Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Expanding Horizons – Luminosity Masks


This image was taken from the Presidio in San Francisco last night.  The sunset was absolutely glorious!  I’m going to create a camera club event here soon because there is so much to explore even without the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.

I’ve been exploring the use of Luminosity Masks lately.  Basically Luminosity Masks are a way of making advanced selections in Photoshop based on luminosity values.  So let’s say I wanted to select everything but the bridge and the land to create a mask.  Normally I would have to go through a selection process by using the magic wand, the quick selection tool, color range selection or a host of other ways to isolate what I wanted to mask.  Instead of that way, I use the Lumenzia panel which I’ve loaded in photoshop.  (You can see it in the screenshot I’ve included in this post.)

Lumenzia is developed by Greg Benz and is something you load into photoshop which ends up being a panel readily accessible in your workspace.  This is a purchased product, but I can already tell it will be a staple for my processing.  Greg’s tutorials are very clear too and there’s a help button in the panel to access anything you want to know.  Very convenient!  I don’t have to go wading through my browser bookmarks to find tutorials.  Yay!

As an example, you can see in the screenshot of my Photoshop workspace a layer mask called L2 Solid color.  I wanted to apply a color filter to everything BUT the bridge and the land because I wanted to add an orangey hue, so rather than trying to manually select the bridge and land so I could hide them with a mask and apply a color filter to everything else, I clicked on different buttons in the panel which temporarily brought up different masks based on luminosity.  I kept clicking until I found one that most closely applied black to the bridge and land and white to everything else, which in this case was the L2 button.  I then clicked the button called “Solid” to automatically bring up a color filter where I then selected the color.  Voila!  Selection made, color filter applied!  How convenient is that!?  Of course this is a very simple example but you can see the potential here.  You can adjust the mask of course by brushing on it with various opacities of a brush if you wanted to refine the selection even more.

Needless to say I love new things that make my life simpler and my work better.

The Western Front - Golden Gate Bridge

The Western Front – Golden Gate Bridge

Lumenzia Panel

Lumenzia Panel





Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

60 thoughts on “Expanding Horizons – Luminosity Masks

  1. Informative post and beautiful photo.

  2. That is do beautiful. I have been near there, but not on such a gorgeous night.

  3. Very informative post. I will look into this. Great photograph.

  4. That came out great – lovely color!

  5. This is a gorgeous image Laura- the colors are rich and the light amazing! Beautifully done! And thank you for the info-

  6. I know exactly where you are in this shot…beautiful image

  7. Nice..

    I do 90% of my colour correction inRAW

  8. Thanks for sharing Laura. I use layer masks all the time but I’ve been wanting to use luminosity masks. Photo looks great!@

    • Thank you Michael. I had tried some other luminosity masks that required loading a bunch of actions. They were ok but this is infinitely more streamlined. Have fun!

  9. The subject, the angle, the contrasts, the sky, and more …. simply many good things to like about this photo

  10. Wow Laura, I love the result 😀

  11. Great post and gorgeous image, Laura.

  12. Wonderful, Laura. Geez I’d love to snap that bridge.

  13. Cannot wait to see this bridge someday. Until then, I’ll just enjoy your image!

  14. Excellent Laura, and very interesting to boot – I am still a bit of a newbie on photoshop, but am an avid Lightroom man….Plenty to learn….MM🍀

    • Hiya MM! Thanks bunches. I love LR too. I always use that for importing, file management and basic adjustments before exporting into PS. Although some images don’t to to PS. It’s all fun isn’t it. 🙂

  15. How stunning, Laura! That is a magic process through PS. I hope I’ll get over with the fear of PS someday. 🙂

  16. Such a great shot Laura 🙂

  17. Very useful. Rather than buy the add-on which I can’t afford I went and studied luminosity masks. I have a membership at Kelby

    • I’m glad you like them as well. I’ve read so much about them from a host of different people. There were some free actions I downloaded once and they worked fine too. Thanks for showing me what you used.

  18. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful light

  19. Hey, Laura: Great shot! Thanks also for the info on Lumenzia. I was not familiar with it but I’ll be checking it out now.

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