How to recover highlight details using luminosity masks

Luminosity masking is a technique by which you can create layer masks from a photo based on the brightness (luminosity) values of its pixels. Such a mask can be used to add adjustments only to the bright parts of an image without touching the dark tones at all (or vice versa). In this excerpt from my video course "Mask It Like a Pro!" I will show you how to use luminosity masks to get back the details in a washed-out sky. We will first create a luminosity mask. Then, we will use a Levels adjustment and the Lasso tool on the mask to refine it so that it only reveals the sky. Finally, we will add a targeted Curves adjustment layer with that mask to really pull out the details in the sky.

4 Essential layer masking tools in Photoshop

Layer masking is one of the most essential skills when you are using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. In this article, I will give you an overview of the most important tools that Photoshop provides for creating layer masks. I will quickly run you through the basics of layer masks before we go on to the more advanced techniques like channel masks and paths. This will give you a set of tools that you can use in many different situations.