Photoshop Layers & Masks

For the past 10 years I have been giving lectures on digital imaging for photographic clubs in the South East of England. (25 years ago I was giving companies talks and training on Photoshop, scanning and multimedia!).

I am available – for a small fee – to travel to clubs in the South East and given any one of the talks listed in the menu. Please contact me for further information. My details are in the Surrey Photographic Association handbook.

This is an outline of the contents of the talk and a summary of the findings with before and after images to help those that have been to one of my lectures. When I give the talks I include many different demonstrations, these slides and notes will, I hope help to serve as an aid to those who have seen the talk.




Lightroom and Photoshop have different functionality but the core Raw conversion engine is the same. Both applications have Masks but only Photoshop has Layers too.

2. Overview of Lightroom and Photoshop


The first section looks at what you can do with Lightroom masks, brushes and gradients.

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The next section is a primer on Photoshops, Layers and Masks, followed by a number of examples – which are worked up live in the presentation.

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Manipulation – magazine style

Audrey before and after-1

The above image was part of a demo I gave to 14 year old children at a local school. The talk was above how image si the res have been so manipulated! I demonstrated using this image. Not the “After” looks younger, thinner and all the distractions have been removed.


Combining two images to get the best of both

The two shots below were consecutive frames, at a post wedding party. Taken with a 15mm diagonal fisheye. In the first image the lady in purple looks good, but the kid on the left has a hand in front of his face, and one the right has a piece of paper blocking his face and his eye is cut off. The second frame fixes the problems of the first but the purple lady turns around!


Young Gamblers combined-1
Combination of the above two images takes the best from both


Collage – Alan Turing and Bletchley Park.

I used to make collages in art class at school. Here is a digital version, made up of of 6 images combined, using layers and masks. Note the gradual fade out of the circular cyphers – done using a graduated mask.



Clone Images

Attack of the clones!

Clone images, where the same person appears several times in the same image are all the rage. While appearing to be very clever, they are very easy to do. This image I demonstrate how to produce the clone image in less than 4 minutes in my talks!

The trick is to use a tripod, and ensure that the characters don’t overlap. This way the photoshop work is reduced in this case to 3 layers, 3 masks and no need for accurately drawing around the characters.


Allison Clones-1


Distortion correction with layers and masks to take an image out of a museum.

Taken during a visit to the tank museum at Shrivanhem, the tank is cut in half and positions at 1 45 degree angle, making it hard to get a shot straight on, it also is surrounded but distracting “clutter” So I set about making a less distracting image with both sides in the same shot.



Distortion correction in Lightroom > Manual > Horizontal was used to correct the angle (Couldn’t stand straight on). The images were cut out to the red line and then combined.







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