Although they often get overlooked in the Photoshop workflow, clipping masks can make for some very interesting effects in images. A perfect example is the work of Roderique Arisiaman, whose portraiture includes intricately overlaid designs to make for intricate, unique images.
After being asked enough times how he goes about making these images, Arisiaman finally decided to create a tutorial for DIY Photographer and show the world how he uses clipping masks and a multitude of layers to create elaborate portraits.
There are two types of clipping you probably try to avoid introducing into your images during post-production: luminosity clipping (when the brightest areas of an image become white, or when the darkest areas become black), and channel clipping (when the data within an individual channel becomes compromised). Both forms – unless you’ve made a deliberate decision to clip your data – are something to avoid.
“Exposing to the right” is a well-known rule of thumb for maximizing image quality by pushing exposure to avoid noise, but the equation is changing as the quality of image sensors continues to improve. Ctein over at The Online Photographer writes,
In theory, you can still use the dubious right-hand rule. Just be careful to never blow out any pixels.
[…] Unless you’re sure you’re dealing with a low contrast subject, pushing your exposure to the high side makes it likely you’ll blow highlights. If you’re trying to improve your odds of getting a good exposure, pulling away from the right is a much smarter thing to do. If you know your subject is really high in contrast, pull far, far away from the right. Keep those highlights under control and let the shadows go where they may.
[…] Just, whatever you do, don’t expose to the right unless you’re absolutely positive there are no highlights to get blown. It was a questionable rule to begin with; these days I call it downright dangerous.
‘Expose to the Right’ is a Bunch of Bull [The Online Photographer]
Image credit: Out and about again by c@rljones