Luminosity Masks

Yes, certainly true. And I don’t think it is really worth the cost. However, in my view, there are pluses and minuses for all current photo editing workflow tools.

CaptureOne is very expensive and the upgrade price became so high that I swore off of it. $150 for a yearly upgrade is completely unreasonable, but so was last year’s upgrade price. I declined to upgrade last year until they had a sale with an upgrade price of $40+ and, at that price, I thought it was worth upgrading. If they have another one of those I would probably upgrade again.

The color editing tools in C1 are the best I have seen anywhere. Their color editor is simply amazing and their new luminosity masking functionality is not bad. It is not great, but it is not bad either. On the down side I find processing images a bit kludgy even when I add the tools I want to the processing folders, and the choice between sessions and catalogs makes no sense to me. But then it is really a tool for professionals, not ham-fisted amateurs like me.

PhotoLab is, and has been, my tool of choice for a long time. I don’t much care for catalogs because I have no use for them and discard them after processing if I have to create them (as I do in CaptureOne and Lightroom). They are just a waste of time for me. The PL tools are clean and concise, the raw editor is simply wonderful and I find the UI easy to use. Added to that it has perhaps the best noise-reduction tools around, at least as good as my Topaz stuff and perhaps better.

However it, too, has drawbacks. No color editor, no luminosity masking and a current inability to export an image to a pixel editor and edit the saved return images (although I have been told this will be fixed in the next update). It does not handle dng files, even its own, and it does not allow for non-destructive editing. Yes, you can “undo” to your heart’s content, but you can not pick a spot and return to it.

I don’t like Lightroom so I am not sure my comments would be fair or useful …

Perhaps a year or so ago I wondered through a neighborhood out on a walk with my camera and decided to take a photo of the sun rising behind one of the houses. I thought the camera was set to either aperture or shutter mode so I did not check but I guess it was left on manual because the photo came out way over-exposed. I would have thrown it away but decided to keep it to see just how good some raw converters were. I opened it in Lightroom, PhotoLab (well, I think Optics Pro), CaptureOne, ON1, AlienSkin and some other tools and the only tools that salvaged the photo were Lightroom, PhotoLab and CaptureOne. All of the other tools gave me blown out results and I now use it to decide if a tool is worth buying. Based on that test, and my personal experience, all 3 of those tools are first-class, Burt I still prefer PhotoLab and that is why I worry that if it does not keep up with the competition I will end up having to use either CaptureOne or Lightroom.


I am not talking about the Upoint that is indeed a hole other technique.

I am talking about the algorithms behind the selective tone sliders:
They divide the luminance line in 4 blocks/steps.
And in contrast advanged settings there are also:

These are in essence masks.( a selection of the luminosity range.)

If they have Luminosity(exposure) , contrast, vibrance, colortemp, and such like in local adjustment then you have a powerfull tool. (Far more then just luminosity masking)
And if they “just” add a place where you as user can decide which liminosity level/selection/ bandwith to choose for adjusting then the masking as you prefere is born.

Luminous masking is still a kind of local adjustment, just selected differently. I believe Mike and I were talking about where to stash the interface for luminous masking. It would make sense to make it part of U-point as all local adjustments are within the U-point interface. Gradient masks are already there.

Adding an independent luminous masking section in the sidebar would add multiple local adjustment interfaces and a lot of clutter to the interface. Of course the actual technology could leverage the existing selective tone sliders code in the back end (one would have to be familiar with the code to know if that is a good idea or whether it’s better just to start coding from scratch).

Even more important in a software application than pure power is workflow. Workflow could be conceived of as available power. If an interface is cluttered or overly complex, only trained specialists are able to do much with a program. PhotoLab aspires to be accessible not only to dedicated image processing specialists but to any dedicated amateur photographer. DxO has been more or less successful in making most of the power of the application available to almost any photographer.

PS. As a counter example, the colour tools in C1 and its whole interface are an example of an interface which requires special training to be able to accomplish much. Those tools - layered three way colour wheels - are borrowed from professional film transfer colour tools like DaVinci Resolve (pre-Blackmagic days). I’ve participated in enough high end transfers to be able to get the basics done but it takes years of day in, day out work to master them.

I don’t think luminosity mask should be in U-point, it should be its own adjustment as it is for the entire image. You can then paint out what you don’t want to be affected (inverted mask and paint in work too but not in PL).
If it is within U-point then it will only locate what is in the circle, and duplicating your point to get all you need is time consuming, plus you’ll have no control on overall effect unless, like Clearview as its own but still within U-point then sure, might work this way.

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Not quite.

The gradient tool is not confined to the U-point circle, so no reason a LM would have to be.

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Well, yes. But all you can do is adjust the luminance with those settings. A luminosity mask, based on brightness, allows you to adjust anything you want in those areas. Exposure, contrast, focus, saturation, clarity, haze removal and so on. It is a mask so it can be used to adjust anything any other mask can be used for.

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like the gradient filter.
That can be adjusted as described above.
if they make a local adjustment tool out of the LM and place it in the circle of choise is fine by me.

in upoint you choose a selection of pixels with the iris of the “eye” and a area of influence where the same kind of pixels, in color and luminance are effected , the outer circle. and this influence level is somewhat gradient.

As i understand correct the LM is a even spread filter over the hole image with a even strong effect over the hole image.
if the luminance is numbered from 0-255 and the selected mask is effecting luminancelevel 125 all pixels with a luminance level of 125 is effected.

And if you choose a feathering of 10 then it’s decending in range 125-115 and 125-135. So total effected area is 115 til 135.

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Yes. A luminosity mask is a mask over the whole image, based on the luminosity of all of the pixels in the image, regardless of color. Every pixel with the same luminosity, regardless of color, will be affected in the same way.

It differs from a gradient filter in that the effect for any given luminosity does not increase or decrease regardless of its location in the image. Only changes in luminosity result in changes in the mask. Basically, if you consider a luminance of 125, then all colored pixels with that luminance would be affected the same, those with higher luminance would be affected more and those with lower luminance would be affected less. Of course you could also invert the luminance mask resulting in the reverse condition.

That is the basic difference between the U-Point masks and the luminosity masks. The U-Point stuff seems to address a particular color and brightness while a luminosity mask only considers the brightness.

As Oxidant mentioned, the gradient is in the same interface with the U-point technology but does not use the circle. It’s all local adjustments. Sharing the local adjustments does limit the luminance mask to the operations possible with a U-point selection. There’s quite a few options in there from sharpness to saturation to contrast and I’d be happy to have those to apply.

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As would I.

I was referring only to the difference between the U-Point stuff and general luminosity masks. If PL included LM functionality I would not really care where they put it. The local adjustments area is just fine and if they wanted to make the same general adjustments as for the U-Point available for LM masks I would be very pleased.

yep, I’m missing it. I saw it working in youtube videos, and I don’t have the creative license so I can’t upgrade my LR anymore to the current version (I hate their business model at the moment). So yeah luminosity mask, as you for instance have in Aurora HDR or LR would be a big big help, you save a lot of time there.

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For some great demonstrations of what luminosity masks can do, look up Greg Benz’s video tutorials. Greg has also developed an amazing LM tool called Lumenzia (Photoshop plugin) which simplifies and automates a lot of the selection work. Full disclosure: I have purchased Lumenzia myself but have no other relationship wth Greg and I am not plugging his solution for any gain on my part. I just believe he does amazing things with luminosity masks.


Yes. I own Lumenzia as well, and have been quite happy with it.

I think it is a great tool and have recommended it to others, but I would like to also see the functionality in PL so as to make use of it easier by not having to call PS. Having to go through the Export to Application link and create another unneeded image file seems like a waste of resources.


Agreed, I have C1Pro and it has Luma masking meaning that there is no need to go to PS. DXO has the technology because the U-Point just needs to have a selection capability added to target luma…

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Just thought I’d chime in, as I fully agree with the benefit of LM being implemented in PL at some point.
Some time back, I was in doubt of PL, but despite the detour of the DAM development and some other hiccups, I think after using the updates (appreciate the work guys!) I think I’m fully on board after the ease of dialing in high quality results. and QUICKLY so. I think Luminosity Masking would be a step in the right direction to refine this top-tier RAW developer. I find myself round-tripping to C1 20 less and less. (their color system is beyond excellent, however PL is catching up rapidly)
Thanks to the OP for bringing up this topic.

Hi Dave,

I guess you’re referring to PL’s new HSL tool;

  • Could you please give some examples of how you’re using this feature.

(It’s clear to me that it’s a very well implemented tool - - but I’m not really seeing any practical use for it!)

John M

Hmmm John

Reduce red on a face
Shift the blue of the sky
Increase luminosity of vegetation …

A lot of good things :smiley:

Hmmm - maybe … but, the affect is global.


it’s mostly a partial selective White Balance correction feature.
and you can replace a color for a color or a colorgroup for a colorgroup.
Maybe it can be implemented in a auto absolute WB feature we like to have, (i do), this algorithm should be usable as colorcast remover. (colorcast is a shift is color due colored light which can be global like a indoor room and a colored glas window or partial by light reflextion or shine true of a surface.)

And off coarse several artistic posibilities.

  • partial desaturation/saturation of colors, tonality changing.
  • color for color
  • black&white and a color.
  • object enhancement (if it’s a unique color in the rest of the image)

If local adjustment menu has in the edit menu a true HSL it’s even more powerfull.

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I mainly use it with the advanced tab, using the eyedropper to select a precise color range, and tweak the selected shade and perhaps nudge the hue or lightness to my exact liking.
The option to select multiple and precise colors with the eyedropper is such a great feature.

Also, the overall color rendering C1 uses seems warmer and more pleasing than other raw developers. Especially with skin tones. There is a feeling that the color ranges are separated ever so finely. There appears to be more shades and tones to each color IMHO in C1. I can only describe it as the colors having a bit of life to them.
I can select one specific patchg of green on a grassy image and that particular shade will be selected non-contiguously and I can adjust very finely as I wish without the adjustments bleeding into neighboring shades. Say a section of grass that has a touch of blue that stands out can be brought back into line to blend nicely in the lawn. Leaves on trees, Ocean tones, skin tones all can be more finely selected and adjusted. I can emphasize the peach tone in a sunset without destroying the pinks or blues.
There seems to be a very precise yet powerful engine behind their color tool. Again, to my eyes, the rendering of colors is highly pleasing to my eyes, I don’t think it is just the warmer shades it leans towards, I think there is a fine separation within tones, color contrast, that can help an image ‘pop’ as some may say.
DXO is catching up with their HSL tool, but it does not have the fine selection and range that the C1 tool offers. Color to me is C1’s strong point. DXO is quickly developing their strengths one tool at a time. I can see DXO hopefully matching C1’s color rendering in the future.

I hope I’ve given you something understandable, I realize others may opine differently than I in this regard, and I respect that. there are many instances where I do not leave PL at all.
I apologize for the long post. thanks for your valuable time.