For years, luminosity masks in a retouching workflow have been utilized by countless retouchers and editors, and for good reason. Many elaborate Photoshop Actions have been scripted and sold for the purposes of luminosity mask creation over the years, several involving “storing” dozens of masks in the Channels palette, to be called on as needed. Some users opt to create a luminosity mask as needed, when needed, using any number of methods. Regardless of your preferred approach, the creation of luminosity masks has traditionally been clunky at best, and tedious no matter what.
One of the hallmarks of Nino Batista’s color work approach in Adobe Photoshop stems from his use of Gradient Maps and Blending Modes. After appropriate skin work and other clean up processes, Nino explores the colour of his images by starting with a “gradient map wash” of color, setting the basis for the palette he is trying to create or enhance in each shot or set.
If you’re familiar with the process of utilizing frequency separation in your retouching workflow, then you’re probably aware – and frustrated by – the lack of total control and somewhat average results you get while using it. While the method remains a skin retouching staple, the core approach to setting it up in Photoshop has been more or less the same for a while now, and accepted as such.
NBP Freqsep Control for Photoshop 1.1.000
NBP Lumizone Plug-in for Photoshop 1.0.002
NBP ColourmapX Plug-in for Photoshop 1.0.3