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Archive 2012 · Luminosity Masking ?
  
 
Bsmooth
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Luminosity Masking ?


After years of doing "flat" looking HDR's, someone just turned me on to Luminosity Masking, and even more impressive was the discovery of Tony Kuyper's site http://www.goodlight.us/writing/tutorials.html.
Its still taking me a bit to figure out and actually use them, but I'm getting there, and what a great effect it has on images. I can't overstate it they really make an image pop.
So how many here actually use them, and are there better sites to explain it more ?



Oct 15, 2012 at 04:29 PM
mshi
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Luminosity Masking ?


I use them all the time since I rarely use any 3rd party plugins or filters because whatever I need is conveniently located right inside Photoshop. What you can do is to record your own action so that you can build tons of luminosity masks on the fly for all your tonal needs.


Oct 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM
redcrown
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Luminosity Masking ?


I use Luminosity masks extensively. The Kyuper site is one of the most popular, but there are tons of others. Just Google or Youtube search for "Luminosity Masks".

I think I've seen at least 4 different methods for generating Luminosity Masks. They all differ slightly, but they all work. I didn't bother to buy Kyuper's actions, opting to create my own actions instead using simple Photoshop procedures.

Almost every edit I do starts with a simple Levels adjustment using a "mid-tone" luminosity mask to add the initial contrast.

Luminosity masks have other uses as well. One common use is in "color grading" where color adjustments are made under masks that limit the adjustment to shadows or highlights. A current popular technique is to add blue to the shadows and yellow to the highlights. That's not very appealing to me, but its a current trend in fashion photography.

Another source is http://www.thelightsright.com/ His "tone masks" are found deep in a list of other Photoshop Actions and Scripts under the Tools menu.

Saturation masks are a close cousin to luminosity masks. If you have not explored saturation masks yet, take a look.



Oct 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM
JaneG
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Luminosity Masking ?


this is good too


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP4r1o7RWVY





Oct 15, 2012 at 07:30 PM
mshi
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Luminosity Masking ?


Everything you do inside Photoshop is all done internally through Alpha channels. Make sure you learn the trade.


Oct 15, 2012 at 07:47 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Luminosity Masking ?


mshi wrote:
Everything you do inside Photoshop is all done internally through Alpha channels. Make sure you learn the trade.


Could you provide what you consider to be a good link / reference / recommendation @ Alpha channels ... thanks.



Oct 16, 2012 at 01:05 AM
mshi
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Luminosity Masking ?


RustyBug wrote:
Could you provide what you consider to be a good link / reference / recommendation @ Alpha channels ... thanks.


this is the book that you don't want to miss:








Oct 16, 2012 at 01:46 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Luminosity Masking ?


Thanks


Oct 16, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Luminosity Masking ?


For right now I think I better take on one thing at a time. I'll take a look at the book, but I think for right now its definitely overkill, at least for me anyways.
I suppose If I did this for a living that might be different, its just a means to and end.



Oct 16, 2012 at 01:38 PM
boingyman
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Luminosity Masking ?


I always wanted to learn more about luminosity masking, but I kind of forgot about it. Thanks for starting this thread as a reminder and thanks for these replies.


Oct 16, 2012 at 03:39 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Bsmooth
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Luminosity Masking ?


Thats why I wanted to ask. I'm sure long time users of Photoshop are well versed in using all sorts of masks and layers of all types. That and getting the images right in the first place I think distinguishes there images from a lot of us that have no idea what a lot of these terms even mean, let alone how to use them..
I've gone over some of my older images and tried a few different types of masks and techniques on them.Though it can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear so to speak, it can really make an image that was so-so into something that stands out much more.
So bottom line is it worth knowing? I would say an outstanding yes, its worth learning, or at least knowing about anyways.
Its funny all the things that you need to know about actually taking images, then thats just the start. Then you need to learn how to manipulate them in an editing program as well, to make them look there best.



Oct 16, 2012 at 04:37 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Luminosity Masking ?


+1 @ good finishing.




Oct 16, 2012 at 05:59 PM
mshi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Luminosity Masking ?


Ansel Adams used to spend days and weeks in his wet dark room doing tons of dodging and burning (using his own luminosity mask technology, aka the zone system) to his images. He famously said that snapshots are taken while images are built. And you don't build an image in camera because you build it in pre-production stage and also in post production (dark room.) Lots of newbies incorrectly assume that each Ansel Adams' image they see is what was captured in camera. The industry has been known for playing into those people's false assumption so that it can sell more gear to those that want to get it all in camera. The matter of the fact is photography is a process that has three distinctive phases, pre-production, production and post-production. Each is equally important to the image-making process.

Take a look at what Craig Crewdson has been doing to make his images here.

http://youtu.be/2hYNt2byQj4

and he does tons of focusing stacking for each element in each image he builds with his large format film cameras, and in post production he merge them all in Photoshop to get his look.








Oct 16, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Luminosity Masking ?


Thats one thing about nature though, you can't exactly predict what will happen, which throws a certain amount of unpredictability into the image.
You can plan on certain weather conditions as well, but they don't always pan out either.
But I see what you mean about building an image, at least to some extent.
But then again, thank the forces of nature for giving us these great situations to preserve.
As far as "newbies" go, I think we all fall into that category, because technology is almost changing day by day, which ultimately changes the way we do things.
Its all a bit of a compromise anyways, doing the best we can with what we have.



Oct 16, 2012 at 06:42 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Luminosity Masking ?


While technology changes daily ... that only changes the tools with which we have at our disposal.

There are two things that never change:

A) The character and nature of light
B) The human physiological response to compositional elements, i.e. tonal values, lines, shapes, textures, scale, symmetry, hue, etc.

So, whether it was Rembrandt with a paint brush, AA in the darkroom or us in Photoshop ... the end product remains the same as visual means of communicating to our viewer that which we aspire to convey, irregardless of the tools involved. As with any craft, the mastery of the tools (new or old) must reside alongside the mastery of the principles involved in the craft.

+1 @ OEM/mfr's pushing the tool as being the do all / end all ... it is only the beginning .. unless you want it to be the ending. Technology can only aspire to replicate what we are already capable of ... yet it perpetually falls short at reading our creative minds.



Oct 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
mshi
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Luminosity Masking ?


RustyBug wrote:
While technology changes daily ... that only changes the tools with which we have at our disposal.

There are two things that never change:

A) The character and nature of light
B) The human physiological response to compositional elements, i.e. tonal values, lines, shapes, textures, scale, symmetry, hue, etc.

So, whether it was Rembrandt with a paint brush, AA in the darkroom or us in Photoshop ... the end product remains the same as visual means of communicating to our viewer that which we aspire to convey, irregardless of the tools involved. As with any craft, the mastery of the tools (new or old)
...Show more

+1.

The ancient Greeks used to there is nothing new under the sun.



Oct 16, 2012 at 07:54 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Luminosity Masking ?


mshi wrote:
The ancient Greeks used to
say there is nothing new under the sun.


+1

IIRC ... I read somewhere that there are only three things you can do in Photoshop, but there's over a hundred ways to go about it. Sadly, I don't recall what those "three things" were suggested to be as I was too much of a newb to understand it when I read it.

Not sure how accurate this is ... but the more I learn @ photoshop, the more I'm inclined to agree with it in principle. Thus, the reference to Alpha channels being at the root of things has caught my attention as something I should advance my understanding of.



Oct 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Luminosity Masking ?


Thats all terrific and points well taken, but haven't we gone slightly south of where we were headed ?
My point was that I think it would be good to let more people know about Luminosity Masking.
I suppose though you have to be seeking knowledge, which is how I learned of this in the first place.



Oct 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
mshi
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Luminosity Masking ?


Bsmooth wrote:
Thats all terrific and points well taken, but haven't we gone slightly south of where we were headed ?
My point was that I think it would be good to let more people know about Luminosity Masking.
I suppose though you have to be seeking knowledge, which is how I learned of this in the first place.


Each RGB image you open in Photoshop has many built-in alpha channels available at your command, color channels, such as Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta,Black; saturation channels, such A, and B; and brightness channels, such as luminosity channels and lightness channel. Some people call those channels masks because they are often used as layer masks. By using simple layer math functions aka blend modes, you can come up with unlimited alpha channels for your own needs on the fly. The sad thing is that too many people just don't want to bother to learn those internal Photoshop stuff because they are falsely led to believe those 3rd-party plugins and filters will save time and money for them.

for example here are some of the most recent Annie Leibovitz's work. do you really believe everything was obtained in camera?







and more at: http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/rihanna-unstoppable/#/magazine-gallery/rihanna-unstoppable/1



Oct 17, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Smridevan
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Luminosity Masking ?


Bsmooth wrote:
After years of doing "flat" looking HDR's, someone just turned me on to Luminosity Masking, and even more impressive was the discovery of Tony Kuyper's site http://www.goodlight.us/writing/tutorials.html.
Its still taking me a bit to figure out and actually use them, but I'm getting there, and what a great effect it has on images. I can't overstate it they really make an image pop.
So how many here actually use them, and are there better sites to explain it more ?


I share your frustration. I've always applied a straight curve over all my images and it tends to compress the dynamic range of the images. This luminosity masking technique to only adjust or add contrast to midtones is the solution I've been looking for!! Thanks for bringing this up!



Oct 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM
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