Luminosity Masking and Image Recovery

by Joe Bridwell

Six years ago, I took 6 HDR shots with a 6 megapixel Nikon D70. At the time, Lightroom was doing 2003 raw conversions. Photoshop masking with the selection tool created a poor black/white mask. I was quite frustrated with masking trees against the skyline. So this HDR image sorta went by the wayside… The tools were not adequate to address neither its richness nor complexity!
With Luminosity Masking, you examine every pixel in the HDR result to create a grayscale mask. You get tree edges against sky. You also get automatic self feathering – which adds strong drama.
I’m now on a very interesting path. I’m redoing all my classic landscape images with Tony Kuyper’s luminosity masking actions.
I resurrected the original HDR images. I submitted them to Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2. I took that HDR image and began applying luminosity masks.
Finding incredible detail in Cave Towers is like landing on the moon.
Your eye glories in a forgotten cornucopia of color, texture, and detail!

CaveTowers 2013©Chopawamsic LC

Cave Towers 2013©Chopawamsic LC

Thank you, Jesus…

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Red Mountain – Edge of Light

by Joe Bridwell

Twice each day, the cool, blue light of night interacts with warm tones of daylight.  For a full hour at either end of the day, colors of light mix together in endless combinations, as if someone in the sky were shaking a kaleidoscope.  

Magic Hour is that hour around dawn and dusk. The Edge of Light occurs when cool, blue light of night interacts with warm tones of daylight. This effect takes place, not directly where the sun rises or sets, but where sun’s rays bring warm, direct light onto parts of land and sky also lit by cool, reflected light of evening.

The most interesting parts of the natural world are these edges.  Places where timberline touches the heights, where bare mountain peaks touch the sky. Landscape photographers shoot light itself! When Magic Hour arrives, I search for perfect light. Then, I hunt for something earthbound to match.

Galen Rowell, Mountain Light, 2011, 3rd Ed.

Red Mountain - No Edge of Light 2013©Chopawamsic LC

Red Mountain – No Edge of Light 2013©Chopawamsic LC

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Bullett Canyon Cataract (dry)

by Joe Bridwell

Cataract, Bullett Canyon, Cedar Mesa, se Utah

+Liliana Pellegrini +Davor Maksimovic +Alain Besnet; You guys +1’d Joe @ Bullett Canyon Cataract.  That pic is above the real cataract. It’s downhill from my pointing arm. Thought you guys would like to know, “… the Rest of the Story!”

Bullett Canyon was a water source for ancient Anasazi 1000 years ago. The Canyon is located in se Utah on Cedar Mesa. The hike is middle-of-the-road; if wet or snow, it would be really hard to get back up this steep feature.

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