selections, layers and masks question

PrairieCanuck

New Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Manitoba, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
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Classic
Lightroom Version
LrC (newest)
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
I recently upgraded PS (and LR) to the Photographer's package so I am running PS 22. I have never been strong on layers and masks so it seemed like a good time to go through a few tutorials, which I did. So, a LITTLE bit more confident I starting working on one my photos. Didn't take long for that frustrated feeling to resurface and leave me wondering what the heck I learned from those tutorials.

I have a luminosity selection action. When I run it, it selects pixels of certain luminosity. So far, so good. It also creates a channel for that selection. Now, I can select the adjustment layer icon and select Curves because I have some really bright background spots for which I want to pull back the brightness (note that there are dark spots (tree branches) mixed in with the bright spots, which makes burning quite difficult). But this adjustment layer isn't reflective of the selection - it is modifying the whole image. For the life of me I can't figure out what I am forgetting and doing wrong.

Basically, I am trying to create a selection, mask part of it away (because I don't want to modify all bright spots, such as white feathers) and then apply a Curve that will darken the selected/non-masked part of the image.

I hope this makes sense and that somebody can help get me back on track.

Thanks!

BTW: having spent hours on this now and having tried more things than I can remember, I think my brain is like a bowl of spaghetti. I am hoping somebody can tell me the right way (or one of the right ways) of doing this rather than trying to understand (all!) that I did wrong. Also, Having done some courses on the new LR, I am very impressed with what it can do, but I am not looking for a good LR solution. I am looking for a 'right' PS solution. Well, maybe not quite true. I would have no objections to suggestions on how best to do this in LR but because of the mix of light and dark subject, in the area of concern, an exposure adjustment via brush isn't going to cut it. Plus, one of my new year's resolutions was to get better at PS so I need to tackle this head-on in PS.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
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10,897
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Netherlands
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You need to load the selection/alpha channel as a mask and that is what you didn't do yet. There are two ways of doing this:
1: First choose 'Select - Load Selection' and choose the alpha channel created by the action. Then add the adjustment layer.
2: Add the adjustment layer first and click on the mask. Choose 'Image - Apply Image'. Select 'Background' as layer and 'Alpha 1' (or whatever the name of the channel is) as channel.
Method 2 is the best method if your image is 16 bits. If your image is 8 bits then it doesn't matter.
 

PrairieCanuck

New Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Manitoba, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks Johan. Part of my problem was I needed to use a clipping mask. Also, maybe unnecessary, but I found I was able to figure things out easier and do multiple adjustments if I first made a copy of Layer 0 (which was created from Background).
 
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