Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, iPhone, Luminar, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Using Masks

Sometimes it takes me a while to get to a final version of a photograph. This shot below was taken on my iPhone and then in Luminar had a “look” (that is what they call a set of predetermined filters) applied to it. This one was called Victorian Postcard:

ISO 25 4.2mm f/2.2 1/725sec

I don’t particularly like it, but I like some of the elements that are in it. I like the idea of a vintage feel for this scene. I’m interested in contrasting that with the red in the postbox. I thought about those ideas, and when I went to edit again, I started with this version:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

This was taken on my point and shoot, which has better jpeg quality than my phone, but doesn’t shoot in RAW. The day I was taking this photo was rainy and grey. Rainy enough that I had opted to leave my DSLR camera at home.

I still liked this scene, but you will see in the next version a crop has been applied. There are a lot of things in this image and a crop eliminated some of them. The eraser tool got rid of some of the others like the cones.

But this edit you will see below was really going to be about masking. I’ve applied the Vintage Postcard look to it and then used a mask, to edit back in the postbox. I used this video to get the basics of how masking works in Luminar:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

Ok, a few things:

  1. Wow, that’s terrible. The postbox looks like it isn’t even actually there, more like it’s one from some other photo that has just been plopped into this one.
  2. The video I used was a really good starting point, but really you have to be willing to experiment and fail, and then try again.

Here is my final version:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/500sec

Ok, so that’s much better. The main difference is that when I went to mask in the postbox, I used a paintbrush setting with a lower opacity. That helps the postbox blend a bit but still pop out a bit.

In terms of method, I’ll point out that the middle version I saved as a separate file before going back several steps in the edit history and starting off in another direction. I did this because, while I wasn’t crazy about that version, there were several steps like the crop and the erase that I was happy with.  I don’t always do this, but I think it is a good practice.

It was a lot of trial and error to get to this point. I think it was worth it. I like the final image. I also think masking, while a powerful editing tool, can be tough to master, and practice like this will make me better at it. Your comments about my edits or questions about my methods are welcome below.

Are you interested in postboxes in the UK? I am it turns out. So far in my travels here I have a photo of one of all the monarchs except for King Edward VIII. Is there one near you? I’d love to know where you have seen one. Thanks!

Cheers!

Added to One Word Sunday, Red.

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26 thoughts on “What I Am Working On: Using Masks

    • There are a lot of ways to approach overexposure, I’ve not tried what you have suggested, but that sounds like a technique that would work well pretty often. Thanks for taking a moment to leave this comment, I always like thinking over new ideas.

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  1. Pingback: Contrast – Travel with Intent

  2. I love turning snapshots into fine art that I’d be proud to hang on my walls! I’m going to London this summer and hope to bring home many photos that will keep my creative mind busy for months after I get back.

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      • I plan on capturing ALL of the memories to bring home with me. This is an eight-year dream finally coming true. Of all the places my ancestors are from, England is the place I want to visit most. Number 2 would have to be Prague for my Czech/Bo ancestry.

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      • So sorry for the delay in responding to this comment! I was in Prague over Christmas a few years ago, it is a beautiful city, in fact in my travels I have found it to be the most beautiful. What I mean is that we just went walking through the city just to admire its beauty. There is plenty to see and do there as well. If you get an opportunity I would recommend going.

        Liked by 1 person

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