Sunday, December 15, 2013

Learning Luminosity Masks

Having been laid up the last few days were a cold, I decided while relaxing in front of my computer and looking at some photography sites that I wanted to learn more about luminosity masks. I had previously watched a video but really didn't understand how it worked. In searching the web I found a site Tony Kuyper Photography and if you click the special link at the top you can download a PDF file on how to use luminosity masks plus a number of plug-ins for Photoshop at only a cost of $10 (I do not have an affiliated basis or receive compensation). So now I am going to show you my first attempt at using luminosity masks. This is a photograph taken at Horseneck Beach, Westport Massachusetts after sunset with the moon in the sky along with a number of constellations including Orion.

This photograph is the original post-processing attempt.

Today I took the original raw file opened the file in Lightroom and did some basic adjustments and then exported the file is to Photoshop. Duplicated the image Control-J, I then opened Topaz Clarity and ran my preset "Milky Way".

Next, following the directions in Luminosity Masks, I opened up the Channels palette, created the marching ants, and then click the save button at the bottom of the Channels palette, I renamed the new channel to lights. I then created a new adjustment layer - Curves and adjusted the curves layer to darken the highlights. I then repeated the steps as described in the tutorial to pick out only the brightest highlights and then did another curves layer to darken them to my liking.

Luminosity mask with marching ants
RBG would marching ants
Adding Curve layer
 Because the beach was was black and I wanted to lighten it, utilizing the quick selection tool I selected the beach and then first it a levels adjustment and then ran the Adobe camera raw filter on the selection to adjusted to my liking.

Utilizing selection tool to select the beach and then adjusting with a level selection and Adobe camera raw filter
 The final image with the moon, clouds, the beach, constellations including Orion