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Sometimes you want to correct the lighting or the color in a photo in very small areas. When that's the case you might want to try this trio of tools that lives down here at the bottom of the toolbar: the Sponge tool for saturating and de-saturating color, the Dodge tool for lightning, and the Burn tool for darkening. I am going to start with the Burn tool, selecting it here, and then I'll go up to the Options bar. I usually like to use a hard- edged brush with this tool. So I'm going to click the arrow on the first icon in the Options bar.
And I'm going to choose one of hard- edged icons and then I'll click the X on that menu to close it. I'll move my cursor into the image and I'd like my Brush Size to be a little bigger, so it will cover this sign. So I'm going to the right bracket key on the keyboard a few times. I'm going to leave all the other options at their defaults up here, including the Range option, which determines whether that tool will be working on the Shadows, the Midtones, or the Highlights. I'll start with the Exposure or the strength of the effect set to 50%. If I need it to be higher, I can always come back and change that.
And then I'll come into the image and I'm just going to click-and-drag over the center of this sign making it a little darker, so it becomes more of a focus of the image. The Dodge tool does the opposite. You can use it to make a small area of an image lighter. So for that I'll come back to the toolbar, and I'll select the Dodge tool. I'm going to leave all their options at the defaults for now. I'll move into the image and I'll press the left bracket key to make the tool just big enough to cover one of these balloons, and I'll click to make the balloons a little bit lighter.
Now this is a subtle effect, but that's what this tool is for, making subtle localized changes to the lighting in your image. And now I'll show you the Sponge tool. I'll select that in the toolbar and let's say that I want to make the colors in the flag more intense. First I want to be sure to go up to the Options bar for this tool and go to the Mode menu where I can choose to either Saturate or Desaturate. In this case, I want to Saturate. So then I'll move into the image, I'll press my left bracket key and I'll click-and-drag over the flag to make it just a little more intense in color.
So that's the trio of tools that you can use to make subtle, localized changes to your images to make them look just that little bit better.
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