Back in October, Adobe changed the way masking works in Lightroom and Camera RAW. I was a little irritated at first. The new interface was unfamiliar and I didn’t know how to do things I was used to doing with the old version (the radial and gradient tools). How dare they “move my cheese“?
Anyway – I’ve been using it since, have figured it out, and now like it much better than the older approach. The AI based capabilities (select sky and subject) are awesome and work pretty well. And the re-organized interface combines all of the masking capability into one place with very helpful ways to combine selections.
I won’t try to explain how to use the new tools. There’s a lot of info on the web about it. Here’s one tutorial that’ll get you started: https://digital-photography-school.com/lightroom-masking-tool/.
Instead, I’ll show you an example of how I processed an image using the tools. This one is from Merritt Island and it’s been sitting un-processed in my archives since 2016. Once I started working on it, I wondered why I’d left it sitting there for so long! This is the finished version:
And now, here are the four different masks I used in the final stage of processing:
Here’s a before / after slider that shows the effects of the mask adjustments.
So that’s my example. If (like me) you were a little put off by these changes, I’d encourage you to have another look. It’s worth the effort to master them. The control we have with digital capture and processing is just amazing when you think about how hard this would be to dodge and burn using film in an actual darkroom.
You can see a higher resolution version of this photo on Flickr at this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/51720541937/in/dateposted-public/lightbox/
And you can see many more of my black and white photos in this album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/albums/72157625316775091
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Please be kind, take care of yourselves and each other – and if you can, get out and make (and mask) some photos!
©2021, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved