that represents areas of the image that a lie too still to do this. We need to load our new channels a selection. If you haven't cleared your previous selection, it will already be active. As you can see on my screen on your keyboard, hold down the shift control on old keys. If you're using a Mac that shift, command an option. No, move your pointer over the new channel. You'll notice that it changes to show a box with an X in it. This shows with modifying the behaviour of our selection when we make it. When we know, click with our channel to load it. The new selection doesn't replace the existing one. Instead, it combines or blends with it to create the new selection. This modified behavior is what we call a blending mode on will use several of these in the course. If this doesn't mean much to you, don't worry. Just remember which keystrokes to use and when. When you click the channel to create the new selection, you will see the marching ants saved the new selection as a channel. Using the safe selection was Channel Icon. The gain. This is our second lights mask. I noticed there are fewer areas of white in this channel. We no need to repeat the process three more times. So we have a total of five new channels. You should still have the selection used to create the last channel active. So hold down the shift control and all key. No click on the last channel. Save this as a new channel using the icon again. Hold down the shift control on bulky and click on the channel. Saved this one more time. Select that channel again. Holding shift control and old click again. Then save the selection is a new channel. These five channels represent your luminosity masks if we want to adjust, only the brightest areas of the image would use this dark channel here if we want to. Just all the light areas of the image would use the lightest channel in the next lesson. We're going to look at how to rename these channels so that they will make more sense when we come to use them in the future. 5. Section 1, Naming Your Masks: in the previous lesson. We created the lights set of luminosity mosques and saved them is channels. These have the rather strange names of Alpha one through toe, out for five. The reason they're named Alfa is to show they're Alfa channels. Alfa channels are part of the image file, but they aren't part of the image itself. They're just a way of saving the masks. Unfortunately, names like Alfa One or Al for two will be hard to understand later in the course, so we need to change them. To be more logical. We will use lights one through toe lights five. This tells us that these channels target the light areas of the image, whilst the numbers 13 to 5 tell us the range of tones they target. Number one targets the widest range of tongues. What's number five is the narrowest, restricting it to the very brightest parts of the image. We will start with the doubtful one channel, click the channel in the channels window to select it, then double click on the name. You can now enter the name lights one and then present. Select the Alfa to channel by clicking it. Double click on the name and enter lights, too. Select Alpha Channel three. Double click the name a mentor Lights three. Repeat this exercise until over. Channels have been renamed later in. This section of the course will see why it's so important to rename the channels in this way. In the next lesson will look at how to create the darks masks. 6. Section 1, Creating the Darks Masks: in this letter will create the darks Siris of masks that target the dark tones in the image . Before we start clear any active selection by pressing control and d on your keyboard. Or if you're using a Mac press command in D on your keyboard, this isn't essential, but it's good practice later in the course, the may be times when already having an active selection can cause problems to create. Our first darks mask will start as we did for the light mask. Hold down control and click on the RGB Channel in the Channels window. If you're using a Mac that's commanding, click No. We need to invert our selection so that the dark areas of the channel become the light areas and the lights become the darks. To invert the selection, you can use the menu command. Select an invert. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, shift control and I, or if you're using a Mac, that shift command and I. You'll notice that the pattern of marching ants looks very similar to before, but noticed the ants no run around the edge of the image as well saved this selection. There's a new channel using the icon at the bottom of the channels window. This is our first channel and represents the widest range of Dark Tom's in the image. Hold down, shift control on old and click the new channel. Save the new channel, using the icon at the bottom of the channels window again. Hold down the shift control on bulky and click the new channel To say that selection is a new channel. Repeat this process until you have five new channels. If you look at the new channels you see, each is progressively darker. US before the first channel represents the widest range of dark tones. Whilst the last channel is the narrowest, we should know. Rename these alpha channels as dark one through to darks five. Click Alfa. Want to select it? Then double click the names before enter the new name. This darks want Clinton next channel to select her double. Click the name and enter the new name Darks, too. Continue to do this until all the channels have Bean renamed, you know, have a complete set of darks masks. In the next lesson, we'll look at how to create the Mittal Mass on. We'll need both the lights and the darks masks to do this 7. Section 1, Creating the Midtone Masks: If you've been following the lessons, you'll now have two sets of channels representing the light and dark areas of the image. In this lesson, we're going to use Thies to create mast that target the mid tones in the image to create our first midterm ask. We start by selecting the entire image. You can do this by pressing control and a on your keyboard. Or if you're using a Mac press command in A, we're then going to remove our lights. One channel from this selection. You can do this by holding down the control and old keys on your keyboard whilst clicking the lights. One channel. If you're using a Mac, that's the commanding option keys. Notice. When you're holding down the two keys and move your mouse over the channel. The point of shows a minus Sign. This is telling you that when you click on channel, it will be subtracted from the selection. Next, we're going to remove the darks one channel from the selection again. Hold under control and old key and click on the docks. Want. If you see a warning such as this, just click. OK, the message is warning you that the marching ants won't be displayed, you can know save your selection as a channel using the icon at the bottom of the channels window. What we just did was create a selection of the entire image. We then removed the tones from the light one channel from this and also the darks. One channel from this. What remains at the mid tones in the image that aren't present in either the lights one or the darks. One channel. You can no repeat this process, using the lights to and darks to channel. This is why it's important that you rename your channels. Start again by pressing control and a to select everything in the image. Hold down the control and old keys. Now what's clicking the lights to channel? This subtracts the channel from the selection still holding Don't control and old click on the docks to channel No. Save the results. Using the icon on the bottom of the channels window noticed this new channel is slightly lighter than the 1st 1 It's targeting a slightly wider range of mid tons in the first No repeat the process using the lights three and ducks three channel press control and a on the keyboard to select the entire image, Hold down control and old click on lights three. Still holding down control Adult Click on darks three. Then save the result as a new channel using the icon at the bottom of the channels window. Continue to repeat this until you've processed all the channels in the same way. Our final step is to rename the new channels is midterms five through to mid tones. What midterms five is the first channel we created which targeted the narrowest range of tones. Click only channel to select it, then double click on the name into the new name as midterms five and press. Enter. Rename all your channels. No, until you have a full set of luminosity masks. You now have a full set of luminosity masks. Five masks for the lights, five months for the darks of five months for the mid tones. 8. Section 2, Introduction: in this section of the course, we're going to repeat the process of creating the luminosity musk from the previous section . The difference is that we're going to recall the steps as actions in photo shop. Once you have an action recorded, you can play it back. When editing any image, our actions will automate the mass creation process for us. We will create a separate set of actions for each of the masks, lights, darks and mid tones will then create a final action that runs each of the other three actions. Recording the actions separately simplifies the process and gives us flexibility. If you only want to create your lights masks, just run the lights actions. The only limitation you have is that you will need both lights and darks masks in an image before you can create the middle masks. If you can't see the actions window opening photo shop selected now from the window menu before we record our actions, it's a good idea to create a new folder set toe. Hold them. You can create a folder or actions that by clicking the icon called the new folder set luminosity masking. If you have a lot of actions already recorded, as I have you condone, drag the folders to reorder them in the actions window. Once you've done this, you ready to start this section of the course? See you in the next lesson. 9. Section 2, Recording the Masking Actions: in this lesson, we're going to record our actions, starting with the creation of the lights mask. If you aren't familiar with recording actions, be sure to take your time. Actions recalled steps in the process of instructions. They don't record your most movements. They also don't record any policies. So take your time. The best advice is to go slowly and to think about each step before you take it. Start by selecting to create new actions. Icon and call your new action Lights masking. Once you're recording, you'll see this red dot appear in the actions window. When you see this photo shop will be recording each of those steps you make, we can no create the first lights mask by holding down our control key and clicking on the RGB channels we've done before. We then say this is a new channel. Now hold on your shift control in all keys and click on the channel. We've just created say, this is a new channel. The process no is just the same as you did in the first section of the course until you create. Although flights masks. Once you've created all of your masks, you can know, renamed them to be lights one through toe lights five. Once you've created and renamed all of the lights masks, click the icon in the Actions window to stop the recording. We're no going to delete each of the channels we just created. This will the lowers to test the new action to run your new action and test it. Click it in the actions window. No, you can click the play I come. If everything's worked, you should know. See a new set of lights channels created. If this hasn't worked for you, it's best to start again from the beginning of the lesson. If everything's fine, though, you can know move on to create the darks masking actions, click the icon to create a new action, calling this darks masking. Select and load the RGB channel by holding down the control key and clicking the RGB Channel in the channels window. No, invert this selection by pressing shift control and I on your keyboard and save this selection as a new channel by clicking the icon at the bottom of the channels window. Hold down the shift control and all K and click the new channel. You just saved. Save this selection is a new channel. Continue to repeat this process until you've created all of the darks masks. Once you've created all the darks masks, stop the recording. We could know test our new action by deleting the darks channels and playing them back as a new action. You can see that the new darks channels have been created and renamed correctly. If this didn't work for you, you again need to go back to the start of this section. Finally, we need to recall the new action called Middle Masking again. Start by creating a new action. Call this Mittal masking as before, Start by pressing control in a on your keyboard to select the entire image. Then hold down the control and all key on your keyboard while cooking on the lights. Warm channel again holding down the control on Gulke's Click on the Darks. One channel you can know. Save your selection as a new channel. Continue to create and rename the middle masks again. Be sure to test this neutron election by deleting the channels you've just created and playing back the action. At the end of this process, you should have three actions which create the lights, the darks and the mid tone masks. You can no delete all your channels that you created, ready for the next lesson. 10. Section 2, Organising Actions: In the previous lesson, we created thes three actions lights masking ducks masking a middle masking. Although we can run each farm, ask actions separately. In most instances, we will want to run them all, and in sequence in this lesson will create a master action that does just that. Start by clicking on the create new action icon in the Actions window. Call this. Create all luminosity masks. You can no play the lights masking action we created in the previous lesson. Once that completes, play the decks masking action almost that complete play the midterm masking action. When this is complete, you can stop the recording. We no need to test our action. So we're going to delete all the channels we just created, select the create all luminosity masks in the actions window and then run this action. If everything worked, you should know. Have a complete set of masks. If you've got any problems, go back to the start on repeat steps from the beginning of the lesson. Assuming everything's worked, we know, ready to assign shocker keys to the four actions we created. First Clinton lights masking action to select it, using the menu in the actions window Select Action Options. This displays the action dialogue which you see when you're recording a new action. You can see it contains the information you entered when you recorded this action in the dialog. Select a key combination. You can remember For this shocker. I'm going to use the control and F two for lines. I'll be using control and F three for the darks, controlling at four for the midterms and control of their five for the complete set of masks, you may notice when I'm clicking the control option, I'm also getting this shift option checked as well. The reason for this is because I've already got another action that's created which uses the F three and control shocker. We can no test are short cookies for these actions. Start by deleting all the existing channels you created in the image and close the actions window. No playback. One of the actions using the shock cookie to test it. I'm going to use control on F five for mine. If everything's worked, you should see that your masks have been created in the channels window. You're then ready to move on to the next section to explore how we're going to use these masks. So you in the next section of the course 11. Section 3, Introduction: in this section of the course, you're going to learn to use the channels you've been creating and turned these into masks will then use our mask to target adjustments on two different tonal areas of the image. For example, you may want to target adjustments to just the highlights, all the midterms or the shadows. You may think that you already know how to do this, but please do watch the lessons in this section. There may be a few new things in here that may prevent you from understanding later sections of the course. The lessons in this section of the course will continue to use our same example image, which you can see on screen now. 12. Section 3, Converting Channels to Masks: in this lesson, we're going to look at using some of the channels we've created and converting these into masks to convert a channel into a mask. We first need to load it as a selection. This is something you've been doing already. When you were creating your masks toe load a channel is a selection. Hold down the control key and click the channel you want to load. Let's take the example of wanting to dark and slightly the brightest areas in our image. Start by examining your channels and find one that represents the light areas. This will be one of the lights sequence, and he's going to show white in the light areas on black everywhere. Els. Let's use the lights. Three. Channel unload. It is a selection. Hold down control and click on lights. Three. You can know. See the marching ants indicating we've got a active selection. We can no switch to the adjustment window, and here will add a new curves adjustment layer notice when we added the curves layer as selection has been converted into a layer mask on attached to the new layer, it's important to remember this behaviour whenever you have an active selection, and you add a mask. The selection will be converted to a layer mask. If you check the curves properties window, you can see the hissed a gram, indicating the image tones that will be targeted by the layer. Notice the's Aaron, the lightest areas at the tonal range. The mask we created is restricting the range of tones when no going to add a contrast adjustment to the midterms. When we pulled on on the curve to create a darkening effect, all of the brightest areas of the image are affected. Let's try another example, but this time will be using the mid tones in the image. Load the mid Tone four channel as a selection, Hold on control and click on midterm for Go back to the adjustment window on add a new curves layer. This convert your selection to allay a mask now, at a contrast adjustment in the curves window. Using this strong contrast preset in the drop down, you can see this makes a substantial difference to the image, but you can check the effect the mask is having on it by right clicking the mask on deleting it. Let's now look at how to out a new mask to the existing adjustment layer. Return to the channels window and pick the channel you want to load. Let's use mid totals. Four. Again holding the control key. Click on midterms four. To load this No, in the layers window. Make sure you've got the layer. You want to add the layer mask to select it and click on the icon down here to add a new layer mask. Notice the active selection is again being converted to a layer mask. In the next lesson. Of course, we'll look it a clever trick to create a bespoke luminosity mask, which we can apply to a very specific area off the image. 13. Section 3, Merging Selections for Flexibility: in this lesson, we're going to look at how you can combine a selection with one of our luminosity mask, and this will allow you to target small areas of the image. But still using the luminosity mask. We're going to look at two specific ways of doing this, which you use is up to you, and it really depends on which you feel most at home with. Imagine a situation where you want to adjust only part of the image. Let's say the dark trees on the right side of this image, and we're going to target those with a mask. We're going to do this using the last Sue tool as we're going to be applying an adjustment to an area we select with the lasso tool. It's also a good idea to feather the edge. You can feather the edge here, and at the moment I've got this set to 30 pixels, which is right for your image will depend on the resolution of the image, the larger the image than the greater the pixels you'll need. It will probably take a little bit of trial and error and learning to do this. The other option. We've got set here is the anti alias, and that will help smooth the edges of the selection slightly. Both of the should help avoid obvious blending problems when we come to make our adjustments later to use this option first drawer, roughly around the area of the trees that we want to adjust. No, in the channels window, we can pick one of the masks that we want to use to target. This area, in this example will use the darks four mask. Now, as you can see, the darks four mask is still quite white in the area of the trees, and this will Melo's to target those quite easily. But a lot of other areas outside of our selection are also quite liked as well. What we want to do is load the darks for mask, but only for this area of the selection. The way we're going to do that is just a sweet bean creating our masks. Previously, we will hold down the shift control and Olcay on, then click on the mask and again noticed that my A pointer icon has changed toe have a multiply. This is no combined our selection with the darks four mask but has created a darks five mask in this area. When you're using this method, you need to use a mask that's one step removed from the mask you'll create. For example, if you want to use the darks three mask, you would actually combine your selection using the darks to, and that would produce the darks. Three in that area. No, With our selection in place, we can add a curves adjustment layer as we've done before, and you can see down in the layers window. The area that selected is the area of the trees. If we want to take a closer look at the mask, we can hold down the old key and click on that. And there you can see the selection. No, when we apply an adjustment, its effects on Lee that area. So there you can see the adjustment. No, let's look at the second method of creating the selection. This option is probably much simpler than the one I favor. First select the mask you're going to use to target the area. Let's say we'll use the darks. Four. Mask. Load the mass by holding down your control key and clicking on the channel. No again. Select the last do, too, as we did before. This time, we're going to change the option for how we make a selection. Before we used the new selection option, which creates a brand new selection. What we're going to do this time is used this intersect option here. So click on that to put the lawsuit tool into the Intersect mode Andrew again around the area that you want to select. No, When you add your adjustment, the mask it's created again. Personally, I find that a much easier way off creating a selection, and you can use that with any off The channels that you have are repeated to gain, just to show you select the channel that you want to create the selection for. In this example, let's try the darks, too. Load that as a selection by holding down your control key and clicking on the channel. Use the lawsuit tool with this Intersect mold that's select the area that you want to combined with you can see no, we have a limited selection in that area. When we had an adjustment layer, it's converted into a selection very simple in the next section of the course, we're going to be looking at more advanced examples of using luminosity masks. In particular, we're going to look at how we can blend multiple images together to create an image with a greater dynamic range. See you in the next section. 14. Section 4, Introduction: in the previous section of the course. We looked at how to use luminosity must to target adjustments in an image. In this section will be examining another common activity using luminosity masks. That's exposure blending exposure. Blending involves shooting identical images, except that each image is captured using a difference exposure. We then blend together the different images to extend the dynamic range captured in a scene When you shoot images for image blending, it's similar to shooting images for HDR, or high dynamic range photography. But the processing we use is quite different. A lots of photographers who dislike the appearance of HDR have instead turn to exposure, blending using luminosity. Masks in this section of the course will be processing an example using two images, but you can easily add more images using the same approach. The two images will be blending are from this image you see on screen to capture the image . I set my camera toe auto bracket mode when I took the shot. The camera automatically captured three images in quick succession. This is helpful because it minimizes movement between the images as well as the possibility of camera shake. If your camera has a similar auto bracket feature, you should use it. Otherwise, you should consider using a tripod to shoot your images in my camera. It's possible to set the exposure difference between the three images. In this example, it was set to one and 2/3 of a stop for this example will be using just two of the three images in the sequence. One image is under exposed. I'm represents the highlights in the scene. This is called Highlights on will be using it to combine with our image to produce the highlights of the scene. The other images correctly exposed. This will be used as our base image. We're calling this shadows. If you look at the base image, you can see the light areas of seed to light, and there's no detail. The idea of exposure blending is that we replace the over exposed areas of the base image with the better exposures from the highlight image. Both images have provided is part of this course. Don't load and open them now in photo shop and you're ready for the next lesson. 15. Section 4, Combining and Aligning Images: At the end of the introduction, I asked you to download and open the images for this example. If you did this, you should have both images open in photo shop, as I have now. In this lesson, we're going to create a single image from our two images and ensure that they line up to do this will copy the under exposed image into our base image as a new layer. Select the highlights image. Andi Press control A. On your keyboard If you're using a Mac that's command in a, this selects the entire image, and you should see the marching ants now around the outside edge of the image. Press control and C on your keyboard to copy the selection. If you're using a Mac, that's command Insee. No click the base image to select it. Press control and V to paste the images. A new layer you consume. You see the image added to the layers window renamed the New layer to be highlights. You can no close the highlights and meet you copied as you don't need it again. When shooting these images, the camera was handheld. This means the framing will be slightly different in each of the images, and they don't line up when we try to blend them. Before we can create our luminosity masks, we need to align the image layers. Exactly. You can do this using the auto line feature in photo shop in the layers window, select both layers. You can do this by holding down shift key and clicking on the top layer and then the bottom layer quickly and eat menu UN. Select all to align layers. Use the auto option here and don't worry about any of the lens corrections. Photo shop will no ally the layers based on the content you could know. Save this image in the photo shop PSD Former with your layers intact, you're then ready for the next lesson where we blend the images together. 16. Section 4, Applying the Masks: In the previous lesson, we created a single image combining our difference exposures. We also corrected the small misalignment between the images caused by hand holding the camera. No, we will generate our luminosity masks using the actions we created in the earlier part of this course. Before we create our masks, we should first hide the highlights layer. If we don't hide the highlights layer, it will affect the luminosity mask we create when we run the actions. Always generate your luminosity masks, using the correctly exposed image in the actions window, Click and run your action to create the complete set of luminosity masks. If there's an active selection after running this clear the selection we will know replace the lightest area of our image with the lightest areas from the shadow layer. This will dark in the areas of the image. It's a too bright and prevent them from clipping. Review the lights channels and select one that best represents the areas you feel a too bright will use lights to to create our mask. Hold down the control key or the command key on the Mac, then click the light to channel toe load. It is a selection. Clinton highlights layer. To select it, click the icon at the bottom of the layers window to add a new layer mask. This converts the active selection into a layer mask. No, you can see that the corrected highlights are visible in the overall image. If you don't like the effect you've just created, you can delete the layer mask, then use a different channel. Once you're happy with the effect, we're going to create a consolidated layer. You can do this by pressing shift control. Ulta me on your keyboard. If you're using a Mac that shift option, command any you can see. The new layer is being created here, and this is a consolidation that the highlights on the shadows base layer save the image, ready for the next lesson. 17. Section 4, Adjusting the Image: one of the problems you often encounter when blending images is that the results can look rather flat. This is because you have removed the contrast from the scene by lightning, the dark areas and also darling the light areas. This lesson looks it away to correct the problem using our example image. To do this well, it just the consolidated layer using camera raw filter in photo shop. Start by converting your consolidated layer into a smart object. Select the filter menu and choose the option to convert for smart filters. What we do. This the layer retains information about adjustment. You apply to that layer. If you're just the image, close the filter and then reopen it again. The filter remembers the adjustments you applied. Importantly, this allows you to go back in and Justin image further if you didn't get it quite right. No, we've converted our layer to be a smart object. We can apply the camera raw filter to layer. Use the filter menu in photo shop in the camera raw filter. We can know adjust our image to return the contrast and also to make sure that we control any clipping. To be sure, to control the clipping, make sure that you got the warning indicators turned on. We used these to judge. If our adjustments are causing serious clipping problems at the moment without applying any adjustments, I can see that there are highlights here in the image which is showing is red that showing me that I've got highlight clipping. I'm not worried about this in this instance, because these are what we call speculum, highlights their reflections of the sun, and they will always appear as pure white. And they'll never have any detail. If, though, we found areas of this post here were turning to pure black would be losing valuable detail that we may want to retain in the image, as we said earlier, the problem that you'll often encounter when you're adjusting images or blending images is that the contrast will be too low. So we'll start by increasing the contrast as this is a blended image, you often find you can increase the contrast much further than you might expect. Don't be afraid to be quite aggressive with the contrast next rule. Change the exposure toe light in the mid tones in the image as it the moment. The quite dark. No. We'll use the shadow slider to open up the shadows in the image after this will use the other sliders just to control the hissed a gram and make sure that we've got a true black in the image. A true white on the other elements of the scene could be seen clearly. To do this, I'm first going to reduce the highlights. I'm going to increase the amount of black so that I can start to see clipping appear, such as in areas here and here, which would be true black in the scene. At the same time, I will increase the whites just slightly to make sure that I have my speculative highlight clipping as well. I'm also going to add in some Clara Tech, which is midterm contrast toe help the appearance. One of the other sliders if your version of photo shop support so that you might find useful is the D Hey slider. We confined this under this FX option here. When we increase the D. Hayes, it actually increases the contrast in this scene, and you'll notice that it's caused greater clipping in these areas that are no turning to pure black. Because of that, you often find you need to return back to the basic adjustments and change those further. When correcting a flat image such as this, the tone curve can often be very useful. Finally, I will add a little bit more vibrance into the scene on a small amount of saturation as well. We can no check the improvement we've made by switching between the original image on the adjusted image. There we have the unadjusted image before we applied the camera roll filter, and there we have the camera. Raw adjustments. We click. OK, we know. Apply those changes to our image. We can know, compare the original blended image, which is that with our adjustments, as you can see, that's a substantial improvement on the image no longer looks flat as we converted this image to be a smart filter. If we want to make changes to our camera filter, we can simply double click it on. It will open again with the adjustments we made still in place. We can then apply further adjustments if we want to. That completes our blending example in this course. See you in the final section shortly 18. Bonus Lesson: We've no completed the course, and you should have a good and stunning give luminosity masks, as well as a set of actions you can use with any image. What you need now is plenty of practice of playing these skills to different images. But before we end the course, I wanted to share another final example of ways you can use a luminosity masks. This time, it's to selectively apply the autumn effect to an image. The image we're going to use is the one that we've created in the previous section of the course. If you're not familiar with the art in effect, it was popularized by the photographer Michael Autumn in the mid eighties. The effect is quite distinctive. It gives a glowing soft focus effect to an image we can start by creating a consolidation layer in our image. You can do this by pressing shift control Olten e on your keyboard. If you're using a Mac that shift option Comandini no set the blending mode for the new layer to the screen. We know duplicate the new layer again. You can do this by pressing control and J on your keyboard. What's the layers selected If you're using a Mac that's commanding J, we no need to apply the Gagosian Blur filter to the new layoff. The level of blur you're going to need will depend on the resolution of the image for this image. I'm going to use something around 15. No, we need to merge the two layers we've created to do this. Hold on your shift key and click on both layers. No, you can right click and select the option to merge the layers. This is the autumn effect, and you can control it by changing the A positive the layer. Or you can also change the blending mode. The downside to the art, in effect, is that it can soften a lot of detail and open up shadows. Too much luminosity to masks. Give us a way to control this behavior. Let's look a loading one of the masks, such as mid tones. Three. Andi Applying that this layer holding control and click on the channel with the channel loaded, we can note select the layer another mask. Here you can see the effect of adding the autumn layer with the musk in place. If you feel the effect is too strong. You can reduce the opacity, and you can also remove it from some areas by using the paintbrush to and painting with black here on removing the effect from the foreground and leaving it more in the distance. And don't forget, you can also control your mask by applying a levels adjustment directly to it. If I hold down the old key and click on the mask here, you can see the mosque. I can then apply a levels adjustment directly to it. There you have yet another way to use luminosity masks with your images, and this does mark the end of our course. I hope you've enjoyed it. I hope you've learned some new skills and I hope to see you again in future courses.