Smarter and non-destructive: Dodging and burning made easy with Jimmy McIntyre


posted Monday, October 10, 2016 at 11:53 AM EST


Dodging and burning may seem simple and effective in Photoshop, but traditional techniques are not only destructive but can also have undesired side-effects. Photographer and educator Jimmy McIntyre wants to teach us to dodge and burn more effectively in Photoshop by utilizing different techniques, including blend modes, different brushes and masks.

To ensure we are all on the same page, dodging and burning are essentially used to selectively brighten (dodge) and darken (burn) areas of an image, creating more contrast and depth. In the video below, McIntyre shows Photoshop's traditional dodge and burn technique, which unfortunately can affect the color in your image in addition to brightness, rendering it a less than ideal solution for selectively brightening and darkening your photo. Besides saturation issues, dodge and burn affects an entire layer and is therefore destructive to your file.

What then should we do instead? First, you should head here to download Jimmy McIntyre's free Photoshop actions. If you don't want to download any actions, that's okay as he will show you how to achieve the same results without his actions in the second half of the video below.

In only a few short and simple steps, you can much more effectively dodge and burn your images. If you're like me, you may have given up on using dodge and burn as a means for selectively brightening and darkening your image due to problems with the standard process. Jimmy McIntyre's methods have eliminated all of those issues without relying on a complicated technique.

To learn more, visit McIntyre's website and YouTube channel. And to learn more about this video and to download the actions, don't forget to visit here.

(Seen via ISO 1200)