How you can Dodge and Burn in Photoshop (Or Any Different Picture Editor)


preview showing half-burned image
Harry Guinness

Dodging and burning are picture enhancing methods the place you selectively brighten (dodge) and darken (burn) totally different areas of your picture. It permits you to control what people will see first and usually make your photographs look cooler. Let’s have a look at the best way to do it.

RELATED: What Are Dodging and Burning in Photography?

How you can Dodge and Burn in Any Picture Editor

To dodge and burn a photograph, you want a option to selectively darken and brighten the totally different areas of it. Any picture editor that permits you to make native changes will do.

These embody:

For this text, I’m going to exhibit two strategies with Photoshop, however it’s best to observe alongside as carefully as doable with no matter picture editor you want to make use of. Most cellular editors—like Instagram, VSCO, and the iOS Photographs app—don’t provide the degree of management you want, so if you wish to use your smartphone for this, try Lightroom or Snapseed.

Methodology One: Paint It on With a Brush

The only option to dodge and burn your picture is to make use of some sort of brush tool, adjustment brush, or native adjustment brush to immediately paint the place you need issues to be brighter or darker. In Photoshop, we are able to obtain this impact utilizing the common brush software, a clean layer, and a layer mix mode. In lots of different picture editors, you’ll be capable of immediately paint any adjustment impact you need.

creating a new layer in photoshop

Open the picture you wish to edit and create a brand new clean layer by going to Layer > New > Layer… You can even use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on a Mac.

soft light blend mode selected

Within the Layers Panel, choose “Gentle Mild” from the Mix Mode dropdown. It implies that any white you paint with the comb will brighten that space of the picture whereas any black you paint will darken that space. The extra white or black you paint, the brighter or darker that a part of the picture will get.

selecting brush tool

Seize the Brush software from the Instruments Panel (or use the keyboard shortcut B) then press D to reset the comb colour to black. Now you can press X to swap between portray with black and portray with white.

configuring brush tool

Within the menu bar, configure the comb to your wants. I’d suggest utilizing a big, comfortable, spherical brush, however you should use no matter you want. Some good settings to get began are:

  • Measurement: 50px – 250px, relying in your picture dimension.
  • Hardness: 0%.
  • Opacity: 20%, so you’ll be able to layer up the impact with a number of brush strokes.
  • Circulation: 100%.
unedited image
The picture I’m going to dodge and burn. Harry Guinness

Now simply paint white wherever you wish to dodge and black wherever you wish to burn. Modify your brush settings as wanted to get the results you need. To make the impact stronger with every brushstroke, enhance your Opacity. To make the comb smaller for element work, lower the Measurement.

emulated dodge and burn layer
I’ve used a “Regular” mix mode right here to point out the place I’ve painted black and white on the layer. You’ll be able to see how this appears to be like with “Gentle Mild” on beneath.

You can even use a number of layers to construct up the impact or have one layer for dodging and one other for burning for extra high-quality management.

dodged and burned image
The ensuing picture. Harry Guinness

Whenever you’re pleased with the impact, save and share your picture.

Methodology Two: Adjustment Layers and Layer Masks

The primary technique is a good way to rapidly dodge and burn your photographs in Photoshop, however it may be a bit tough and prepared. In order for you extra exact management or to have the ability to tweak issues afterward, it’s finest to make use of an adjustment layer. It’s essential use two separate adjustment layers: one for dodging and one for burning.

creating an adjustment layer

Open the picture you wish to edit after which go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer, and choose both “Ranges” or “Curves”, relying on which you favor. Curves will give you more control, however for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to make use of a Ranges layer.

using a levels layer
I’ve used the Ranges layer to darken the shadows and midtones of the picture.

Using the histogram and the sliders, alter issues till the areas you wish to dodge or burn look the way you need them to look.

invert mask option

Subsequent, choose the Layer Masks and within the Properties panel, choose “Invert” (or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+i on a PC, Command+i on a Mac). This may trigger your edits to fade.

Then seize the Brush software (use the B key) and press D to reset it to its default colours: for masks, this implies you paint with white, which reveals the impact of the adjustment layer. You’ll be able to press X to swap to portray black if you wish to disguise extra of the impact.

Within the menu bar, configure the comb. You can begin with related settings to the primary technique. One thing like a Measurement between 50px and 250px, a Hardness of 0%, an Opacity of 20%, and a Circulation of 100%.

unedited image
I’m going to dodge and burn the identical picture once more. Harry Guinness

Now paint your dodge or burn impact into the areas you need. The benefit of this method is that you could all the time edit the adjustment layer to extend or lower the power.

layer mask
That is what the layer masks for the burn adjustment appears to be like like. Bear in mind, the white sections are the place the impact is strongest, the black is the place there’s no impact.

When you’ve dodged or burned your picture, repeat the steps above with the alternative impact, make any final tweaks to the adjustment layer or masks, after which save and share it.

dodged and burned image
The ensuing picture. Harry Guinness

Different Methods to Dodge and Burn

As you’ll be able to see from the strategies above, dodging and burning are methods not confined to any specific instruments. When you’ve got a option to brighten or darken totally different elements of your picture, you should use it to dodge or burn.

Another widespread methods you would possibly be capable of do it embody:

  • Devoted Dodge and Burn instruments.
  • An Adjustment Brush software that allows you to paint in any international adjustment you can also make. That is the best choice in Lightroom, Adobe Digicam RAW, and CaptureOne.
  • Other forms of choice instruments, like radial filters, dynamic management factors, gradient filters, luminance or colour choices, and the like, that you should use to focus on totally different areas of your picture for various changes.
  • Even a vignette slider, just like the one present in Instagram’s editor, is a crude technique of burning the perimeters of your picture to attract consideration to the middle





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