How to Use the Subject Masking Feature in Imagen
Highlighting the subject in a photo with various adjustments is a great way to make it pop. Imagen makes the subject selection process much easier using AI.
If you’ve been paying attention to current events, you’ll notice that AI is everywhere. The latest iteration of AI tech that has me super excited for my photography business is AI editing from Imagen.
Editing hundreds or thousands of images every week is a painstaking task, and I am so excited that my workload is finally going to be reduced with the latest AI editing technology.
Sure, you can always batch edit, use pre-sets, and crank your favorite “focus playlist” but there is no getting around that processing raw files takes time if you want a consistent look… until now.
I’ve tried many things in the past to reduce my workload, but one of the biggest things that has always slowed me down is my desire to darken areas of my images around my subject.
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The biggest thing I am focused on when editing an image is drawing the eye where I want people to look. Lightroom released its AI features which help a ton but I still have to do a lot of manual work.
…that is, until Imagen released their latest AI tool, Subject Mask.
This feature takes the bulk of my editing workflow and consolidates it into an automated process!
The software will now mask out subjects and edit in a way that has nearly eliminated all the painstaking work of photo editing!
Read on to hear more about this incredible new feature and why I think the days of spending time editing images are almost behind us.
- Related: Imagen Review
Getting Started with Imagen AI Editing
If you haven’t used Imagen’s software before, I strongly encourage you to download the software and get started. It will change the way you think about photography and the way you spend your time!
Once you’ve gotten set up with the software, you can choose either a Talent AI Profile or create your own. Talent AI Profiles are great if you don’t have a history of a specific editing style.
A Personal AI Profile is great if you have a catalog of images that you’ve edited that have a consistent look. Simply upload the catalog of images and train Imagen on your editing technique.
Once it’s processed, you’ll be able to let Imagen edit photos to match your personal style.
One of the main features I love is getting to continually train the software on my style.
After I fine tune the edits it made, I re-upload the metadata to give it feedback for future edits. It’s like training your very own employee to edit in your style except they are willing to work anytime of day or night!
Imagen Editing Basics
After taking some time to set up your own profile (or jump ahead with a Talent AI Profile), you’ll be able to quickly get edits back that match your style.
I find that Imagen gets me 90% of the way to a finished gallery.
There will always be small adjustments to be made to get everything the way you like it but I find this process to be more fun since I haven’t just spent hours starting from RAW files.
You skip the headache of adjusting every exposure and color balance slider over and over. Now you can jump into the process at the end and take your images across the finish line with a few small adjustments.
Before I used AI editing, I would be so burnt out by the time my gallery was almost ready to upload that I would often skip some of the final steps. Now I enjoy reviewing all the hard work I didn’t have to do and giving some final adjustments to make everything polished.
One of the things I used to spend a lot of time doing was adding radial filters. This helps darken the edges of the frame and draw the eye toward the subject.
When Lightroom added AI subject detection features in late 2022, I was super excited because the process could be applied to multiple images.
Now jump ahead to 2023, and Imagen is taking Subject Mask to the next level!
New Imagen Subject Mask Tool Feature
The new subject mask feature in Imagen is by far the most impressive addition to the software. I previously spent a lot of time brushing or adding filters to my images.
Then I switched to AI masking in Lightroom Classic but now I can simply check the box and Imagen will do it for me!
While choosing options, you can now select Subject Masking in the editing options and Imagen will apply masks to your images to match the look you’re going for.
In training the Personal Profile I use to edit my images I added many images that had masking applied. After downloading edits for a new gallery, I was quite pleased with the results of the masking feature.
It is a bit of a black box in terms of what settings you will end up with but I loved the results. You can always click on the mask to dive into the settings applied but I think the end result is more important than how it got there.
For example, I often darken the backdrop but instead, Imagen decided to brighten the subject. It is the same end result with a slightly different approach.
I’m excited to continue to train my Personal Profile over the course of the next several months to further refine my edits. I’m confident Imagen will continue to release new features that make the process even better over the coming months/years.
If you haven’t tried the subject mask feature in Imagen, I highly recommend it. The ability to draw the eye to the subject of a photograph is now achieved with so much less effort!
Imagen continues to innovate, and the release of the Subject Mask tool feature is just another example of the Imagen team are completely changing the game when it comes to photo editing.
I’m honestly excited for my busy editing season, where I can simply upload my photos to Imagen and get back hundreds of edits. Taking them from RAW to finished image is going to be so fast, especially now that I don’t have to do any masking to make my images pop!
There will always be a little fine-tuning since no software is perfect but Imagen is by far the best I’ve ever tried!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Imagen and how you see the future of photo editing in the comments below.
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