I have a project I'm working on where I'm taking photos of a bunch of cards / posters that are all in grayscale and have to get only the black portions from each of these photos.

I know I could use Select > Color Range to do this to each image separately, but I was hoping there was a way to simply create some kind of mask that could be placed on top of any of these images that would only show the black portions of that image (Also, again, since these images are from photos, it would need some form of tolerance too, not just purely black, but black and dark grays).

Any ideas on how / if this can be done??


1 Answer 1


Right click your mask layer and click Blending Options (also accessible if you double click the blank area to the right of the layer name, though I often accidentally select the layer name when I try to do that).

There's an option there called Blend If: and a range of luminance sliders which I think could be used for your purposes.

You'd still have to set it for each image, rather it being a mask layer you could drag and drop (or put in the new Asset Library - which I still haven't figured out btw). However the sliders have numerical values which could be very quickly replicated on each image; I'd expect this to take a fraction as long as running the finicky Select > Color Range tool over and over.

  • Thanks - It's not really much better as you said, but it definitely does help... I'm hoping someone will have a more robust solution, but I truly appreciate your help and tip! Mar 4, 2016 at 23:02
  • What you're asking for is basically an adaptive/intelligent mask. I think that would be a powerful and useful enough feature that it would be well advertised. I'm often wrong of course so I am keeping an interested eye on this question for a more clever answer. Also, if you don't get one, I think this is worth bringing up on the official forum Idea page
    – Lee Saxon
    Mar 4, 2016 at 23:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.