Luminosity masks are an extremely valuable tool within Photoshop, particularly for landscape photographers who are often dealing with high dynamic range scenes that can leave scenes looking a little uneven. Sure, you can leave it up to semi-automated HDR software to try and pull all that detail out of a raw, but luminosity masks allow you to do it with a very specific level of control.
Well, you may not know that Lightroom now has luminosity masks built right in, allowing you to make fine-tuned adjustments to different parts of your image, based solely on their existing brightness level. In this video, photographer Alex Armitage shows you how they work and how you can use them to even out your landscape shots.
The luminosity mask within Lightroom is technically a “range mask” because luminosity isn’t the only thing you can take advantage of. You can also create adjustment masks based on specific colours or ranges of colour, too, which Alex also covers in the video. The example Alex uses in his video is to help brighten the leaves of a tree to make it stand out from its environment and really draw your attention towards it.
Luminosity masks alone are an already powerful tool in our editing arsenal. To be able to make changes based solely on colour as well, makes these probably two of Lightroom’s most useful selection tools.