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Contrast Masking

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Old 04-22-2002, 08:22 AM
DJ Dubovsky's Avatar
DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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Location: Upper Penninsula of Michigan
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Oh that is so funny. Call it something else and it looks and works differently. What's that saying? "A Rose by any other name some other flower" I knew I liked that technique I just never seem to recoqnize it when I see it.
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Old 04-22-2002, 09:16 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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I am an active member of this Photoshop email/web list:

Over a year ago a similar thread was taken to extremes, it ran with the title 'coming out of the shadows' or something...

You too can have the power of masks, blend modes and curves in one edit!

Make your density mask how you like, either by looking for the best of 10 channels or just copy the colour file and paste it into a new alpha channel. Enhance the contrast, perhaps paint out uneeded detail in the mask and give it a bit of a small blur to soften the transitions.

Load a selection off this alpha channel contrast/density mask.

Make a new curves adjustment layer, hold down opt/alt when you click the shortcut icon on the layers palette to get the options up before you create the adjustment layer. Now you can add screen as the blend mode to lighten the shadows in the image - and the curves give more control added to the mask/blend. If the highlights are being lightened, then invert the adjustment layer mask so that it only affects the shadows.

Taken to the next step, you add a third layer...

As things stand there is the original background layer and the adjustment layer/mask/blend doing it's magic - you can then dupe the original background layer again and turn off the view icon for the true flat background layer...then merge visible so that the correction is applied to a dupe layer (now there are only two layers, both in normal mode with the upper layer being lightened in the shadows). Or layer sets could be used with no merge...Now you can change the upper layer/set from normal to luminosity blend mode.

As the screen blend and curves moves will affect colour and tone, when you may only want the brightness changed and not the hue/saturation.

Of course, this is all done after you have set endpoints and performed global corrections - as these are selective edits which may not be needed or may not be as strong when gloabal edits are first applied.


Stephen Marsh.
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Old 04-22-2002, 09:25 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Oops, I forgot these links in my post (free rego required to view) - they are related to this thread and well worth the read, also go to the advanced search and select the Make Ready articles with Dan Margulis as the keyword for the search - there are many old and current articles to be found here, which are not listed at Dan's main site:

More links such as this can be found at my sites links page, listed below.

Have fun.

Stephen Marsh.
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Old 04-22-2002, 09:42 AM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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BigAl - What's so interesting to me is that your post came in the middle of a "making shadows lighter" thread, which was something I was familiar with, so it didn't have as big an impact. BUT, when I saw Danny's post - and then DJ's comparisons - in terms of "balancing contrast" rather than lightening shadows (which I realize is the same thing), it just hit me differently and gave me some ideas for photos that I'm dealing with right now. So, I guess that goes to show you that repeating info every so often isn't necessarily a bad thing (esp. with the way my brain works!)

Stephen - Thanks for those links. I don't have time to really look at them right now, but I've got your post and those links bookmarked to come back to later today!

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Old 05-08-2003, 12:51 AM
sdubose99 sdubose99 is offline
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This is a super thread, thanks to everyone. I used this to pull detail from the shadows and improve the sky in the pic attached here...

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Last edited by sdubose99; 05-08-2003 at 01:00 AM.
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