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Contrast Masking

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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.


  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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:

      The Plugin Site - Photoshop plugins, Photoshop Elements plugins, Lightroom plugins, free plugins


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