Photography Technique

Lightroom hack #11: Duplicate and Invert Mask

How often in Photoshop have you used the same mask twice? It’s a really useful technique for editing two parts of an image ‘oppositely’. And now you can do the same in Lightroom with the Duplicate and Invert Mask command. It’s a really useful option that’s really easy to miss.

I’ve used this technique on this silhouette of a ruined church against a setting sun. The original shot was taken purely for the silhouette, but coming back to it now I thought it would be interesting to see how quickly and how effectively Lightroom’s AI masking would be able to turn it into something else.

So the issue here is that the thing that needs the most work is NOT the sky but the church and the hillside, and none of Lightroom’s other AI tools will select those effectively. I’ll come to that.

The first (and only) AI mask I need is for the sky. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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Now that I’ve adjusted the sky, I can simply Duplicate and Invert Mask for the rest. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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The foreground mask is simply an inverted version of the sky mask. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

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But first, I’ll use the Sky mask tool to select the sky and make a few adjustments. I’ve done some work here with the Exposure, White Balance and Dehaze sliders to create more of a sunset effect with richer blues and warmer clouds. 

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