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Masking Landscapes

Lesson 18 from: Lightroom Desktop for the Photo Enthusiast

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

18. Masking Landscapes

Learn how to make complex masks for adjusting specific areas in your photographs quickly. After watching this lesson, you will know how to create amazing effects in your photos that most people can’t even to in Photoshop.
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Lesson Info

Masking Landscapes

let's go into light room and find another photo to work on. But this time we're gonna work on a landscape and we're gonna start with a landscape. That's a this is a pretty easy landscape to work on. The first thing I notice is I've got some spots in the sky so I'm gonna go back to the healing brush really quickly and just get rid of those spots in the sky. But I don't wanna have to zoom around and look. So I'm going to turn on the visualized spots option And I can see wherever these little donuts exist. I'm going to have to get rid of those so I'm just getting rid of donuts, turn the opacity up to 100%. Get rid of those donuts real quick. There's another one right up there and I think there's probably one right there. It's very easy to see the donuts by turning on that visualized spots. I would hate to have to try and find these spots by zooming around looking for them so much easier just to go in and look for those spots by visualizing them. And by the way, you can change this thresho...

ld so that you can see them a little bit better, see that. So now I can actually see him even better. So I'm gonna get rid of these spots and you would some of these, you would never see without this visualized spots tool options. So the visualized spots is so helpful. Okay, one more right there. So I'm really looking for donuts and pretty heavy spots. So now I'm going to turn off visualize spots. See you would have never seen all of those, All we saw was too so we knew they existed but we just didn't know where. So then the next thing we're gonna do is come in here and start working and we've already done the auto before when we were working on the HDR, I'm gonna bring the exposure down quite a bit. So and and really whenever I'm working on a photo, I work on the The larger portion of the photo 1st. So I'm working on the sky, I'm working on the the grass. So that's what I'm working on first. So I don't want to work on, I don't want to even think about the barn because that's not the majority of the photo. So I'm just kind of playing around and trying to get the best possible look and keep in mind that I am working on an HDR version of this photo. So I have a lot more latitude that I can play with. I can bring the the shadow up a lot more than I would on a normal photograph because I've got the detail and the data in it. So when I zoom in see how there's no noise issues in that barn, even when I'm bringing it the shadow way up normally you would see a lot of noise in there. But because we have all of that data from the HDR, we're good. Okay, so then I'm going to go down to my effects panel and I'm gonna add I'm gonna zoom in at 100% and I'm going to add some texture so I can really see the texture in the barn. And I'm also going to go down to the detail area. It's at 25% or 25, which is fine. But remember when we're working on skin we wanted at 25 when working on landscapes, then somewhere closer to 40 is even better. So that gives us a lot of good texture. We've got texture in the grass. Okay, so I've got a basic exposure. I've got a basic understanding of what this thing should look like. I'm gonna play around with the temperature just a little bit. I want the sky to be just a little bluer. That's good. And now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go into my masking and in the masking I'm going to select the sky. So just click on sky, it's selecting the sky and there it is. So now it's selected the sky and I can then invert it so it selected the sky. But I want to select the opposite of the sky. So now all I need to do is go to the sky, select and invert and now it's selected everything else. However, I don't want to be working on the barn at the same time. I work on all this grass. So now this is where I come into the mask itself and open it up and I'm going to subtract and I want to subtract the subject. So what is the subject? It's probably the barn. So we're gonna let it try and select the subject. Boom. See that it just removed. So amazing, it just removed the subject. And so now I have just the grass to work with and so now I can come in and go and brighten up the grass just a little bit. I can add a little bit of darkness to the shadow. I can bring up the white, see how I'm kind of getting the tips of the grass to brighten up a little bit. I'm gonna take the black area down a little bit. So I get richness in the darkness of the grass, but the tips of it's gonna be kind of highlighted. So I'm loving what we're getting here. I'm going to add a little saturation to it so that we have a little bit more green in the grass itself. I can even go in with the temperature and just warm it up a little bit because it was getting a little too blue. So let me just grab that temperature. There we go there. So now everything is controllable here. So let's turn it off and on on, I like that. So now we're going to create another mask this time, we're going to just select the subject alone there. We just selected the subject. But I also need to go in. You see that there's sky there. So let's see if we can take that subject mask which is here. And let's see if we can subtract the sky. No, it didn't. I was hoping that it would subtract from there but it didn't do it. So now what we're gonna do is we're just going to undo that. And now we're going to subtract instead of trying to subtract the sky, we're actually going to go in and subtract a luminous range and we're just going to go in here and subtract this luminous range right here there. Did it see how I subtracted that. And then I can also expand that luminous range. So I am going to expand it out. So this is going to oh that's as bright as it can go. So this is where we're changing it. This is pure black, This is pure white and then I can take this and bring it down or up to see. And if I want to see what I'm selecting, I just click on show luminosity masks and then it shows me what I'm selecting, see that. So I'm trying to select out all of the white areas in that mask there. So I've I've tried to select out all the white areas in the mask and I don't want it to bleed into the barn itself. So I'm just kind of watching until it disappears from the barn. That's pretty good mask Now keep in mind that it doesn't matter what's happening outside of these cracks because we've selected the barn and then we're subtracting the red stuff here from the barn. So now when I I I finished with that, so now when I select here, you can see that the barn is selected, there's there's the barn, it was selected and then we subtracted the sky through a luminous range and that's what it looks like. Which means now that I can go in and do whatever I want to that barn. So now I'm gonna brightened the exposure up just a little bit. I'm going to take the black down just a little bit. I'm gonna take the shadows up. Just a little bit warm it up just a little bit, add a little bit extra texture, a little bit more clarity. Um I think I can probably bring the black down some more, not too much and let's just zoom out and look at that. See how much information I have in that barn now and I have completely independent so I can do whatever I want with the barn. I can do whatever I want with the grass and then, should I require it, I could also go in and do whatever I want with the sky by simply selecting the sky. It chose the sky and then I can just simply come in and say I want the sky to be just a little bit darker and I want the sky just to be a little bit bluer and I want the shadows in the sky to be a little darker than that. So now you can see how editing those masks can really make a very huge difference on what you're able to do with individual items in a photograph. Now let's look at one more image so you can see the full possibilities of masking. So in this image we're going to go again to the masking tool and this time we're going to use a linear gradient. And what we want to do is we want to actually create a gradient right down here at the very bottom, right down here at the very bottom of the scene and we're making it really quite small, so it transitions really quickly and we just want to deal with all of the grass below us here. So I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna brighten up the grass just a little bit, I'm gonna warm up the grass there we go. So it looks like the sun is warming it up. But keep in mind that there are certain areas of shadow out there too, so we're gonna let the sun be a shadow or let the mountains be in shadow and let the grass be in sun. So that's that's what I'm trying to accomplish here. So that's the first goal is to get some some nice glowy nous to all of this and then what I'm going to do and that that one requires almost no effort. It's just just get that brightened up. Then I'm going to create another linear gradient and I just want the front of this right there. I just don't want to call too much attention to it. So now I'm gonna take that back down. We're just gonna darken it down just a little bit. There we go so that it doesn't call attention to itself. That's all we're doing is just darkening it down so that we have some kind of like a nice golden field out here. I want the, the, I want the mountains to stay nice and blue, but I need there to be some sun and some warmth from the sun coming down on this foreground. So I'm going to click on select subject. I'm hoping that it sees those two houses. Well it sees the mountain and it sees the houses and so maybe that's useful. So I'm going to keep that mask. I'm going to go in just really quickly and I'm going to subtract from that mask using a brush and I'm just going to zoom in here and I just want to remove with the brush and the auto mask feature. I want to remove this barn, I'm going to remove this barn with the auto mask feature on, on my brush and then also I'm going to remove this um house and it's just finding those edges. So it's quite easy to do this. It's not hard. So when you choose a mask feature, like I just did where I chose find the subject and it chose the mountains of the subject. That's fine because you could still use that and I'm just going to click on this and I'm going to rename it and we're gonna name this thing and TN so that's the mountains. So when I want to I'll use that. So now I want to do something to just these. So I'm going to go to this mountain. Remember I just, I just realized that this could be useful to us but I didn't know how, but now I understand exactly how I can use this. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go to the mountains and I'm going to duplicate the mountain mask. So this mountain copy here has this brush in it that allows me to select just all I did is select those buildings. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to take those buildings and I'm going to remove the subject. So I'm just going to click on here and I'm going to delete this subject line. So now all I have is a brushed selection of those houses. So now what I can do is I can use that brush selection of those houses and I can come in here on this particular mountain copy which we should rename and call it houses. So this is minus. So what we want to do is click on here and convert it to add. So now see how they're now a positive selection. So now I can come in and do this and I can increase or decrease. Now obviously we don't want to do that because that's really weird but I can brighten it up just a little bit. I can take the whites and brighten them up a little bit and then I can take the temperature and start to warm them up just a little bit. So all I want to do is show that there is some light hitting them. I don't want them to be overly white. I just want it to look like hey there is a little bit of warmth hitting those um hitting that barn. But the thing that's different is that I would subtract and I'm going to subtract with the brush and I can go into those houses. And by subtracting with the brush I can come in and say you know what the shadow side would still be fairly dark although that's way too dark. So I would need to come in here with the houses, hit subtract, go to brush and then I would take the the feather way down and I would just kind of let that be a little bit blue shadows. Say we would have, we would have blue shadows and then we would have warmer highlights here. So we're just trying to make it look natural there. So now the whatever we do is going to be hitting that, see that face is getting the warmth. So we're just gonna warm it up just a little bit and we're going to brighten it up just a little bit and then what we're gonna do is we're going to zoom back out there were starting to get some warmth on those buildings, so now we're going to come in here and create a new mask with a radial gradient and I'm just going to drag over the top of those and you can see that I've got the main area is hitting those and see how I put the main area over the top of that. Um first house so that it spills over and barely gets the second and then I'm gonna take this and really lengthen it out quite a bit so that we're hitting like this, there's a spotlight hitting this area, I can invert this radial gradient, so it would be everything but the houses or I can just do what's inside the circle and so now I'm just gonna brighten this up just a little bit, Not too much and I'm gonna take the highlights up quite a bit and then I'm going to take the temperature up so the sun is hitting that area of the grounds and I can move it around until it looks about right there you go. And the beauty of this is that I can always come in and subtract out a color range and then I just simply go, ok, this color range right here needs to be subtracted out of that selection and boom, see how now it only affects. So here's the radial gradient, that's what we selected with that, but here's the color range, the blues, so it removes itself from there. So now that's the resultant is right there. So now as we warm things up and as we brighten things up, see how it doesn't spill over into the background and then we can warm it up there. So that's really quite nice. And then what we're going to do is we're going to come in and create another gradient and this time we're going to use another radio radio gradient. And I'm just going to say I want like, this area needs to have light coming down from it. So I'm just going to create a gradient and I'm going to spin it. So use the edge of it and I'm gonna spin that gradient this way and I'm going to point it like this so that because we want the wide area of it to hit the grass and then the skinny area the gradient starts wherever the sun is, which is here and it's coming from behind those clouds. So now we want that light to hit this area. And so we're going to do see how it, so when you look at the mask it's like a little ray of light. So now we're gonna widen it out just a little bit and we're going to change the feathering quite a bit well maybe not that much there. And then I'm going to just warm it up there, see that? So it's coming out and hitting that whole area. But now what we want to do is we only want that son to be in the areas we want it to be in. So now I'm going to again subtract and we're going to subtract from a color range and we're still going to subtract that blue color range that we originally there see. So now because we subtracted the blue color range, the mask is actually see how it's just up in the sky, it's still coming through the mountains and hitting these mountains, but it's skipping this mountain because this mountain is that it's in its own shadow. And so now we have a really that's a great selection right there. And so then we just got to do the same thing to this area here. So we're gonna do one more of these uh radial gradients and we're going to start here and go like this and I'm gonna anytime you want to work on a gradient that's bigger than the actual photo just zoom down. So take your photo and zoom way down so you can see the gradient and work on it. So now I'm gonna take it and I'm gonna tilt this gradient again and I'm going to move it like this so we want the tip of that gradient to be right there. And I got to tip it so that it's angled correctly there so that's the right angle and I'm just going to extend this out like that, extend it out like that. There we go. And I'm gonna get the right feather and then once we've got that then I just need to do the same thing. Subtract and we're going to subtract a color range. And the first color range that I want to get rid of is the shadowed blue like that that tends to work. So I've got a color gradient there and I can refine that color gradient so I can spill more or less. So I wanted to be a little bit more specific. And then I can again I can further subtract from that and we'll subtract another color gradient and this time I'm going to subtract this color gradient here there that's too much but I can I can spill this way, see that. So I can it started to select too much. So that's pretty good right there. So now what we're gonna do is we're gonna see what our gradient is doing. So we're going to just warm things up so let's zoom in there and maybe we went too far with this gradient so I can delete that gradient and maybe that's the right amount right there. So now let's see what that would look like without and with see how there's just a little bit of warmth on those clouds there, there's a little bit of warmth down here, there's a little warmth there and then there's warmth coming in from here, but all of the mountains are still blue here. And so we've done a great job at just getting some beautiful uh rays of light and sun and and warmth from the sun. And we've done all of it with just gradients and radial gradients and paint brushes and things like that. So we've painted this scene and we've painted the drama to the scene because originally this photograph looked like this and it's kind of bland, but now it looks like that. And so that's a pretty impressive bit of work that doesn't take very long, especially if you're not talking about it. Um It's just a matter of discovering and playing around with your photograph and thinking how would the light actually react. Because I have the ability to mask in and out almost anything in this photograph. And so masking is an incredible tool for portraits and for landscapes and for anything else you happen to be doing. And remember you have the ability to mask a lot of different things. So you can mask the subject, you can mask the sky and you can invert either of those, you can mask a brush, you can mask a gradient or a radial gradient. You can select based on color or de select based on color. You can select or deselect based on luminescence and then of course based on depth mask, if you happen to have a camera that has two lenses so you have a lot of options and if you will utilize all those options and actually use them together in one mask, you'll be able to get to the point where you have a very complicated mask that only took you a few seconds to make. This is a very powerful tool and it is at your fingertips now on your desktop and on light. Re mobile ready for you to use. So get in there and play with it and remember it's all raw and you can just delete the the masks if you don't like them and so there's no reason not to play

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Jean McMillan

Thoroughly enjoyed your class, have learned so much about how take my Ipad to another level, now can't wait to put it all into practise!

Red Tulip

Sometimes it's hard to know what the instructor is pointing to so it's easy to get confused. Better job is needed in explaining what you are pointing to.

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