Monthly Archives: June 2014

Tony Kuyper’s Luminosity Masks Panel

In my opinion, one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) to use Photoshop is the option to make and use masks, which allow a correction or adjustment to be applied to one specific area of an image.  But actually selecting that specific area can be extremely difficult, especially if there are fine, overlapping details,  Trying to use the standard selection tools such as the lasso or magic wand is far too often a lesson in frustration.  Selecting by luminosity, by tonality (how light or how dark a given area), is a much better way as this luminosity selection is based on the image itself and consequently will make a self-feathering selection.

Quite a few years ago I learned about making luminosity selections from Tony Kuyper’s website,  In fact, I wrote about luminosity selections, and Tony’s Photoshop actions to make these selections, in some of my early eBooks on Photoshop.  Over the years Tony has refined his actions, and recently he produced a completely new Photoshop “Action Panel version 3.”  I’ve used his previous actions, but his latest panel is amazing.

Do yourself a big favor:  if you’re running Photoshop CS5, CS6, or CC, particularly if you’re a landscape photographer, get the new action panel.  Do yourself an even bigger favor, and get the action panel along with Sean Bagshaw’s video tutorials on using these actions.  The total package is $79 and is worth far more than that.  I highly recommend both the action panel, and the video tutorials.

Here’s the link about the panel:

And the purchase link (see the “special offer” at the bottom of the page):

More or Less

How much of a subject should be included in the image?  That’s always a compositional question: exactly where should you position the edge of the frame?  When shooting with a fixed focal length lens, you really don’t have a choice unless you can physically change your location.  If you’re using a zoom lens, you have an almost unlimited choice.  Of course, no matter the lens you could always crop the image afterwards, but all cropping is lossy and personally I hate to throw away data.

So just how much, or how little, needs to be included?  Consider these two images.  Your thoughts?  Is the roller too small in the frame, the elephant too tight?  What do you think?


Lilac-breasted roller.