A simple way to dodge and burn with precision and control in Adobe Photoshop
posted Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 3:00 PM EDT
In software like Lightroom and Photoshop, you can quickly add contrast to an image by using a simple slider. However, this method is sometimes too coarse and applied too broadly to bring out the best in your photography. In the video below, Aaron Nace with Phlearn shows off an easy method for dodge and burning in Photoshop that doesn't require a lot of time or practice while still offering a more fine-tuned process than a basic slider.
This technique is non-destructive and it relies upon the light and dark areas of your image to work. Simply put, it makes the bright areas of your image brighter and makes the dark areas darker. The first step is to go to Layer and then New Adjustment Layer and select a Curves adjustment layer. With a curves adjustment layer, you can choose to make areas of your image brighter or darker, depending upon where you select on the curve and the amount you move the curve up or down. Your first curves adjustment is to make the image brighter. Next, to be able to determine where this brightening effect is visible, you make the layer mask black and then select a white brush to paint in the areas you want brighter. A soft brush is likely best to ensure you don't have hard and distracting edges. To see the rest of the steps, watch the full video below. For more videos like the one below, head over to the Phlearn YouTube channel.