Dodge And Burn In Photoshop


Introduction to Black & White Film Photography


Lesson Info

Dodge And Burn In Photoshop

Now I've got an opportunity to do one of my absolute favorite techniques for lightening and darkening an image. In the analog dark room, we dodged and burned. If we dodged, we did this, so that less light appeared. If we burned, we turned the light on, and then we blocked it from everywhere else using our hands or a piece of paper, and we let more light come in to process. So this next process is an overlay dodge and burn method. We see it a lot of places, it works with color images, but it works really well with black and white images, because all that's sitting there is tone. All the overlay adjustment layer wants to do is manipulate tone. The way an overlay adjustment layer works is when you put down an overlay layer, what it says is anything where a pixel is brighter than 50%, you're allowed to make an adjustment if it's brighter. If it's darker, you don't make the adjustment. If fifty percent gray is laid down, nothing happens. So we're gonna come in and create a blank layer. We'r...

e gonna turn off the filter. We're gonna create a blank layer here. If I fill it, actually I'll create it the cool way. If I hold the option key, change the blend mode here to overlay. I get the option to add fifty percent color, and I'm gonna do a burn. Call the layer burn, and click okay. So you can see there's no effect turning the layer on and off. I'm gonna grab my brush tool. I'm gonna go ahead and just give it a nice, kind of soft brush tool. And what I wanna do is darken that waterfall a little bit. So I'm gonna hit the D key to get my default colors back. Black to paint darker, white to paint lighter. So in this case it's my burn layer, I'm gonna paint with black. Now how much black paint there is appropriate? I don't know. I would like to be like, 37.6% sounds good, but I don't know. But here's what I do know. If I go to 50%, 50% is either right, it's too light, or it's too dark. I've narrowed it down. I can tell you 100% is just too dark, but I don't know how much. So I'm gonna hit the five key and take my opacity down to 50%. Now the key to this process is I'm gonna make brush strokes, and then I'm gonna stop. And I'm not gonna make another brush stroke until I do one further step. So I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna paint on the waterfall. Okay so I painted the waterfall. Now, light or darker I don't know. If I come up to the edit menu, I've got the option here for fade brush tool. It's command shift F, or control shift F as your keyboard shortcut. I'm gonna choose fade brush tool. Now it's brought my fade brush tool option up and you can see I'm set at 50%. And after the fact I can change the impact of that brush. So I can say "oh, actually what I wanted was about 39%." So after the fact I get to make the decision of how light or dark. I actually kinda wanna darken this little bit of the water up here. So I'm gonna paint that. I can already tell you 50% is too much. I hit the keyboard shortcut, command shift F, control shift F, and I'm gonna back that off a little bit. Now I also can change the blend mode of my brush here. So I can say "oh let's go on ahead and make that a soft light effect," warm that up a little bit, and still get impact of some of the contrast. So now I've got the option for that. Now if I wanted to do a dodge layer, I'm gonna do the same thing. I'll call it dodge. I'm gonna change my mode to overlay. Fill it with 50%. Now I'm gonna change my brush to white, so I'll just hit the X key, toggle over to white. This tree right here needs to be a little brighter. Why does that tree need to be a little brighter? Because I think that tree needs to be a little brighter. I'm the photographer, I get to make that call. So I'm gonna go ahead and just paint that brush. Paint that up, I'm doing it a little sloppy because we're trying to get things done here. Paint that, now I wanna fade that brush. Now you see how I made this effect ... See how I made three brush strokes? The way that fade brush tool works, I cannot go back and edit that first brush stroke. That fade brush stroke only works on the last brush stroke. It doesn't have any history recorded in there, so if you start painting willy nilly out there and you're like "okay now I need to go back and fade that," there's no fading that. Can I erase that though? Well if I grab the eraser tool ... Okay so I can't do that. But what I can do, is I can select that middle gray. Oh that's color picker, wrong tool, I'll just come down and do it this way. I can come down and set my brightness to 50%. Load my brush. Set my opacity back ... Whoa, that was an interesting keyboard shortcut. I wonder what that was. Oh, get on the brush. (laughs) There we go. I set my opacity back to and now I can just paint back over anywhere that I wanted to make go away. So I have kind of an eraser, I just gotta jump back through the hoop to get 50% gray. If, people always ask "why don't you just refill it with 50% gray?" Well then I would lose all my other effects. But that's the one little piece of work around. So if I'm gonna come back in this way now, I get back on my dodge layer. Now I'm gonna do this one tree. And then I'm gonna fade that back to where I want. Okay if I come in and I wanna brighten up this area over here, I can fade that a little bit. If I wanna darken this area back in here, I can just change my brush, paint back in there, I can fade that. And then I'll just group those together. And I can start to actually just change the quick luminosity of the image. So from a dodging and burning standpoint, this is the analog way of doing it being applied into the darkroom. What I've done in my own work flow is I'm always gonna have a dodge and a burn layer. I'm never not gonna have that. So I just created an action called overlay dodge and burn. All the action does is create the two layers automatically and give them the appropriate name so I can just run the action and it puts them in a group. So it's a super easy action to record for dodging and burning.

Class Description

The world of black & white photography is more than just “black and white.” With film photography you can control and create dynamic and detailed images that are timeless. Photographer, artist and educator Daniel Gregory will demonstrate how black and white photography can allow you to be more creative with your work. He’ll show the different types of film and how to meter for black & white as well as how you can get into the development process. This class will be your introduction into truly creating a photo from capture through print in the most hands on way.

You’ll learn:

  • Types of Film and how they impact the overall look
  • Zone System Basics
  • Metering for Black & White Film
  • Film Chemistry and development techniques
  • Safety and Storage for working with chemicals
  • Scanning your own negatives
  • How to push and pull film
  • Advanced exposure techniques and utilizing the zone system
  • Get hands on with your photography by learning to shoot with black and white film and learn techniques that you can bring into your digital workflow that ultimately will make you a stronger and more confident photographer.



    I am really fond of Daniel Gregory as a teacher. He does a great job. To me, his enthousiasm, his passion for and his dedication to film photography are infectuous. It's great that CreativeLive makes place for film photography and for such a pro teaching it. It can never do so enough for me. Thanks. I am a fan.


    This is an excellent course and Daniel is a great teacher! I'm coming back to shooting film and darkroom work after 20 years away. I have some wonderful film cameras sitting in my cabinet and I decided I wanted to use them--so I have decided to shoot BW with film, and shoot color with my digital cameras. I will develop the BW film myself and scan and print digitally. This class is perfect for me!


    Daniel is on fire! He gets better as the day gets longer. This is like being read a book by the author all in one day. Almost zero wasted words. Really intense—way beyond an intro course—and I loved every bit of it. Thanks, Daniel, and thanks, CL!