FAQs About Luminosity Masks

Several people have written to ask questions about the luminosity masks techniques that I’ve posted in the Photoshop tutorials section on my website. I always try to respond to these inquiries and have saved several of the exchanges. Recently I edited the questions and answers to make them more informative and posted them in a FAQs About Luminosity Masks tutorial. This tutorial takes the themes of the various questions and uses the answers along with some illustrations to provide more in depth information on how to best use the luminosity masks with the goal of providing additional information to interested photographers. Below are the questions. By clicking on one a new window should open that links to the answer in the tutorial. Once on the site, there is a “Return to questions” link after each answer if you’d like to peruse the other questions and answers. I hope this information is useful. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.

#1: The entire image seems to be affected when I do an adjustment with one of the luminosity masks on a Curves adjustment layer, not just the tones I want to adjust. Why is this?

#2: How do I decide which luminosity mask to use?

#3: I see in your examples that you mostly use Curves adjustment layers when using the luminosity masks. Why not use Levels?

#4: It seems like luminosity painting does the same thing as using the luminosity masks on Curves adjustment layers—adjusting the brightness and contrast of specific tones in the image. Is there an advantage of choosing one method over the other?

#5: There are two sets of actions, TK-LumMasks(Channels) and TK-LumMasks(Layers). How do I know which set to use?

#6: I read about the subtraction masks that you had created and wondered if it would be possible to email them to me as actions?

#7: What workflow do you recommend when using the masks?

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