Masks are one of my favorite Photoshop Elements tools because they make it easy to control and correct adjustments. Long after you’ve saved a psd file, you can go back adjust a mask and make changes. This is because the original image data isn’t compromised with a mask. But to be honest, I’m a little lazy. I don’t like it when a masks requires too much work to create. I’d rather do anything else than create an intricate masking edge with tiny trees and other details.
One day while working with a multilayer image, I had a happy accident and stumbled upon a new approach for making masks. While playing with the Threshold adjustment, I accidentally selected a portion of it. Not realizing I’d made the selection I created a new adjustment layer. Naturally, the mask for this new adjustment layer inherited the properties of the selection. I say naturally because that’s how Photoshop Elements works, but at the time there was nothing natural about it. Instead, it was like magic!
Since then, this technique has become a favorite (and, now intentional) way to make masks. The following video illustrates why and how.
(The video is also available on this page.)