Advanced Masking in Exposure X5.Advanced Masking in RAW Editors

Advanced Masking in Exposure X5.Advanced Masking in RAW Editors

As being a travel and landscape photographer, we oftentimes capture photographs with a protracted range that is dynamic. The use of advanced masking is essential when editing landscape photos and I use it extensively in different applications from my perspective.

Disclaimer: this short article happens to be sponsored by visibility computer computer Software, makers of Exposure X5, non-destructive RAW picture editor and organizer. We wish to thank them really for his or her help.

My knowledge about advanced level masking predates my photography times. Before switching to photography, we invested years as a designer that is graphic mostly on broadcast tasks. A large section of my task would be to create complex transparency masks in Photoshop (we called them alpha masks) making sure that animated backgrounds might be overlaid with semi-transparent images.

Whenever I switched to photography, my very first Canon DSLR had a terrible range that is dynamic. To recapture the complete selection of light of landscape scenes, I experienced to bracket every thing and make use of the HDR process to merge multiple brackets together. This might be when my experience and understanding with higher level masking in Photoshop arrived in handy. In place of counting on HDR programs, We blended numerous pictures transparency that is together using.

Today, it really is a lot easier to cope with advanced level masking in Photoshop, that is also called luminosity blending. There are numerous solutions available just like the Raya professional Photoshop panel, which I’ve useful for years and discover to be very effective.

The downside of Photoshop masking is the fact that you need certainly to keep the nondestructive RAW modifying workflow by rasterizing the image then handle huge PSD files.

Advanced Masking in RAW Editors

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Whenever Adobe announced their brand new number Mask device in Lightroom Vintage a couple of years ago, it would not produce excitement that is much. But I was most likely the happiest photographer that day because we waited for decades for this function.

The number Mask device lets you produce advanced masks considering Luminosity or colors and target the particular aspects of the image for accurate selective editing. But, since Lightroom doesn’t have levels, the product range Mask execution had been embarrassing. Plus, you can maybe perhaps maybe not combine colors and Luminosity for mask creation. You needed to select one or even one other.

Nonetheless, it had been a groundbreaking function for my workflow. It permitted us to prolong editing in a nondestructive natural workflow even more.

Publicity X5

Since Adobe transitioned to a registration model, typically the most popular request I’ve gotten from my web log visitors would be to assist them locate a Lightroom alternative.

Previously this present year, we downloaded 12 different RAW editors and tested them against Lightroom to find out if there was clearly a contender that is true. The largest shock in my situation ended up being visibility X4, a software I didn’t understand much about. It had been, definitely, the fastest & most responsive editor with a simplified and workflow that is logical. It really is now among the programs I oftentimes recommend.

When advanced level masking had been detailed being a feature that is new the upcoming launch of Exposure X5, I didn’t spend much attention because I didn’t expect much. But I Became incorrect.

The 3D Color masking functionality surpassed all my objectives.

The functionality gives you to generate masks according to Hue, Luminance, and Saturation. Plus, you should use them simultaneously to produce the essential masks that are sophisticated.

You might also need the Range and Feather sliders for exact mixing.

Certainly one of my personal favorite top features of the 3D Color could be the capability to detach the complete panel through the visibility X5 program and make use of it separately in a window that is separate. Once I work, i usually resize the Color Constraint panel and go it to my 2nd monitor to really make it much larger to get more accurate control.

Allow me to explain to you the way I make use of the 3D Color functionality within my typical RAW editing workflow.

My Landscape RAW Editing Workflow

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This is actually the picture I took when you look at the vicinity of Montreal during the Saint Lawrence River at sunset.

I shot with Fujifilm X-T2 and a Fujinon 10-24mm lens in RAW structure.

Its difficult to genuinely believe that today I am able to make use of a digital camera by having an APS-C sensor to shoot straight into sunlight while not having to bracket or usage HDR processing. The standard of pictures that Fujifilm creates is frightening.

Fujifilm X-T2 Shooting Technique

We utilized my standard way to get the very best possible publicity.

  • First, I pointed the digital camera in the way regarding the sunlight and squeezed AE-L to secure the visibility.
  • 2nd, we squeezed the leading button that is customizable trigger the Histogram.
  • Third, I utilized the front demand dial to improve the visibility payment so that the image had been since bright as you are able to without clipping the histogram.
  • Finally, the shutter was pressed by me.

It is usually exactly the same method for me personally as it creates dependable and predictable outcomes.

Visibility X5 Advanced Masking

This is actually the photo directly through the camera.

The answer to producing the image that is final to individually target the red and orange features within the clouds together with blue hues when you look at the other countries in the sky.

We obtained this with the aid of the 3D Color tool discovered underneath the Color Constraint panel in Exposure X5.

Step 1

To start out, we utilized the routine that is same perform on all my landscape pictures.

We started the shadows, recovered the features, and boosted the comparison, saturation, and vibrance.

Step Two

We developed a new layer of sky Highlights. To stimulate the colour Constraint panel, we selected the mask icon beside the layer thumbnail.

We detached the panel through the graphical user interface (UI), selected the color picker beside the color wheel, and clicked regarding the sky shows area for the image.

Then, I customized the Sky shows mask by adjusting the Luminance and Saturation sliders.

I needed to very first target the colors from yellowish to purple to ensure We covered the complete selection of shows.

2nd, we targeted the bright regions of the features with reduced saturation values.

Here you will find the settings we utilized for the Sky Highlights mask:

Then I utilized along with Filter to heat the highlights and improve the saturation.

Step Three

We utilized a routine that is similar produce a Blue Sky layer to target the less saturated and brighter regions of the sky.

Once more, we began because of the color picker and selected the colour range. The Luminance was used by me and Saturation controls to a target the specified regions of the sky.

Listed here are the settings we utilized for the Blue Sky mask:

Final Step

by the end of processing, we jumped to Photoshop to completely clean the image up by detatching any interruptions in the foreground and masking the undesirable lens flare.

I additionally utilized Photoshop for higher level noise and sharpening reduction.


I must say I enjoy it whenever computer computer software designers give photographers tools that are advanced selective modifying. We possibly may maybe maybe not make use of them on a regular basis, however it is good to learn that they’re constantly available as soon as we need them.

The 3D Color masking is regarded as those higher level tools that drastically runs the choices for selective modifying in a nondestructive natural editing workflow.

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