Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | August 23, 2010

Tony Kuyper’s luminosity masks

I am sure that most of us who post-process images in Photoshop are familiar with masks. Masks are a great way to isolate changes you perform inside your photo editing tool without affecting other parts of the image.
Although masks are a vital tool they are also a bugger to use correctly most of the time, especially in situations where you need to apply adjustments in a very delicate or “feathered” way.
There are a lot of times that you need to adjust a bit the contrast of the sky, only to find out that your hourly quest with masks does not provide the best solution. The feathered mask is not that good or the adjustment and its mask don’t make the processing look natural.
Tony Kuyper is a talented photographer located in Arizona/USA. His captures are truly wonderful and always exhibit the finest in terms of capture, light and post-processing. His post-processing skills always amazed me and the fact that he shares them with the rest of the community made him an even more respectful photographer to my eyes! It’s rare to see photographers of the Tony’s level share their little secrets with other photographers.
One of the most powerful techniques and post-processing procedures Tony has shared with the community is luminosity masks. These masks give you the power to apply an adjustment so selectively and naturally that you will never look back again.
Tony provides a wealth of information at his site, where you can freely read about the masks and how they are produced and used, or you can donate a small amount of money (well deserved in my humble opinion) and acquire the PDF’s (sort of a manual), the actions (that you can load inside Photoshop) and examples of the masks and his post-processing workflow. The last (examples) is a much welcomed addition, since you can fully understand how the masks are applied and how professionals deal with post-processing.
The PDF’s are quality-written and contain much information and examples of the techniques in discussion. You also get to know and learn how you can use the luminosity masks with other kinds of processing techniques such as saturation, dodging and burning and even HDR creation through manual blending. It’s well written and contains lots of quality pictures and explanations. If you are not familiar with masks at all I would suggest you start first by understanding how they work inside your photo editor and then move on to studying Tony Kuyper’s techniques.
If you are familiar with masks but have not heard of Tony Kuyper’s masks then I definitely recommend you visit his site and check them out.

You can visit his site at the following address:

http://www.goodlight.us/

And you can find the tutorials under the following address:

http://www.goodlight.us/writing/tutorials.html


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