When do you use Luminosity Masks

Luminosity masks are commonly used in Landscape editing workflows. They are extremely efficient when enhancing complex, dynamic scenes where smooth transitions are the basis of compelling final artwork.

Since they enable you to create highly precise, smooth-edged selections, you can use luminosity masking to edit any image, including portraiture.

In fact, here is a massive potential to use this potent application to enhance images in  any photographic genre. When it comes only to luminosity adjustments, you can use them to:


  • Create a greater sense of depth and volume in the image
  • Increase tonal distinction between the subject and the background
  • Perform targeted D&B adjustments on specific areas in the image
  • Introduce contrast in a targeted way
  • Accentuate / brighten crucial elements in an  image
  • Mute / darken distracting elements
  • Enhance textures

Aside from the above adjustments that deal with brightness / darkness values in the image, luminosity masks can be used in color grading, for  great results. Selections based on specific luminosity ranges allow you to inject specific colors into the artwork in a very effective, harmonious way.



Red, green and blue channels, available in Photoshop by default, are the three key components that comprise every image in Photoshop. Understanding the link between the RGB additive color mode and how grayscale separate channels translate into color when combined together is the foundation you should keep in mind when it comes to working with luminosity masks.


From this humble starting point, you now know how to create a wide range of pixel-perfect masks based on luminosity ranges. Having at your disposal tools that allow you to explore the entire range of light exposure, from the brightest highlights to the darkest blacks, empowers you to make seamless adjustments for stunning results. When you combine luminosity masks with Photoshop adjustment layers, you can maximize efficiency and impact, making it easy and enjoyable to take your photography to the next level.