Mike, think you could show my how to create an image like that in 2 minutes, 4 seconds?
On a serious note, how did you guys learn all this stuff in Photoshop? I recently acquired CS4, and when I registered I opted for the Lynda.com 30 trial. I watched a bunch of videos, but I watched so much, that I retained very little.
Is Lynda.com a site worth subscribing? Or would you guys recommend Youtube tutorials, or a certain book, or seminar, etc.
Thanks for the inspiration.
The best book I found is called "LAYERS the complete guide to photoshop's most powerful feature" It really helps you to understand how layers and layer masks work. But, the more detailed stuff like Alpha Channels and Luminosity Masks I learned from other people and personal research.
Here is a great step by step of how to use Luminosity Masks:
I actually use something very similar to this with my interior HDR. I can use a Luminosity Mask to select the highlights and then create a layer mask that allows the window views to come through. The great thing about Luminosity Masks used from Alpha Channels is that Alpha Channels have a natural feathering to them so you never get any hard lines, everything blends nice and smooth.
I have also used these to help blend in a shadow fill frame, for flash frame. In Photoshop you have you HDR blend, which may have some dark shadows, then I create an Alpha Channel of the HDR Blend, which will grab all the brighter areas of the image. Then, I go to the flash fill layer, create a layer mask using the selected area from the Alpha Channel, then I invert the layer mask. What that does is basically allows all the areas in the flash fill frame that are dark on the HDR blend frame to come through and lift the shadows. Then, I use the Opacity and the brush tool to get the results I want. This technique is one I figured out just playing around with it. The only downside to it is if you have dark colors outside the windows, like trees. It can make for a more challenging blend.