Photoshop Tutorial: Tip for refining the HDR mask

We have already seen in this HDR series of Adobe Photoshop tutorials:
1- How to achieve an HDR image using layers and layer masks
2- How to create a better mask for exposure blending using the threshold tool
3- How to create a better mask for exposure blending using the level tools

I don’t know if you’ve noticed in each one of this post we will end up refining the exposure blending mask using the brush tool.

Today in the last post of this series, I am going to give you a quick and very simple tip that will simplify your life when it comes to tweak that mask.

All images in this tutorial are copyrighted to Daniella

To follow this tutorial I will assume that you have successfully followed steps 1 to 4 of any of the above listed tutorials. So you should be at a point close to this

HDR Photoshop Tutorial 1

Notice that we have already two layers of different exposures, with a mask on the top layer and it is that mask we need to refine.

Now in your Adobe Photoshop menu, go to Window -> Arrange -> New window for YourImageName
HDR Photoshop Tutorial 2

You should be seeing now your picture in two windows

HDR Photoshop Tutorial 3

While clicking on the ALT key, click on the exposure blending mask, and here is were the magic starts, instead of seeing your mask in the two windows, one window is still showing your picture while the other is now showing your mask.
HDR Photoshop Tutorial 4

The good thing in that is that now you can work on your mask and directly see how it is affecting your final picture without having to switch back and forth between Picture and Mask.

HDR Photoshop Tutorial 5

So know we should all be able to get GREAT HDR images in the simplest way possible.

This post is part of a series of posts, please also check HDR layer using layer masks and Tips for creating HDR layer masks using threshold and Tips for creating HDR layer masks using levels