How To Make Advanced Masks in Adobe Camera RAW & Lightroom

Masks in Camera Raw and Lightroom are new. Colin Smith shows you beyond the basics, how to combine masks for more complex selections, such as selecting the foreground, adding, subtracting, and intersecting masks. Learn how to use combination and complex masks.

What’s New in Lightroom Classic 11 For Photographers – Plus More On New Easy Masking Features


Adobe released the October 2021 Update to Lightroom Classic. This video will walk you through what’s new.

Plus, take a deep dive into Lightroom’s new masking features.
0:00 Intro
1:48 Don’t Freak Out
3:00 Mask Basics
4:46 Brush and Gradient Masks
6:35 Subtract with Select Sky
8:32 Brush and Gradient Presets
9:38 Using the Linear Gradient
11:41 Luminance Range Masking
14:41 Color Range Masking
16:40 Select Subject
19:12 Select Sky
20:38 Advanced Portrait Example

The New Masking Tools In Lightroom & Camera Raw



“Discover how easy it is to make local adjustments to your photographs using Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw’s new Masking panel and tools including: Select Subject, Select Sky, Radial and Linear Gradients, Brush, Color and Luminance Range Masking and more!”

View more on Julianne Kost’s blog.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

6 Ways To Get Better Shadow & Highlight Detail In Your Photographs

You want your photographs to glow - right? So what’s better than one kind of glow? How about three?

You can get there by not succumbing to the classic temptations to clip shadows and/or highlights to produce a more obviously dramatic but a less lively, nuanced, and expressive tonal scale. Instead, hold the full dynamic range with a real black and white and also create gorgeous separation in the values nearest to them.

So many times we give the lion’s share of the contrast to the midtones. Midtone contrast is really important. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the light in highlights by making them too hot to look at comfortably or in shadows making them so dark they turn to murky mud. You can hold separation in these extreme ends of the tonal scale and produce beautiful qualities of light that complement not just contrast. Here’s how.

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One Filter To Quickly Remove Most Halos In Photoshop

“Learn how to easily fix and remove halos easily and fast using a hidden Photoshop slider.”

The One Simple Trick I Use To Improve All Of My Images With Photoshop



Curves offers more precise tonal control than any other tool. So when I need precision dodging and burning (about 80% of the time) I use Curves, which means I use Photoshop (PS).

I look forward to the day we can make local adjustments with Curves in Lightroom and Camera Raw. But currently, Lightroom (LR) and Camera Raw (ACR) don’t have this feature, yet. But can’t you do something similar in Lightroom (LR) or Adobe Camera Raw’s (ACR) using the six Basics sliders (Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks), in combination with the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, or Radial Filter, even in combination with Color, Luminance, or Depth Range Masks? If close is good enough, yes. If you want to make your images really shine, no.


Is it hard to dodge and burn with Curves in Photoshop? No. It’s easy.

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The Art Of Selections & Masking

Download your free copy now!



Mastering selections and masking will help you take your images to the next level.


1. Local Adjustments In Lightroom and Camera Raw | Coming Soon

2. When To Use Lightroom’s Local Adjustment Tools | Coming Soon

3. Why Photoshop’s Local Adjustment Capabilities Are Superior To Lightroom’s | Coming Soon

4. Photoshop’s Marquee Tools 
Quick rectangular and elliptical selections.

5. Photoshop’s Lasso Selection Tools 
Go to drawing tools for irregular selections.

6. Photoshop’s Magic Wand & Quick Selection Tools 
Let Photoshop do the work for you.

7. Two Keys To Combine All Of Photoshop’s Tools 
Easily add or subtract from selections.

8. Viewing Masks 
You can see a mask in a number of ways.

9. Mask Key Commands
Key commands make masking and selections faster and easier.

10. Painting The Simplest & Most Useful Masks In Photoshop 

11. Photoshop’s Quick Mask Combines All Selection And Brush Tools

12. Eight Useful Tips For Brushing Masks In Photoshop 

13. How To Make Masking Easier With Photoshop 

14. Gradient Masks

15. Fine Tuning Gradients 
Fine tune your gradients with masking techniques.

16. Masking Hue 

17. Masking Saturation 

18. Masking Luminosity 

19. Contour Masks 

21. Edge Masks

22  Combining Masks | Coming Soon

23  Frame (11/10) | .99
Make your images stronger by locally adjusting the frame.

24  Points (11/10) | .99
Make your images stronger by locally adjusting points.

25  Lines (11/10) | .99
Make your images stronger by locally adjusting lines.

26  Planes (11/10) | .99
Make your images stronger by locally adjusting planes.


27. Video – Photoshop Masking Key Commands

28. Video – Photoshop Making 2 Masks For 1 Layer

29. Video – Photoshop Feathering Selections  & Masks

30. Video – Photoshop Combining Gradient Masks 


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Photoshop Does The Work For You With Magic Wand & Quick Selection Tools


 Get sophisticated selections quickly.

Photoshop offers two great selection tools that use pattern recognition to make the process easier and faster – the Magic Wand tool and the Quick Selection tool. They get complex jobs done quickly and the results they generate can be quite sophisticated. But which one do you choose?

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Photoshop’s Need To Know Lasso Selection Tools


The Lasso tool is best for defining highly irregular selections manually.


The Polygonal Lasso tool is best for defining rectilinear shapes.


The Magnetic Lasso tool uses pattern recognition to define existing contours.

Photoshop’s Lassos (Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, and Magnetic Lasso) are go to tools for drawing irregular selections.
Which Lasso tool you choose depends on the job you need to get done.
The Lasso tool is best for defining highly irregular selections manually.
Just click, hold and drag to define a selection. Draw selections in closed loops from beginning to end; if you let go of a selection half way through a shape you’re drawing a straight line will automatically be drawn from where you let go to where you started; on rare occasions this can be useful.
The Polygonal Lasso tool is best for defining rectilinear shapes.
The Polygonal lasso tool differs in that it only draws straight lines. Click, don’t hold, drag to the point you’d like to draw a straight line to and click again, then repeat until you define a closed shape. While drawing a selection, you can alternate between the Lasso and Polygonal Lasso tools by holding the Option key.
The Magnetic Lasso tool is best for taking advantage of pattern recognition to define existing contours.
The Magnetic Lasso tool is different; it uses edge detection to draw. You simply guide it roughly along a contour you’d like to define and if the contour has enough contrast the tool will find it. (Using an adjustment layer, you can temporarily boost the image’s contrast, while making a selection to help the Magnetic Lasso tool find edges more easily … and then delete the adjustment layer after the selection is complete.) If you draw too quickly with the Magnetic Lasso tool it becomes less accurate. If you find you’d like to refine the line it defines you can press the Delete key to eliminate the anchor points it makes along the way, one at a time, in the order they were made.
Remember, if you plan to feather a selection substantially you don’t need to be precise; close enough will do, so don’t waste your time making perfect selections for very general applications.
Read more about masking here.
View more in my DVD Drawing With Light.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.