Posts

Non-Destructive Layer Masking in Photoshop

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Non-destructive editing techniques are vitally important in Photoshop to ensure maximum flexibility and efficiency. If you edit your images destructively (altering the actual pixels), you cannot go back, and you cannot change your edits individually in case they do not play out the way you planned them. Consequently, there are a lot of tools in Photoshop that allow you to edit your images none-destructively. But what about the layer masks you create? Do they allow non-destructive editing too? Sometimes, creating these masks for certain areas takes longer than the actual adjustments. Unfortunately, Photoshop does not provide any dedicated means for editing these masks non-destructively too. In the video below, however, I will show you a simple technique for combining two or more masks while retaining each of them so that you can edit them later if you need to.

Inverse selections in Photoshop - Easily select complex objects

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In Photoshop, you're sometimes faced with the problem of making a complex selection, but none of the available tools gets the job done. The object you're trying to select may have varying colors and tones and fuzzy edges, making the selection very difficult. In this excerpt from my video course Mask It Like a Pro!, I will show you that there is a surprisingly simple solution in many cases. Instead of trying to select the object itself, it is often much easier to select the background of the object and then invert the selection. You will learn how to use the Color Range tool in combination with the Lasso tool to get this done quickly and easily.

How to create HDR images using only Photoshop layer masks

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Creating an HDR image is typically involved with a quite time-consuming workflow that consists of merging, tone-mapping and post-processing, possibly spanning several different software programs. But especially if you are creating a night HDR, there is a much simpler and quicker way of doing it, and your final image will also look more natural. In this excerpt from my video course Mask It Like a Pro! I will show you this technique that works by creating luminosity masks straight from the images themselves and using these masks to reveal only the well-exposed parts of your exposure series.

How to recover highlight details using luminosity masks

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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

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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.

Hands-on Photo Tip: Creating Truly Realistic HDR Images with Adobe Camera Raw

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In this Hands-on Photo Tip, I will show you a really cool way to create a realistic-looking HDR image with a completely non-destructive workflow. We're going to use a feature in Photoshop CS6 that allows you to merge your source photos and bring the resulting 32 bit HDR image into Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom) to tone map it.

Hands-on Photo Tip: Single Exposure Blending

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In this Hands-on Photo Tip, I will show you how to develop two separate versions of a single RAW image file and blend them together in Photoshop. One version is optimized for the highlights and the other one is optimized for the shadows. In this way, you can work on the different regions of your image separately which gives you much more flexibility for optimizing the overall photo.

Hands-on Photo Tip: Non-destructive Editing in Photoshop

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In this Hands-on Photo Tip, I will show you the basics of non-destructive editing. If you want to be flexible in your photo editing workflow, and if you want to avoid spending more time on an image than you actually need to, this is the way to go.

Hands-on Photo Tip: Work Faster with Background Saving in Photoshop CS6

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In this Hands-on Photo Tip, you will learn how the Save in Background feature of Photoshop CS6 can be a real time-saver. You can now save a file while you carry on working on it. Photoshop will save all the changes done before you told it to save the image. Especially if you are working with large Photoshop projects (e.g. panoramas or files with many layers) this can speed up your workflow and avoid frequent interruptions.

Hands-on Photo Tip: How to Remove Chromatic Aberration in Adobe Camera Raw

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In this Hands-on Photo Tip, I will show you how to use Adobe Camera Raw (version 7 and later) to remove Chromatic Aberration from your photos. Chromatic Aberration is an optical effect caused by your lens. Especially when you shoot with a wide-angle lens, it creates color fringes towards the edges of the frame. If you do not treat them properly, these fringes get worse when you post-process your images, especially when you are using them to create an HDR.

How to Use Batch Processing in Photoshop

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Oftentimes, photo editing entails a number of routine tasks that consume a lot of time when you do them manually. In this tutorial, I show you how to use Photoshop's action feature and the batch processing capabilities to have these tasks done for you automatically. This helps you save a lot of time and concentrate on more important things.

Hands-on Photo Tips: How to create a spotlight effect in Photoshop

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Do your photos look flat? Do you want to add some more interesting lighting effects to them in post-processing? You should really try to get the lighting right in camera while you're shooting. But sometimes, the light just isn't right when you are shooting, or maybe you want to achieve some different look when you post-process the image. In those cases, you can fix the image to a certain degree. In this video, I am going to show you a simple trick for creating a spotlight effect in Photoshop to improve the overall lighting.

Hands-on Photo Tips: Creating a Non-destructive Vignette

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Darkening the edges of your photos can really help you in getting more depth and in leading your viewers' eyes to the important elements of your photo. This is called "vignetting". In this video tutorial, you will learn how to create a vignette using non-destructive editing. That is, you will not change the pixels of your image in any way. Instead, the vignette will be on a separate layer on top of your image, and you can turn it on an off or change it at any time, independently of your work on the photo. I will show you how to do this in Photoshop.

Hands-on Photo Tips: Advanced Distortion Correction in Photoshop

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Getting your photos straight is one of the basic requirements…

Creative Watermarking - How to Integrate Your Signature into Your Photos

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Watermarking is a topic that many photographers are quite passionate…

Hands-on Photo Tip #001 - How to combine layer masks in Photoshop

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In this first episode of Hands-on Photo Tips, I am explaining…

HDR Cookbook - Creating Clarity in Your Images

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Clarity, sharpness, and crispness are three terms that are frequently…

HDR Cookbook - Correcting Chromatic Aberration

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Chromatic aberration (in short "CA", sometimes also referred…

HDR Cookbook - Structuring a Photoshop Project

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Adjusting individual parts of an HDR image in Photoshop can be…

HDR Cookbook - Complex Selections

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For most images, you will need to apply different adjustments…