The AI masks are a relatively recent addition to Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW. You may not be aware of it, but Lightroom is lacking an essential feature: the ability to apply curves to the masks. Because that feature has since been added, I noticed it. Camera Raw had it already. This tutorial is applicable whether you use Lightroom or Camera RAW. In actuality, it applies to all curves in Photoshop and Lightroom. However, I do have a more thorough Photoshop instruction here.

First, let’s look at this picture I took in Kauai, Hawaii.

Choose the Develop module and create a mask

Choose sky.

Make adjustments with exposure and Highlights to recover details in the sky.

Black, Shadows, Exposure (Midtones), Highlights, and Whites are the 5 areas that are covered by the 5 sliders in Lightroom and Camera Raw.

You can also observe these regions on the histogram and actually adjust them by dragging on the histogram.

Use the curves to exert more control over any of the regions.

To brighten and darken particular tones in your image, drag up or down after clicking the picker. (To obtain an accurate curve, you must add 2 points.) See how they function first.

Let’s create a new mask for everything but the sky.

Choose Create Mask and select sky.

Click on the 3 dot menu and choose Invert, this will swap the mask. (you could also have chosen Duplicate and Invert Mask from the previous mask for the same result.)

In curves the darks are to the left, the highlights to the right. Drag up to brighten, down to darken.

Drag up in the shadow area to open up the brightness of the image.

Drag down on the tones where the grass is. This will remove the brightening effect from the mids and highlights, effectively just brightening the shadow areas. (The video at the top shows this well).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *