The Art of Digital Blending by Jimmy McIntyre – Full Review


Digital blending is the essence of working with Photoshop, and learning how to blend different layers into one coherent image may seem like a chore to you. But it really is the essential skill you need to acquire if you want to be good at editing your images.

Luminosity masks are a very quick and elegant way of creating perfect masks based on the tonality in your images. They let you work on highlights, midtones and shadows separately and can help you achieve a well-balanced exposure throughout the entire image.

In this video course, Jimmy McIntyre shows you everything you need to know about creating and using luminosity masks for blending different types of images.

Quick Facts

TypeLengthSkill levelRetail Price
Video2.5+ hoursBeginner – Advanced$44.99

The Instructor

5DayDeal - Amazing Deals For A Limited Time! - Mozilla Firefox_2015-09-07_06-39-20Jimmy McIntyre is an experienced travel photographer and international trainer, who is followed by 100,000s of photographers worldwide. He was recently named as one of the Top Photographers on by He has taught photography workshops on four continents, and his courses have been sold to 1,000s of photographers across the globe. He has had the pleasure of being published in some of the largest publications in the world.

Detailed Review

Luminosity masks are a double-edged sword: On the one hand, they are really a very elegant means for digital blending, in the other hand, they’re one of those topics that can be challenging to get your head around. Many people feel intimidated and don’t understand the actual techniques for creating these masks. But once you have overcome this barrier, luminosity masks will become one of your goto tools, for sure.

In this course, Jimmy McIntyre does a great job of deciphering the technique and helping you make sense of it. He gives you various different examples and shows you how he applies luminosity masks to those images. The course is built very logically. First, Jimmy gives you an introduction on what luminosity masks actually are, then he shows you how to apply them and how to use them to apply specific adjustments to your images.

The course is divided into 2 parts,in part one, Jimmy teaches you the basics of luminosity masks, and in part 2, he applies those basics to various different images including seascapes, long exposures, HDR and even 32-bit images.

In detail, he explains the following:

  • Part 1 – Luminosity Masks Explanation and Use
    • What are luminosity masks and how do they work
    • How to create a set luminosity masks to cover the entire tonal range of your image
    • How to refine masks using different methods
    • How to use masks to add mood to an image
    • How to increase the details in your images selectively
    • How to remove noise selectively
    • How to create specific effects like deepening the color in the sky or adding a targeted vignette
  • Part 2 – Exposure Blending (Digital Blending)
    • What is exposure blending
    • Tips on creating the original exposures that you want to blend
    • Specific techniques for blending seascape exposures
    • Enhancing sunset colors
    • Changing the balance of light
    • Combining different luminosity masks to get even more fancy
    • Quick color correction
    • Adding energy by increasing local contrast
    • Blending city lights with a sunset

Other Things You’ll Learn

You will learn a wide range of techniques regarding masking in general. You will also get a few general techniques for enhancing images and a feeling for when and how to apply them. For example, Jimmy shows you how to increase the warmth of a sunset to make your images more moody.

You will also learn how to work with Adobe Camera Raw to prepare your images before you bring them into Photoshop, how to create an HDR in Photoshop, and how to do non-destructive dodging and burning, for example.

Teaching Style

Jimmy McIntyre has a very calm style. The second he starts talking, you feel at home. In his teaching, you feel his desire to really get his key points across. He is precise, straight to the point, and he has the ability to put things simple which will help your understanding even if you don’t have solid Photoshop knowledge yet.

Summary and Verdict

This is an excellent video course that will give you easy access to a key Photoshop technique, including the original images to follow along and a sound logical structure. You will learn tons of things, especially if layer masking and luminosity masks in particular are still challenges for you.

  • Jimmy gives you lots of examples of how to apply luminosity masks to different types of images.
  • His images are really stunning, which will surely help you stay motivated as the course will bring you one step closer to being able to create this type of images.
  • The thoroughness and completeness is impressive. If you want to learn everything about luminosity masks, this is the course for you.
  • All images that he works on in the course are included, most of them even as original raw images.
  • Jimmy even provides some very useful Photoshop actions with this course for creating luminosity masks automatically.
  • While luminosity masks are the most important tool for digital blending, I would have loved to see some more complementary techniques.

Look Inside

In this video, Jimmy McIntyre himself talks about the course and tells you what’s in it.

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