Basic Dodging and Burning in Photoshop
Okay, let's look at another one. Here's another just snapshot from my phone. My little guy having a bath and he loving it. Um, and we do not have good light in our bathroom. We have. There's no window. There is no natural light at all in that bathroom. So we have, um, just a darker space and we might just want to brighten some area, so I'll just show you quickly dodging and burning. It's really straightforward. It's very common to use this, I think, in our images. So when you do like a levels adjustment, you're you're adjusting the whole image, right? The whole thing. You can target the shadows, mid tones or highlights, but you're essentially adjusting the whole image. Unless you make a selection, then you're only doing that. But you might just want to lightened. For example. My face in this shot is just a little dark, so I could just lighten that on. I don't want to get all involved with making selection so I can just use the these tools right here. We have the Dodge tool and the burn...
tool, and like everything, there's more than one way to do this. So I'll show you a couple different ways. We can just do it directly, which is what I would probably do in this case, because it's just a little snapshot. And if I just wanted to post this somewhere, make a quick print and send it to my mom or something, I would just do it quickly so I would grab the Dodge Tool. The Dodge Tool works to brighten things. It gets it, uh, lore from the dark room days. If you've ever worked in the dark room, you probably recognize this. It was a very sophisticated tool made of like a pipe cleaner or a twig or a little dowel and then black construction paper, and you'd cut out a circle and tape it to the end of your little stick. Um, and that was your big fancy tool. So that's why it looks like a little lollypop, because that's what the Dodge Tool looked like. So it lightens things, and in the options bar, you can control the exposure by adjusting the slider. So ah, 100% would make a huge adjustment like a really big one. That's obviously too much. So you want to do this gingerly so we're going to dial it down. I usually go for, like, 10 to 20% somewhere in there. And then you just brush. You might have to do it repeatedly, because we, uh, lowered it, but it's going to be a little more subtle and more natural looking. And if we want to compare how it is now to how we started, I can click in my history panel back to this beginning state and we can see Oh, yeah, that that made an adjustment. Okay, The opposite of the Dodge Tool is the burn tool that works to darken things. I end up not doing this as much, and I guess it's just the way that I shoot or whatever. But if I wanted to darken something, then it works the same way you adjust the exposure again, you'd want to lower it, and then you just maybe if I wanted to. I know no dark And him you just brush over the image, and I'm gonna push it too extreme here. So you can really see. But eventually your image turns Teoh crap. Um, so you don't want to go that far? All right? I'm going to reset this eso that's dodging and burning. There's also the option appear to protect tones only. Try this. We go back to Dodge in my last time I dodged my face for you. It was protecting the tones. I'm gonna uncheck that sometimes. I mean, I know that it sounds good to protect the tones, but I find that if I'm dodging and I have protect tones on, it's, you end up almost with a weird hyper color. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but it's trying so hard to protect the tones, and I think it it just ends up looking a little weird. So personally, I prefer to uncheck that, but just try it and see what you like the best. But with that low exposure, I'm not worried about hurting my my tones. Um, I think you get a little more even results when you're not having Photoshopped protected. Like all decide what I want to protect. I don't want Photoshopped doing it, you know, without my consent or my knowledge of what's happening exactly, So you might just do a little bit of dodging there. Um, that looks pretty good. Pretty nice. Before and after, Um, but it's inflexible in that if we go overboard, we can't just faded away because I've done a number of steps here. This is my history panel. It's kept track of all the dodging I've done. And if I decide well, I only really want toe delete certain parts of this. It just doesn't work that way. So a better way of using dodging and burning is to do it in our layers panel. But we don't have a adjustment layer that says, dodging or burning. We could make a curves adjustment or a levels adjustment, and we could mask it and all of that. But another option is to add a special Phil layer and then dodge and burn on that layer. So here's what that looks like. We're gonna add Ah, blank layer. Actually, we can do this with an adjustment layer here, so I'm going to click the Yin yang, and we're gonna add a solid color. Uh, actually, no, I take that back, scratch that, reverse it. We'll do it the way I intended originally. Click to add a new blank layer. Then we're gonna fill this layer so we'll come up to the edit menu at it. Phil. So last time we saw this box that said Content Aware. But that's not an option here. So now our choices are foreground background, a specific color of our choosing. Or in this case, I'm gonna fill it with a magical thing called 50% Gray. And I'll show you why. That's magical. In a minute, when I click OK, it gets filled and the whole image is gone, and now it looks like What is that? But once we change our blend mode to overlay, it's as if this layer doesn't exist anymore, because in the blend mode overlay the way that it effects colors and tones and an image, it brightens some and it darkens others. But when something is 50% gray, it's not affected by overlay blend mode. So this 50% grade disappears, and it looks as if it's not there. That allows us to go back to our Dodge Tool here and now. I might bump this up a little bit because we're working on this layer now if I Dodge Aiken Dodge, just as if I was doing it before the same way. But now what's happening is actually lightning, not the background, but this gray layer. And so it gives us the safety net because then I can be like, Oh, that's too much and I can fade it away a little bit. That makes sense. So it's a better way of doing that. You could. Also, if that is not to your liking, you could also just duplicate your background layer and then dodged that. Well, that's a little much, Um, and you can always fade that if you go overboard, so you have a lot of options, but that's dodging and burning an initial, Um, and that Just remember, keep in mind that dodging lightens things and burning things, just like if you burn your toast, it darkens it, so hopefully that helps you keep it straight.