Luminosity Masking at 3:30 am

By Sunday, January 25, 2009 grafphoto 11 Comments
Coral Beach

Cayman Brac Revisited

Insomnia sucks, but I may as well make the best of it. I took one of my favorite landscapes for a little reprocessing trip to correct some horizon distortion, and also give it a go with some luminosity masking. It looks so much better now that I deleted the old version from my site and won’t even show the comparison. :-) It looked very washed out compared to the newer version.

This is a secluded little beach on the island of Cayman Brac, obviously not popular with sand-loving sunbathers.  The entire island is rather “rugged” with its large limestone outcroppings and cliffs.  A great place for those that want to avoid some of the commercialism and congestion of Grand Cayman.  The dead coral that makes up this beach is what I love most about this image. It provides such an interesting character to the landscape. Photographed at dawn, you can see I am not looking into the sunrise, but just the opposite where the clouds in the western sky are catching the morning light. It is also the reason for the wonderful, soft light on the coral. Long exposure to blur the waves.  I look in the opposite direction of a sunrise or sunset as a matter of habit now, but back in November 1999 when this exposure was made – let’s just say I didn’t always think that way.  You could call it one of those “Ah ha!” moments.

Luminosity masks

Luminosity masks

Who knew I would be processing the image again more than 10 years later at 3:30 am? I didn’t even know what a luminosity mask was back then, and probably didn’t do much masking of any images at all. I hadn’t realized the potential of spending more time with my images than simple scanning, dust spotting, and perhaps a global curves or levels adjustment.   I have to thank Tony Kuyper again for introducing them to me and for providing some excellent actions that make using them a snap.   By running Tony’s actions, you can generate layers like these quite easily, and then it is subtle tweaks to the curves to start to make things pop.  You can download them here.

I wonder what images I may be processing at 3:30 am in the year 2019?  What new tools will I have then that will make me look differently at the images of today?

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