Dodging and Burning

September 13th, 2011

Dodging and burning is a great technique which can be used when creating black and white images, what this does is allow you to selectively darken and lighten areas within a photo. There are lots of methods which can be used to dodge and burn including just using the photoshop dodge and burn tools. However the method that works best for me is to use a non-destructive method that involves creating a separate layer over the original layer. The advantage of this method is that if at any point you want to revert back to the original photograph all you have to do is turn off the layer effect.

Here are the steps I use

1. Create a new layer (layer>new>layer), change the mode to overlay and select the box to fill the layer with 50% grey.


Dodging and burning 1


2. Using the paintbrush select the white brush and paint on the new layer, the areas you want to lighten (dodge) and select the black brush and paint over the areas you want to darken (burn). To vary how much these areas are effected drop the opacity of the brush. A good starting point is about 10% you can then paint over the same area again to increase the effect. Another good thing about using a new layer to make adjustments is that you can tone down the adjustments by adjusting the overall opacity of the layer.



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