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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Masking a Luminosity Mask for Local Curves Adjustment

by Joe Bridwell

When Jack Houser first looked at my LastEoL image, he made a comment, “Reflections in a pond are always darker than the sky!” Time has clearly taught me; when Jack makes a color or textural remark, I’d really better pay heed…
So here’s the workflow I devised for modifying luminosity masks to darken the pond. Before I could make any progress, I had to study Sean Bagshaw’s luminosity mask tutorials regarding local adjustments, based on Tony Kuyper’s luminosity mask work.
Beyond that, I faced this fact; skies had been color coordinated over time lapse of these photos. So I had to be quite careful to make similar darken pond ranges in luminosity and texture. Here’s the workflow to create that subtle difference…
Bagshaw defines both Custom Masks and Local Adjustments. His videos carefully work you through each workflow step. Under custom masks, he covers magic mid tones, increasing tonal separation, burn or Dodge a mask, and painting on an enhanced mask. For localized adjustments, he covers painting a mask, masking the mask, and luminosity painting. Here, we create a Local Adjustments mask atop a luminosity mask.

Preliminary Steps to Create an Expanded Mid Tone Mask of the Pond

Preliminary Steps to Create an Expanded Mid Tone Mask of the Pond

Preliminary Steps to Create an Expanded Mid Tone Mask of the Pond

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Color Synchronizing Sequential Luminosity Mask Images

by Joe Bridwell

In a recent blog, I presented an Edge of Light view of Red Mountain 1 near Silverton, Co. In reality, I actually shot 3 HDR images showing a motion time lapse of that edge of light moving down the mountain.
The most noteworthy image occurs when the edge of light moves down to tree line. We choose that final image and developed it with luminosity masking steps.

Red Mountain - First Edge of Light 2013©Chopawamsic LC

Red Mountain – First Edge of Light 2013©Chopawamsic LC

Here’s the final image…

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Creating Fine Art Magic Quickens My Artistic Pulse

by Joe Bridwell

Bisti (old raw file) – Primordial Bisti (Creating Fine Art Magic)

“I always work better when I do not reason, when no question of right or wrong enters in – when my pulse quickens to the form before me, without hesitation nor calculation.”
Edward Weston, 1936.

This ‘make a Primordial Bisti’ idea sprang awake before dawn. Still half asleep this Thursday morning, I was in a dream state. I wanted to see the stable growth from a raw Bisti shot to CFAM’s evocative finale. Continue reading

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