Upload & Sell: Off
Mshi, when talking about masks, you guys are olympians and I am just taking my first baby steps! I can see I have much to learn about masks (and never enough time).
I went on a one day workshop/seven day photo trip through the Great Bear Rainforest last fall. The pro photographer provided luminosity mask actions as part of the package. Since I didn't build the actions, I wasn't aware of the role CTRL + ALT + SHIFT click has in modifying the masks. That is indeed quite powerful.
I'm not sure if it was inspiration or luck, but it looks like I figured out the problem. I was reprocessing an older picture; one with an older process engine (2010, I believe). I made a virtual copy, clicked on the exclamation mark and updated to the current process, 2012. then I tried the same steps: brought it into PS, ran my action, used the CTRL + ALT + SHIFT click technique to reduce the mask, created a levels layer, ALT clicked on the levels mask and painted everything but the sky black, clicked on the levels icon on the layer and adjusted the midpoint to taste, clicked CTRL z a few times to confirm the change was as expected, flattened the layers, discarded the channel and saved the image. Went to LR and compared the CR2 to the edited TIFF. Only the sky had changed, which was the desired outcome.
I have no idea why the 2012 vs 2010 engine should have made this difference. Just as an FMI, does anybody know why?