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Contrast Masking

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Old 07-23-2003, 08:06 PM
Ken45140 Ken45140 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Loveland, OH
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Contrast Masking

While surfing around, following some links from another thread, I came upon the method of contrast masking, described at this link:

This looks to be a good technique for pulling detail out of dark/shadows of an image.

I have attempted to duplicate this technique using Hidden Tools but can not get it. I think the trick is in getting a desaturated or greyscale image in one of the layers but not in the others, but I have been unable to make it work.

Anyone care to tell me how to do it, or if it is even possible in PSE.

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Old 12-01-2003, 05:54 AM
Richard_Lynch's Avatar
Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Location: Western NY
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If the only part of this you are missing is getting a grayscale representation, all you have to do is use the Add Luminosity tool (from the book). You can also work with the free tools using highight and Shadow masks -- perhaps along with Layer masks to help blend the images. Use a Levels correction for the mask instead of curves if you go this route.

Let me know if you need more detail.
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Old 12-01-2003, 09:15 PM
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Andrew B. Andrew B. is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 432
Here is how I make a gray version in Photoshop, and I think this can be done in Elements too:

1. Copy Background to new layer
2. Add another empty layer above this
3. Fill top layer with with 50% Gray
4. Set top layer to color blending mode
5. Merge top layer down

You should now have the original Background layer and a gray version above it.

Or, you can get almost the exact same result with a free B/W plugin here:
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