Dodging and burning with luminosity masks is an easy and artistic way to enhance local contrast subtly to make an image pop.
Before dodging and burning to the camel’s face To dodge and burn, you will first need to create two new layers, renamed “dodge” for one and “burn” for the other. Fill both layers with 50% gray, change the blend mode for “dodge” to overlay and “burn” to soft light. Now, there is no magic formula to dodging and burning an image. You need to focus on one small part at a time. Decide a part you want to dodge or burn and ignore the rest. Next, find a luminosity mask that targets that specific area you have chosen.
Select and load it onto the dodge or burn layer and apply adjustment on the part you want only. I start my brush between 25-50% opacity depending on the image. Move on to other parts once you are happy. You can always come back to the same part to apply more adjustments
this example, I use dodge and burn to lighten the shadows a little on the right-hand side of the image while maintaining the contrast and the details of the camel's eye. I have also darkened the shadows and lightened the highlights on the front to emphasise the 3 dimensional feel of the image. After dodging and burning to the camel’s face Sharpening Everyone has their own way of sharpening, be it unsharp mask or a high pass filter. But what many of us often do is to apply a global sharpening adjustment to our image.
You can mask out parts you don’t want to sharpen with a layer mask but the parts that are unmasked still receive 100% sharpening.
This often causes the image to look unnatural. 100% sharpening with a high pass filter This problem can easily be solved by applying a luminosity mask to the sharpening adjustment layer. You can use the painting a mask technique for this. High pass filter with brights 2 luminosity mask Apply a sharpening adjustment layer, add a layer mask and fill it with black. Choose a luminosity mask that selects the area you want to sharpen and load it onto the layer mask. Paint the layer mask with a white brush only on the parts you want to sharpen. In this example, I only want to sharpen the surface of the rocks but not the gutter in between. A brights 2 mask makes just the perfect selection for this task. Brights 2 luminosity mask Conclusion Luminosity masks is a great way to transform your photo yet maintaining its natural look. You can apply these techniques in any types of photographs, The possibility of luminosity masks is only limited by your imagination! Note: While this tutorial will give you what you need to get started with creating powerful imagery with Luminosity masks, you might want to take it to the next level with Jimmy McIntyre's full course on the topic where he goes into depth on the elements of creating powerful imagery with luminosity masks. Check it out here. Further Resources