Tonal Area Zone Luminosity Masks Explained

Page Title Luminosity Action Panel

Tonal Area Zone Luminosity Masks

In this tutorial I go in depth into Tonal Area (Zone) Luminosity Masks to better understand what they are and how they can be used. 

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Tonal Area or Zone Luminosity Masks are a powerful tool in our arsenal for creating contrast within specific tonal ranges in our images. These masks allow us to restrict our adjustments to a small tonal range minimising or eliminating the impact our adjustment has on other areas in our images. Unlike Lights or Darks Luminosity Masks, these masks used subtractions, meaning that we are only working on specific tonal ranges rather then all of the highlights or shadows.

This tutorial runs through in depth how the selections work with Tonal Area Luminosity Masks and then goes into 4 real world examples of how they can be used in your workflow to get the most out of your editing, by creating pop and contrast in localised areas.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this video or future videos you may be interested in seeing, please leave a comment below. 

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  1. Brian August 19, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    One word describes this tutorial BRILLIANT !!!,this one video is worth the total cost of the ADP panel .I look forward in practising this ,keep up the good work Aaron

  2. garycorken November 4, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    This tutorial has been an eye-opener. Watched countless tutorials trying to get my head around tonal corrections and I have struggled to comprehend.
    Not anymore!
    I used to use plugins to try and enhance tone in my images with mixed results. Even if I found a look I liked after twiddling with sliders or choosing a preset I didn’t really understand what I was doing and was relying on what looked ok in my eyes.
    Now I fully understand how to make my images come to life in regards to tonality.

    Brian summed it up in one word – BRILLIANT!!!

    • Aaron Dowling Photography November 5, 2016 at 2:42 am #

      Thanks Gary,

      They can be a difficult concept to understand at first, but are an extremely powerful way for control specific tones. That’s fantastic that it’s all come together, it’s a must use tool in my arsenal.

  3. Ted Scott April 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    Is the Tonal Area Zone Luminosity Masks panel a part of the ADPpanel+Pro v2? Or is it another panel distinct from the one which I have purchased?

    • Aaron Dowling Photography April 11, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Ted, the Tonal Area Zone Masks are still part of ADPpanel+Pro v2 and are called Tonal Zone Masks. These have also been enhanced with the ability to modify the masks with 3 adjustment layers and you also have tone pickers helping you to select the zone more accurately. The functions mentioned above are part of the panel for Photoshop CC products. The previous method is still used for older versions of Photoshop.

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