Use Layer Mask For Safe Photo Editing (Part 2)

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Masks away areas to make other elements pop from the page

Description: Selective colouring with Masks

Selective colouring with Masks

1.    Set up the basics

Make sure your image is in RGB format (Image>Mode>RGB). Next, make a copy of the Background layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer). Click the bottom layer in the Layers palette and ensure the Adjustment Layer palette is visible via Window>Adjustments.

Description: Set up the basics

Set up the basics

2.    Get ready to isolate

Press the Black and White Adjustment button, then at the base of this palette press the black and white circle icon to clip the effect, meaning it will only apply to the layer below. Click the top layer in the Layers palette and zoom in to the flower.

Description: Get ready to isolate

Get ready to isolate

3.    Trace your shape

Select the Magnetic Lasso tool from the sidebar and trace the edge of the flower. Always end the path closed, an active selection will appear. Press the Mask icon at the base of the Layers palette.

Description: Trace your shape

Trace your shape

4.    Mask and feather

Adding the Mask will leave only the flower section coloured. If this isn’t the case and the wrong part of the Mask is showing, press Cmd/Ctrl+l to invert. Go to feather to soften the Mask edges.

Description: Mask and feather

Mask and feather

3 of the best…

Alternative uses for Layer Masks

Selective editing

If you want to target a specific area of an image then it’s easy with Masks. We have sharpened our model’s eyes, so first our background layer was duplicated, the top layer was sharpened, then the unwanted area is masked away leaving behind only the tweaked eye area.

Description: Description: Selective editing

Selective editing

Image swap

It’s common to want to swap out one sky for a more suitable one and once more, Masks can help. Add a Mask to your layer, paint away the unwanted sky then drag and drop in the new layer, placing at the bottom of the layer stack.

Description: Description: Image swap

Image swap

Create text

Adding texture to your text is easy! With your chosen texture open, use the Type tool to write what you want. Cmd/Ctrl+click onto the text layer to male an active selection then click onto the editable texture layer and add a Mask.

Description: Description: Create text

Create text



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