The Luminosity Masking Photoshop extension panel is a collection of tools which allow you to create complex Luminosity masks from the press of a button.
Luminosity Masks allow us to make specific selections based on luminosity, or in other words, the brightness of a pixel
We use luminance masks to separate areas of different tones or brightness in an image. Luminance masking is not new and has been written about and used for many years.
Many articles have been written on the subject of which some try to explain in a very sophisticated way what they are but what it boils down to is that they allow us to make more refined selections for each area of tone or brightness.
One of the advantages of using this type of mask is that unlike regular selections, they create a smooth feathering effect
Unlike masks which are made with traditional selection tools, they create a selection which overlap with adjacent tones which give smooth transitions and maintain smooth tonal gradations or transitions throughout the image.
Creating a regular selection and then applying a feather to that selection does not overlap which can result in harsh transitions between selections when making adjustments.Luminosity masks are built and stored as individual Alpha channels in Photoshop.
Everything In One Place
Although creating luminosity masks are not that difficult, they can become time consuming especially as you drill down into the finer masks where you need to perform intersections of previous masks.
The luminosity panel removes all this headache for you by allowing you to create these masks by the press of a button.
Painting The Masks
There are occasions when we want to refine the mask even further by only applying the underline adjustment to specific areas of the image.
One would assume that painting directly onto or out of the mask would be the logical solution, bur due to the construction of the luminosity masks, this is not possible.
The solution to this is to decide whether you want to either Paint-In or Paint-Out the adjustment by choosing either the PaintIn or PaintOut buttons which are situated just beneath the shadows section of the luminosity panel.
Implementing a Digital Zone system into your workflow is something that appears to be understated simply because people associate the Zone system with traditional film photography. Whilst it may be true to say that the Zone system was developed by Ansel Adams long before digital, you will be rewarded if you adapt the digital Zone system into your digital workflow.
Throughout my research into building the Luminosity Masking Photoshop panel, I have gained a considerable amount of insight into the digital zone system by reading “The Digital Zone System” book by Robert Fisher. This book is not only packed with illustrations, but it explains and demonstrates all the benefits of why the digital Zone system should be part of your digital darkroom.
The luminosity masks are based on the luminosity masks tutorials developed by Tony Kuyper.
- Windows or Mac operating system
- Photoshop CC or newer