How to Leverage Lightroom’s New Masking Tools in Your Workflow

Unless you’ve just emerged from a nuclear fallout bunker, you’ve likely already heard about Lightroom’s impressive new masking tools that Adobe announced at their annual Adobe Max conference. In fact, PetaPixel’s Ryan Mense wrote a wonderful hands-on article covering the expanse of these new masking tools. My goal for this workflow video is to approach […]

How to Leverage Lightroom’s New Masking Tools in Your Workflow

Unless you’ve just emerged from a nuclear fallout bunker, you’ve likely already heard about Lightroom’s impressive new masking tools that Adobe announced at their annual Adobe Max conference. In fact, PetaPixel’s Ryan Mense wrote a wonderful hands-on article covering the expanse of these new masking tools.

My goal for this workflow video is to approach these tools from a practical perspective, without getting mired in some of the more technical aspects of these powerful technologies. It’s not that they are not important or worth knowing. I love nerding out about the intersection of AI and photo editing. But, I also understand that there are many photographers who are simply interested in seeing how these new tools work in a way that would be most applicable within their own post-processing workflows.

The Power of AI-Driven Masking

At a high level, the two most important updates to Lightroom’s selective editing are:

  1. The use of AI to intelligently select the sky and subject(s) in your composition and
  2. The way that you can have multiple selections, or masks, interact with each other by using the Add, Subtract, Invert, and Intersect tools.

In my opinion, these two updates are some of the most significant to come to Lightroom since localized edits were introduced back in 2008 with Lightroom v2. At the risk of gushing, I cannot overstate how much flexibility this new local editing workflow offers photographers. Fine-edged selections that used to take several minutes to refine now occur within 1-2 seconds (at least on my M1 Macbook Air). And with the quasi-logic of the Add and Subtract tools, I can further target the specific areas of my photo that I want to selectively edit.

Unsung heroes

It’s important to also bring up a few other notable updates to Lightroom that may have been lost in all the fanfare. Notably, the “New Coke” version of Lightroom finally got the powerful Color, Luminance, and Depth Range masking tools that Lightroom Classic users have enjoyed for a few years now. As a Lightroom CC user, I cannot begin to express how happy I am to have access to these tools.

And as if mobile photo editing hadn’t been impressive enough with Lightroom iOS/Android, just about all of these new masking tools have made their way to this on-the-go platform. Which, when you take a moment to think about, is truly amazing. Imagine being able to make these fine-tuned edits on your phone.

Onto the workflow video!

Ok, enough gushing. I promised you a workflow video and here it is. Again, my goal for this video was to show you some creative ways to leverage these new masking tools to quickly achieve precise edits. In fact, in some of the photos, 100% of my edits were made using local adjustments with these new masking tools.

I am also working on a few add-on videos that showcase how well these tools sync across devices (start on your phone and finish up on your desktop), as well as how to use the Invert and Intersect masking options. I hope this video helps inspire you to try out these amazing new tools.


About the author: Brian Matiash is a professional photographer, videographer, and published author based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. His passion is to serve other photographers by helping them grow their own visual pursuits. Learn more about Brian by visiting his website, on Instagram, and on YouTube.

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Unleashed ’22 is an All-In-One Photo and Video Remote Camera Module

Unleashed ’22 claims to be the Swiss army knife of camera accessories: a small camera module that allows remote triggering of photos and videos, offers control of long exposures and time-lapses, geotagging, and more, all controlled by an app. Currently seeking backong on Kickstarter by Berlin-based hardware company Foolography, Unleashed ’22 is the successor to […]

Unleashed ’22 is an All-In-One Photo and Video Remote Camera Module

Unleashed ’22 claims to be the Swiss army knife of camera accessories: a small camera module that allows remote triggering of photos and videos, offers control of long exposures and time-lapses, geotagging, and more, all controlled by an app.

Currently seeking backong on Kickstarter by Berlin-based hardware company Foolography, Unleashed ’22 is the successor to the company’s previous product, the Unleashed ’18 which was successfully backed in 2016.

The original idea for Unleashed arose back in 2006 when Foolography’s founder Oliver Perialis was searching for a solution to easily geotag his travel photos but couldn’t find a viable product on the market. After building prototypes of a Bluetooth module for geotagging for himself and his friends, the product attracted interest online and at Photokina 2008, moving him to mass-produce his device and found Foolography.

Now compatible with more than 144 cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Panasonic, Unleashed ’22 comes packed in a tiny body that directly plugs into the camera and connects to the user’s phone via Bluetooth. By using the Unleashed mobile app, users can then gain full control over the camera.

Foolography has designed the module to stay on the camera at all times, thanks to its flat profile and the fact it doesn’t need to be charged and instead is powered by the camera’s battery. Because most of the work is done within the device itself, not the app, Unleashed will continue to control the camera to finish the shot even if the app is closed, if the user walks out of range, or the phone battery dies.

The app allows users to remotely trigger photos and video recording, manually change the camera settings without touching the camera, control direct in-camera geotagging, shoot long exposures — timed up to 4.5 hours — and capture timelapses.

Unleashed also has a setting that will adjust the shutter speed by the right number of stops when adding or removing ND filters. For time-lapse shooters, the app allows flexible intervals which helps achieve short intervals during the day and longer second exposures for starry nights.

Aside from camera control, the app can also be used to review photos in a high-resolution gallery and share the images straight from the app. When the high-resolution previews are downloaded, Unleashed adds the EXIF data of the original image, which also helps filter photos on a map in the “Places” album on the app.

Because the new Unleashed model is compatible with 144 models, an improvement from the predecessor, the company will have 7 different models and cables to offer, which are all designed to suit each camera.

Unleashed ’22 is estimated to ship on December 2022 and can be backed on Kickstarter starting from $150 on the campaign page.


Disclaimer: Make sure you do your own research into any crowdfunding project you’re considering backing. While we aim to only share legitimate and trustworthy campaigns, there’s always a real chance that you can lose your money when backing any crowdfunded project.

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