A Great Trick for Getting Powerful Results From the Auto Mask Feature in Lightroom

One of my favorite features in Lightroom for local adjustments is the Auto Mask feature, which can save a ton of time when used in the right situations. This great trick will show you how to get way more mileage out of it to save even more time in your edits.

Coming to you from Signature Edits, this video will show you a helpful trick for quickly creating complicated masks using the Auto Mask feature in Lightroom. In general, if you're working with areas of high contrast or with an appreciable color difference, Lightroom is normally pretty good at respecting the boundaries between different areas, but you still have to paint in the mask manually. This trick takes advantage of the way Lightroom distinguishes such areas and tells it to mask the entire photo based on that method, allowing you to create a pretty decent mask in just one click. The beauty of it is that you can move the pin around and the mask will update automatically in real time. If you frequently need to make adjustments like bringing down the exposure of the sky or masking out the subject, it can be a real timesaver. 

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Ed Sanford's picture

This is great.... It will allow a lot of detail work in half the time.

Dirk Valcke's picture

Nice tip! Thanks!

Jeremy Yoho's picture

Just use the color selection tool in Photoshop. Anything else is less. And it's fast and easy.

Paul Scharff's picture

Very helpful. Thanks.

Paul Scharff's picture

Very helpful. I note Jeremy Yoho's comment about the color selection tool in PS as well since I use that most of the time.

Charles Haacker's picture

Awesome! Really! | (• ◡•)|

Sergio Piumatti's picture

Alex, thank you for posting...it is definitely the best LR tip ever!

Joe Black's picture

Thank you. great tip!

Robert Wilson's picture

I only tried this out on a couple photos with mixed results. Typically it looked great until I viewed the images 100%. Maybe for subtle effects this might be a great tool

signature edits's picture

Agreed Robert! Its definitely not going to allow you to do anything extreme, but super helpful for more subtle effects!