Photoshop: Selective Masking

If you read my last post, you know that I was debating on what to talk about next.  Well, I decided that since I had an article about basic masking, I would keep going with the masking thing. 

I’ll provide links for all of you tech people, so take what you want out of this post and have some fun changing up your images. 

Ok…we all know that we should do our best to make sure when we photograph that we have white balanced, set up lights or/and reflectors  properly… exposure is of course is critical; pay attention to that!  But I say don’t throw that photo away because it’s not perfect!  When I worked with film I dodged and burned areas… now we use software to help make your images pop!!  With this photograph I used Photoshop 5 as my digital darkroom process. 

Today I want to show you how I fixed the underexposed yellow area of this photo. 

To view the figures up close click on them, use your back arrow key on your browser to get back to the blog.  

Figure 1 shows you what I’m starting with.  There are several ways you can select an area to focus on your changes.  See figures 2 & 3.

Figure 1

Figure 2 shows you the various Lasso Tools & figure 3 shows you the Quick Selection and Magic Wand Tools.  

Figure 2

Figure 3

Today I used the Magic Wand because the yellow area is very different from the white and gray areas in the rest of the photograph.  Next I fine-tuned the selection; Figure 4 shows you a selection example. 

Figure 4

To refine your selection see Figure 5, click on “Refine Edge”.  

Figure 5

This will send you to another pane where you can make more detailed changes; see Figure 6. 

Figure 6

Once you have your selection the way you like it (you will see something like Figure 4 again when you press ok).  Click on the quick mask to save your selection.

Figure 7

You never know, you may want to change up your work…I usually do, so save it!  FYI… I wrote about basic masking several postings ago so check it out here for more info.  In Figure 8 you can see my mask; I always do a bit more refining in this area (Channel area). 

Figure 8

Another FYI…in order to see your mask in the Channel pallet you must deselect your layer, see Figures 9 & 10 as an example. 

Figure 9

Figure 10

As you can see from Figure 11, I changed one of my selections via levels and another making the background a black & white.  I actually did more; in Figure 12 I also painted some yellow and I spot cleaned up the photograph.  

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13 & 14 are before and after pics.

Figure 13

Figure 14

The very last thing I do is size the photo to the clients’ specification, flatten the image, sharpen for printing, and save to a tiff file.

Viola!  Done! 

Hope this helps you focus on changing up your work when needed.  Feel free to comment 🙂  I enjoy them!

Take care,



2 Comments on “Photoshop: Selective Masking”

  1. […] can also mask the effect(s) and play with them that way too.   See my masking article for more […]

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