How to Make a Luminance Mask

Luminance masks give photographic images different shades of darkness and light. More specifically, according to, images are modified by "repurposing" the image "channels" and selecting "the luminance information and taking it to mask (other) information." The luminance effect essentially "masks" the original image with distortions of color and light. Distortions may also include increasing or decreasing brightness and the sharpness of an image. Give your image a fresh look with a luminance mask using standard image editing software on your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Photograph
  • Scanner
  • Image editing software with luminance tool
  • Printer


    • 1

      Select and scan a photograph for luminance masking into your computer. Save the image under the title: "Luminance Masking Trial 1." Be sure this is a neutral image -- a photograph without any prefabricated highlights or contrasts. Save the image onto your computer. Keep the hard copy image in case you require rescanning at a later time or for another trial run working with the luminance tool.

    • 2

      Open the image with your image editing software. Look at the image and decide how you would like to manipulate the image. Decide that you want to darken shadows or increase highlights on the image, for example.

    • 3

      Scroll to the contrast option on your image editing software. Review your image editing software instructions to find the exact name of the tool, as different types of software have different tool names. The contrast option in Photoshop is referred to as "Curves" or "Channels," for example, while Roxio PhotoSuite labels the tool "Contrast."

    • 4

      Click on the different channel or contrast levels to see how the image is affected. Select each level at least once to view how the image lightens or darkens, for example, until you find the level that suits your needs.

    • 5

      Scroll to the "Filter" or "Sharpness" menu. Select the "Sharpness" modification tool. Increase the sharpness level upwards or downwards to boost or dull the outline of the image. Work with the tool until you find the level that suits your needs. Save and print the image before exiting out of the image editing software program.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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