Range Masks in Lightroom

Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
1,069
Location
St. Charles, IL
Real Name
Andy
At another Cafe member's request, I put together two examples of using range masks. They can be a real time saver, so here's a longish post describing how to use them in case others are not familiar.

Example 1: Darkening the sky with a Color Range Mask

Original image:
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.27.17 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Grad filter with -1 stop of exposure recovers the overexposed sky but darkens the subject too much
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.27.55 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


First method (the hard way!)
Converted to B&W and checked "show selected mask overlay" in preparation to erase the unnecessary portions of the grad filter
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.28.24 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Spent about 90 seconds with the erase brush, a very tedious task
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.31.56 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Resulting image leaves the runner exposed correctly, but note the artifacts where the line between the treetops and sky are imperfect. This could be fixed with more time spent refining the mask with a smaller brush, but that would take a great deal of time.
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.32.34 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Second method (using a Color Range Mask - much easier!)
Start again with the same grad filter
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.35.39 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This time, instead of using a brush to erase, select Range Mask->Color
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.35.55 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Use the eyedropper to sample the sky color
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.36.05 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


As soon as you click on the blue, the mask is applied only to that color, without artifacts along the treetops.
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 9.55.01 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Example 2: Darkening the water

Original Image:
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 10.02.01 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Apply a grad filter to the entire frame and select Range Mask->Luminance
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 10.03.27 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Use the eyedropper to sample a medium tone area of the water, which prevents the swan and the highlights in the water from being affected. In this case, an exposure adjustment of -2.3 stops
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 10.04.12 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Result:
Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 10.04.43 AM.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Color and Luminance range masks can be used to limit the area affected by any local adjustment tool (grad, radial, brush) and although these examples only modified the exposure slider, the other effects offered with the adjustment tool are fair game.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
10,401
Location
NH, USA
Very cool! Thanks! I've played a bit with gradient filter, but not with any masking. Great to learn a new technique!
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom