David Johnston

Range Masking in Lightroom

David Johnston
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Duration:   1 mins

There are times when you’ve captured a beautiful landscape image, but the sky is overexposed. In this premium video, Range Masking in Lightroom, nature photographer David Johnston edits his image from Outdoor Photography Guide’s African safari to show you how Lightroom masking can solve the problem of high dynamic range lighting in photographs.

David works on his dramatic image of grazing elephants, but the sky is an issue. It’s too bright. Your own tendency might be to delete this image, but that isn’t necessary. Masking can come to the rescue. You will learn to use the masking graduated filter and its broad range of sliders. After David makes some overall exposure changes, he uses the graduated filter to isolate the sky from the land. His goal is to match the foreground light with the background light—in other words, land and sky. Through masking, he adjusts luminance in order to blend or eliminate the shadows. The histogram helps him to determine the proper balance. Working on the sky portion, he makes changes in saturation, clarity, highlights, and shadows.

Instead of having to work with the complex software programs such as Photoshop, you will find that masking serves as a simpler solution. This powerful software program is really just the photographer instructing Lightroom masking to eliminate highlights and shadows in overexposed photographs. It is not difficult to learn. You can also use Lightroom masking to affect your colors. The color selector’s eyedropper tool lets you isolate areas of the photos, then mask and blend. This is an ideal way to create dynamic luminance in sunrises or sunsets.

Take an African safari with Outdoor Photography Guide’s professional photographer David Johnston for valuable tips on how to use Lightroom masking to solve the contrast problem in photographs with high dynamic range lighting. Your photographs will thank you.

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