Masking question

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Masking question

Postby NNN635125270849823602 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:33 pm

I primarily do landscape and travel photography. I rarely use photoshop as I like to do as much as possible with a program like Capture One (I know it is a raw converter program but to me it does a lot more). ACR has an adjustment brush which for me is great for dodging and burning type work. My problem is in situations where the sky meets trees and I want to darken the sky, for example, I have a hard time being real precise with the brush so I end up darkening some tree tops.

Is the only way I can make masking selections is with a brush?
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Re: Masking question

Postby SFA » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:56 pm

No, you can also use colour selection via the Advanced colour editor. There is an option to create a mask from the colour range(s) selected. Potentially that can work very well with sky.

Of course that assumes that you have some colour content in the area you wish to dodge or burn - ie something you can select. If it is burned out or heading that way there will likely be very little colour data to work with and so not much opportunity of changing anything without actually adding some colour content.

You may be better off not trying to be precise on adjustments on tree/sky lines and anything similar - many images can work just as well with a feather effect that compromises on the outright adjustment of both trees and sky (taking your example) but nevertheless produces a result more pleasing to the eye (for a particular image) than a sharp definition.

However some may not work well that way and could challenge your desire for your preferred look.

There are probably quite a lot of things you could try and of course you can save what works for you as presets and styles but there may be times when you have few options other then heading for a pixel editor application that, in effect, allows you to "paint" in how you want things to look.


HTH.


Grant
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Re: Masking question

Postby cdc » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:34 am

In addition to Grants suggestion of using the color editor to give some level of automation to creating masks, you can also try the Refine Mask tool tool on a mask you have already created, or use the auto mask feature when creating a mask with a brush, which sometimes works well and other times does not.
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Re: Masking question

Postby SFA » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:03 pm

Good suggestion cdc.

Also the Feather option can be useful to reduce edges that become excessively obvious - which can happen when unbalancing an exposure in the course of some fairly extreme colour recovery activity.

One point to make is that colour masks, especially in very pale areas, can be almost imperceptible even at 100% opacity because what colour there is is so thinly spread and typical selection will only be working with part of the colour range anyway.

Also, especially in the case of blue and selection from sky colours, much of a landscape image will have that colour present and the mask may appear in many unexpected places. Sometimes, for balance in the image (a pond or lake reflecting the sky for example) you may want to allow the changes there as well. Other times you may wish to eliminate the changes and then there will be times when it really doesn't matter either way.

So you can modify the colour selected mask just like any other mask and erase it or reduce the opacity where not required. However, as far as I know, there is no way to adjust the colour range selection once the mask has been created. I would love to be shown to be wrong about that although its probably not a big thing for practical use.


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Re: Masking question

Postby IanL » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:29 pm

Grant suggested creating a mask using the colour selection from the Advanced Colour tool. In the most recent webinar the demonstrated that. It was on a model's jacket but same technique for your application. Check out the video at the 14:57 mark:

https://youtu.be/wt4_twpAPQI?t=14m57s
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Re: Masking question

Postby NNN635125270849823602 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Just saw the tutorial on masking, extremely helpful and making me appreciate how powerful this program is. Thank you for all the responses. How long do the tutorials stay on the Phase One site? Since they are also on YouTube there is a way to save them (it does appear I can create a YouTube playlist).
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Re: Masking question

Postby IanL » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:43 pm

NNN635125270849823602 wrote:Just saw the tutorial on masking, extremely helpful and making me appreciate how powerful this program is. Thank you for all the responses. How long do the tutorials stay on the Phase One site? Since they are also on YouTube there is a way to save them (it does appear I can create a YouTube playlist).


I don't know about how long they stay available on PhaseOne or on YouTube but I have watched some fairly old ones. I suppose if there was one you really wanted to keep you could get one of those browser extensions that downloads streaming videos and keep a copy for yourself.
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