Monday, March 30, 2015

Luminosity Masks in Lightroom? Who Knew.

Somebody must have known.  I was flipping through some Youtube  videos over the weekend (there's nothing but junk on regular television anymore) and came across a session on Luminosity Masks (LM) in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR).  I went back this morning to try to find the author/presenter.  No luck.  That's too bad, because I'd like to give him (it was a male voice) credit.  (Whoever you are, either let me know or take this as having given you the credit you deserve.)  [Update: Thanks to reader Steve who let me know the fellow's name was Wayne Fox.  Here's the link.] A couple weeks ago I was playing around with Luminosity Masks in Adobe Photoshop (PS) and did a post on the subject.  I figured, since you start out with the Channels Panel that LMs wouldn't be something you could play with in LR.  Oops.  Was I wrong.  To find out about my first exploration of LMs in LR, hit the "Read More".

The key here is the Adjustment Brush.  Take a look at today's image.  See the yellow leaves near the top left?  Wouldn't it be a pain to paint over all those details with the Adjustment Brush?  How about selecting the entire set of leaves with one keystroke, or just the red of the house, or the blue of the water (which appeared to be pretty blown out)?  What about the dark shadow areas of the trees or the sunlit pieces of the rocks on the shore.  Poof, one keystroke and you have just what you need.

Rather the making the Adjustment Brush a little smaller than what you're trying to select and painting around all the tiny bits and pieces, try this.  Make the Adjustment brush its maximum size.  Bring the feather down to zero.  It should cover just about the entire image.  To either make or add to a selection, hold down the Shift Key and use the left mouse button to make the selection.  I tried using pen pressure on a Wacom Tablet, but didn't have a lot of luck. 

The video I saw used a stand of birch trees and selected only the trees.  I have several shots of birch tree stands so my first attempt was there.  Turn on LR's Adjustment Brush Overlay (O) feature.  (Look on the lower left side of the screen to turn it on with a mouse click.)  With the Adjustment Brush covering the entire image I clicked on the white of the birch tree.  Bam!  The white of every trees was selected.  There were a couple spots either slightly lighter or darker than the main body of the trees so I Shift Clicked on those areas to add them to the selection.  The entire remaining portion of the image was untouched.  I was able to make any changes necessary only in the masked area.  Very cool.

In today's image I was able to select the areas mentioned above individually and work on whatever I thought was needed.  If there was any spillover I switched to the ALT Key and clicked to remove anything I didn't want to include in the selection.

Ninety nine percent of what I see on Youtube is crap, but every once in a while something interesting pops up.  This was one of those times.  It reminds me a golf.  Through the entire round you hit bad shot after bad shot, but, you get one good shot and know you'll be back to try again.


Anonymous said...

You don't have to shift-click. Just click. It's a brush, not a selection tool.

Steve said...

The guys name is Wayne Fox ...

Tom Peterson said...

Thanks Steve. Tom