Photoshop Friday: Adding Contrast using Luminosity Masks (#photoshopfriday)

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 9, 2010

Category: General

This week I want to go through a technique that I was shown by Photographer Tim Wallace for adding contrast to your images. Now I’ll admit, this is a technique I was aware of but had never used but when Tim told me he used it, well…you’ve seen his work right? Need I say more 🙂

This technique makes use of the Luminosity of an image and it’s there that the contrast is added by creating a Luminosity Mask. The result of this is that contrast is added to the image but the colours remain intact and don’t become overly saturated as can normally happen.

Anyway I’ll leave you to click Play where all will be revealed,
Enjoy 🙂

Photoshop being Photoshop there are limitless ways to do the same thing and there’s really no ‘wrong’ way, it’s just what you prefer and what fits best into your workflow; if anything this is another tool to be put into your ‘Photoshop Tool Bag‘.

If you have any questions or comments then as always please feel free to make use of the comments section below, but in the mean time have a great weekend!

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  1. Richard Hales

    Really interesting stuff Glyn. David Nightingale has some in-depth stuff on this on his Chromasia site (membership fee needed but worth it just for his tutorials on this) and Tony Kuyper, who co-wrote the tutorials, produces a set of actions to create a variety of luminosity masks based on lights, darks etc. and combinations of them.

    • Glyn

      @Richard…Cheers for the comment Richard. Yeah I’ve checked out the tutorials on Chromasia a few times; really good stuff. Just wish there were more hours in the day for all the resources out there 🙂

  2. neil Holmes

    Hi Glyn, interesting stuff, as Richard writes above I’ve been using the Tony Kuyper actions for about a year, I like your technique for its simplicity.

    Thanks for the tutorial

    • Glyn

      @Neil…Thanks for dropping by Neil. To be honest I’ve never heard of Tony Kuyper’s Actions so I’ll head off now and pay Google a visit to find out more.

      Glyn 🙂

  3. John Shim

    Great tutorial. I always learn from these Friday tips. Hope you’re well! Cheers! 😉

    • Glyn

      @John…Hey John, great to hear from you mate and that the tutorials come in handy.

      All is well here thanks mate 🙂

  4. Tim Wallace

    Thats the one matey, explained a lot better than I could…lol

    • Glyn

      @Tim…Great stuff; glad I got it right mate 🙂

  5. Lauren Melling

    I work tirelessly and always seek to improve my photography so this weeks study period involved luminosity masks boosting mid tone contrast in lab mode, boosting local contrast using luminosity masks and using them for surface and edge masks. My question probably seems simple to the more advanced amongst you but its one I cannot find an answer to. It is with regards to my workflow. Now that I have the luminosity mask tool at my disposal and understand how it works what if any adjustments should I do in Adobe Camera RAW? Thats the bit thats thrown me.


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