Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.


My blog bias, if you will, has been to not focus on Photoshop techniques. However, every so often a little Photoshop tidbit or tutorial comes along that I feel is so worthwhile that it would be a shame not to share it. This is the case with a recent tutorial on luminosity masking that comes complete with downloadable Photoshop actions.

First, I have to give credit to Mark Graf for finding the tutorial and posting a link to it on his blog called Notes From The Woods. His post with the specific information about the tutorial can be found here. The tutorial itself can be found here.

The tutorial explains the utility and basics of luminosity masking far better than I could in a single post. The uniqueness of this particular tutorial is the included set of downloadable actions with instructions for their use. More importantly, the actions allow one to easily generate not only a standard luminosity mask, but also masks that are ‘ultra-directed’ to the brightest highlights, the darkest shadows and everything in between. This allows one to generate luminosity based selections that are automatically feathered and which allow fine control over the entire tonal range of an image.

I plan to use the actions frequently. I think they are a real find and appreciate Mark having pointed them out and Tony Kuyper for having developed them and for making them available at no charge.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE: I want to take the opportunity to let people know that tomorrow and Saturday I plan to have a two part post that actually took me several weeks of thinking about before I could sit down and write it. It is a response, of sorts, to a recent editorial in a major photographic magazine. I contacted the assistant editor of the magazine who has been remarkably responsive and open enough to want to spur on discussion about photographic topics..…so much so that he has agreed to make available, on-line, the full text of the original article so that readers of this blog can think about it and chime in with their own opinion. So please visit again tomorrow as I really think this will be interesting!

By the way (and the podcasters say this almost every week, so I feel that I can say it on occasion as well), if you enjoy this blog and find it something worth taking the time to read, I would certainly appreciate it if you would pass the URL on to someone else you know who might also find it worthwhile.