PS Secrets 24: How To Dodge & Burn Effectively in Photoshop

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How To Dodge & Burn Effectively in Photoshop

PS Secrets 24: How To Dodge & Burn Effectively in Photoshop

In this week’s tutorial we will look at one amazing way to dodge and burn with precision in Photoshop, while maintaining a non-destructive workflow and without affecting the colours in our image. We’ll also look at a great way to increase local contrast similar to Nik Color Efex’s Pro Contrast filter, while targeting those changes specifically to our highlights or shadows.

The traditional Dodge and Burn tools found in Photoshop require us to use destructive workflow, while over-saturating the colours in our image. There are many different ways to dodge and burn in Photoshop that offer cleaner results.

The techniques in this tutorial use a mixture of blend modes, the paint brush and masks. If we combine a white or black paint brush with a layer that has a blend mode set to Overlay or Soft Light, we can often dodge and burn very cleanly. Combing this with accurate masks, will give us a beautifully clean result. Don’t worry if this sounds confusing, the video will explain all.

And you can download my free actions here:

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PS Secrets 24: How To Dodge & Burn Effectively in Photoshop
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Brad Truxell
Brad Truxell
3 years ago

Hi Jimmy, great video! It’s nice to see you back and I hope the move went smoothly for you.

This video got me thinking about my own workflow and how destructive it is, unfortunately. The reason for this is mainly the “Nik Collection”. I don’t use it that often except for some noise reduction and contrast adjustments. I noticed that Nik adds a new layer that if needing to go back, the entire layer has to be removed. This further complicates things if you lower the opacity to the filter.

Is there a way to use the Nik filters non-destructively since it adds that extra base layer? I never gave this much thought until you posted this video.

Thanks!

Jimmy McIntyre
Jimmy McIntyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Brad Truxell

Hey Brad,
Thank you for the comment. You make a very valid point. The Nik colllection can really screw up the non-desctructive process. My advice is to do all of these changes at the very beginning of the workflow, or the very end.

If we insert a Nik layer into the middle of our workflow that’s when things start to get tricky.

Thanks again
Jimmy

AlphaStatuz
AlphaStatuz
3 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy McIntyre

Agree with Jimmy. I generally use Nik filter for pro contrast (and occasionally for the darken/highlight vignette tool) and my usual workflow (if anyone cares) looks something like this…. (this is generalized, obviously, so just the sort of routine things that I generally apply to any image)

1. Blend original exposures, then group these
2. Adjust for any under/overexposed with either Curves or a new Stamp Layer and some suitable Masking
3. Color Tone or Saturation or Desaturations
4. Nik effects adjustments
5. Final sharpening (if needed)

Brad Truxell
Brad Truxell
3 years ago
Reply to  AlphaStatuz

Very similar to my workflow as well. Those are really the only two tools that I use in Nik as well (along with some de-noise).

Brad Truxell
Brad Truxell
3 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy McIntyre

Thanks for the reply, Jimmy. That’s what I thought and is what I am currently doing. I was hoping there was some secret way to turn it into an adjustment layer. Keep up the awesome tutorials and photos!

Mike Gaskin
Mike Gaskin
3 years ago
Reply to  Brad Truxell

Hi Brad, I overcome this problem by making the layer a SMART layer, you can then put all the NIX filters on this and go back and change them as required. Hope this helps.

Atiq Sumon
Atiq Sumon
3 years ago

I’m just going to use your action right now.. Special thanks for Dodge Highlights. This is really a good guidelines for apprentice and even advanced photographers. Once again thanks so much!

Peter Allum
Peter Allum
3 years ago

Hi Jimmy, great video! A suggestion for future videos from me would be how to prepare an image for printing. Thanks

Peter
Peter
3 years ago

Great tutoria. Thanks. I have a question, what tablet are you using there?

Mike
Mike
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter

Looks like a Wacom.

Jimmy McIntyre
Jimmy McIntyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter

Hey there, it is a Wacom Intuos Medium tablet 🙂

Robert Angel
Robert Angel
3 years ago

Another great video, Mr. McIntyre. Useful content presented clearly and simply. Not easy! RCA

MIkey McDonald
MIkey McDonald
3 years ago

Jimmy any plans on more premium tutorials with Rayapro ? Maybe more workflow difficult compositions as you did before. Extend to b&w maybe and prepare to print as suggested already. Having withdrawal keen to really get a handle on this and see where and when the next Rayapro updates take us.

mowk
mowk
3 years ago

Hi Jimmy,

first, I would like to thank you for this, once again, very nice tutorial , concise and helpful.
As you were asking for suggestions, may I take this opportunity to ask if you would be interested in explaining how you do perspective blending in landscape photography.
I wanted to use the Transform tool in PhotoShop but I don’t know where to start and how to put the “distant-zoomed-in summit ” photo into the panorama.

Thank you

Th-Th-Timmey
Th-Th-Timmey
3 years ago

This is different to using Raya Pro’s Dodge and Burn 2 method right?

Valerie
Valerie
3 years ago

Thanks for this information and these tools. But I have a different need….I need to dodge shadows without ruining the colours and I can’t figure out how to do the inverse of what these actions provide. Not an advanced user for sure.

Mike Gaskin
Mike Gaskin
3 years ago

Hi Jimmy, thanks for this and all your tutorials. Since getting Raya Pro my workflow has not only improved, but so have my images.
I found this tutorial extremely helpful and the actions work a treat, saving me hours dodging and burning, keep up the good work.

Antonio Castañeda
Antonio Castañeda
3 years ago

Great tutorial, as always! I’ve downloaded Dodge and Burn as well as Sharpening actions, but how can I get these actions into Photoshop? I´m in a great need to use them as soon as possible! I have a special photo that I´d like to challenge Jim. How I send it to you, and if it should be RAW o JPG?
Again, thanks a lot

Dennis Zito
Dennis Zito
3 years ago

Hi Jimmy,

I seem to be having a problem with the Shadow Contrast in the Actions you provided. I’m using PS-CC 2017. When I run the action, I don’t get the High ByPass sharpening Window, so I can’t make the adjustment for the contrast. I’ve deleted the entire actions and reinstalled them, but I get the same results. Any ideas why just the Shadow Contract action doesn’t work. I have no problem with the Highlight Contrast.

The video is awesome and I use the dodge and burn all the time now.

Thanks for all your hard work!

Dennis

Wanda Lach
Wanda Lach
3 years ago

Hi Jimmy, I must be missing something! I’ve replayed your video so many times – I’m using PS CS5 – everytime I try to use this technique it affects the entire image and not just the darks or lights. What am I doing wrong? I’m not a Raya Pro user so just following your examples for PS.

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