The Panel is divided into sections and placed in the order that you are most likely to use them when following Steve’s 6-Stage Photoshop workflow.

  • Create Exposures: Create brighter or darker versions of your background layer.
  • Luminosity Selections: Load selections based on the luminosity values in your image. Use with previews turned on or off.
  • Build & Modify Mask: When previews are turned on, adjust and tweak the selection being previewed using the various tools in this section.
  • Light: Tools for creating quick contrast and brightness adjustments.
  • Colour: Perform colour related adjustments with the tools in this section.
  • Effects: Find a handful of creative effects in this section of the panel.
  • Finishers: Tools for adding the finishing touches to your images with the detail enhancing tools found here.
  • Output For Web: One-click resize and sharpen tools for creating files optimised for sharing online.
Compact
Expanded

The panel starts out in a compact view with only the Create Exposures, Luminosity Selections and Build & Modify Mask sections expanded.

These sections are not collapsible which means they’re always visible. This is because they’re the parts of the panel you’ll probably use all the time.

The other sections can be expanded by clicking on the respective titles to reveal the functions under each.

How To Use The Panel

The overarching idea behind the design of the panel is that you’ll do things in one of the two following orders:

Applying masks directly to adjustments/effects:

  1. Load and modify a selection using the Luminosity Selections and Build & Modify Mask sections of the panel.
  2. Apply that selection directly to the layer mask of one of the adjustments/effects offered by the Light/Colour/Effects/Finishers sections of the panel.

Add adjustments/effects first, then mask them in or out selectively:

  1. Add an effect from one of the Light/Colour/Effects/Finishers sections of the panel.
  2. Load and modify a selection using the Luminosity Selections and Build & Modify Mask sections of the panel.
  3. Brush through that selection into the layer mask of the layers created in step 1

Or to put this even more concisely…

  • Method 1: Create selection then add it to an adjustment
  • Method 2: Add an adjustment then create a selection through which to mask it in or out of the image

There’s no right or wrong method as described above. You’ll find yourself using a mixture of the two depending on exactly what you want to achieve in any given moment.

Overview Video