Edit with masks
George Cairns helps you to use masks to precisely select areas for tonal adjustment
Precisely define specific areas of an image for tonal adjustment using Lightroom’s Adjustment brush and clever Auto Mask feature
Last issue we demonstrated how to use the Adjustment brush to dodge some dark standing stones, while burning more detail into the brighter sky. By altering the size, softness and flow of the Adjustment brush, you can target and tweak the tones of specific objects with precision.
When you click on a photo with the Adjustment brush you place an Edit pin. This pin records the position and strength of all the tonal adjustments you make. Thanks to Edit pins you can make multiple adjustments to a photo and then click on a pin to fine-tune its effect at any time. If you click on a pin and drag it to the right, you can increase the value setting of each associated slider to, say, brighten the image more or boost the contrast more. Drag left on a pin to reduce the slider settings.
Last issue we also introduced masks. By moving the mouse over a particular pin, you can see a red mask overlay that indicates which areas are being adjusted by that pin. The Adjustment brush strokes we used to lighten the stones were fairly soft and imprecise. It would be quite easy for the brush tip to stray over the background and lighten the sky or ground. This time we’ll show you how to use auto masking to dodge and burn with much more precision, so you can lighten the complex jagged edges of the dark rocks in our starting image without blowing out the background details.
We’ll show you how to use auto masking to dodge and burn with much more precision