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black and white using luminosity masks


marktog

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hi I was wanting to see if someone can help me with creating luminosity masks, I understand they are quite difficult to learn or understand?
any advice tips or tutorials would be great
thanks
 

Tom Mann

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Personally, I don't like any of the methods discussed in the links provided. I find that the quickest, most controllable, and most straightforward way to generate luminosity masks is by using a curves adjustment layer on a B&W version of the image to select a particular tonal range (and turn it white, leaving all other parts of the image very dark, if not black).

To illustrate how well one can pick out various tonal ranges, as my test image, I used a simple, linear gradient that goes smoothly all the way from (0,0,0) to (255,255,255).

00
00-smooth_continuous_BW_gradient_from-0_0_0-to_255_255_255_as_source_image.jpg

For example, if you use this curve:

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01-curve_to_select_narrow_range_of_shadow_tones.jpg

You can generate a mask which selects a narrow range of shadow tones (as shown immediately below)

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01-narrow_range_of_shadow_tones_selected.jpg

If you use this curve:

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02-curve_to_select_narrow_range_of_mid_tones.jpg

You can generate a mask which selects a narrow range of mid tones (as shown immediately below)

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02-narrow_range_of_mid_tones_selected.jpg

If you use this curve:

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03-curve_to_select_slightly_brighter_narrow_range_of_mid_tones.jpg


You can generate a mask which selects a slightly brighter, equally narrow range of mid tones (as shown immediately below)

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03-slightly_brighter_narrow_range_of_mid_tones_selected.jpg


And as a final example, if you use this curve:

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04-curve_to_select_light_and_dark_tones_but_no_mid_tones.jpg


You can generate a mask which selects light and dark tones but no mid-tones (as shown immediately below)

04
04-light_and_dark_tones_but_no_mid_tones_selected.jpg



I have been using this method since the 1990's.


HTH,

Tom M
 

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