In this post we take dodging and burning a step further. A quick reminder – Dodge and Burn lighten or darken specific areas of a photo and are often used to lighten or darken areas to help focus attention on the subject. There is also a simple Action for you.
This method is non-destructive and provides you with full control.
It relies on a combination of a 50% Grey Dodge Burn Layer – (green ‘dot’) – which has a neutral effect on layers underneath it – placed over a copy (red ‘dot’) of the original layer using the Overlay Blend Mode (blue ‘dot’) with all painting done on the Dodge / Burn Layer, so the process is as follows:
- Load your image.
- Cntrl J to duplicate it.
- D to set the background / foreground colours to their default white / black
- Create the Dodge Burn Layer by holding Alt and clicking on the New Layer (Blue ‘dot’) in its dialog select Overlay Blend Mode and Fill with 50% Grey.
- B to select the Paintbrush.
- Set the Opacity (Yellow ‘dot’) somewhere between 10 and 20 %.
- Then paint on the Dodge Burn Layer (green ‘dot’) with white to dodge or black to burn.
Rather than use a high Opacity setting you can always paint the same area more than once. If you do overdo it you can either switch brush colours and overpaint, say white instead of black.
If you have any actions, presets, tips, worked examples you would be happy to contribute and help others off to a good start with their photo processing, pay your knowledge forward ! We are happy to help with putting material together.