Being able to tweak specific areas of a photo without affecting the rest of the image is the key to a successful edit. For instance, if you want to darken a bright sky in a landscape photo, you don’t really want to darken the trees below it. The result would be a photo that’s too dim overall.
Many photographers who are just getting their feet wet with Lightroom, however, don’t realize there’s a great way to do targeted edits in your photo rather than “global” edits of the entire image. In the below tutorial, software guru Serge Ramelli explains how by using the Range Masks feature and, specifically, the Luminance (aka Luminosity) and Color Mask tools.
“It’s a really cool feature,” Ramelli says. “It can change your photography because you can just make the sky darker without affecting the rest of the elements of the photo. Or you can change the color of an object. It’s something you must absolutely know.”
Range Masks have been available in Lightroom for a few years now, but many photographers are unfamiliar with the tool because it really needs to be both shown and explained. Ramelli does a good job of both while demonstrating the targeted masking technique on his color and black-and-white images.
He begins with a discussion of Gradient Masking in Lightroom, then shows you how the Luminosity Mask works. He wraps up the video with an explanation of the Radial Filter and then shows you how to change the color of an object.
It’s a jam-packed, 7-minute clip and if you feel you need a bit more explanation on the power of Range Masks, check out this 19-minute video on our sister site, Digital Photo Pro, from photographer Alex Armitage with more details about the feature.