Essential Photo Editing:
Selection Masks

 


original with selection mask

increased saturation applied to a selection mask.

brightness / contrast applied to inverted selection mask.

A selection mask allows you to change only specific parts of an image, while leaving the other areas untouched. Used together with other photo editing techniques, selection masks give you a fine degree of control.

A selection mask is simply a ring of pixels, usually represented by a moving dotted line. There are several ways to draw a selection mask, this example covers the most common - the "freehand selection tool", often represented by a lasso icon.

 

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Step-By-Step: Selection Mask

1. open sample image

2. select the Lasso icon - freehand selection tool

3. click down with the mouse and draw a circle in the centre of the image, release the mouse button to close the selection

4. apply changes to the selection. For example, increase the color saturation and notice how only the selected area is affected.

Step-By-Step: Invert Selection

Continued from step 4:

5. Invert Selection

6. to see the effect, adjust the brightness/contrast. notice how the area you originally selected is left alone.

 

Practical Tips:

There are several other ways to create selection masks, you can draw solid boxes, or use the other lasso commands. See the software manual for more infomation.

When used for photo editing, selection masks go hand in hand with the feather command. learn them both!