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If you want to touch up the lighting or the color saturation of just small parts of a photo, the Darkroom tools can come in handy. Those are located at the bottom of the toolbar in this tool slot. I'm going to start with the Dodge tool which is used to lighten parts of a photo. I'm going to leave the options set to their defaults, which means that this tool will affect primarily mid- tones with a strength of 50%. I'll move into the image and I'm going to click and drag over these white waves in the foreground and that does lighten them. Watch what happens if I change the Range option to Highlights.
Now if I come in and drag over the same waves they get very bright. That's too bright for my taste, so I'm going to undo by pressing Ctrl+Z on the keyboard, Command+Z on a Mac, and I'm going to reduce the exposure by moving my mouse over the Exposure label and dragging to the left. Now if I leave the Range set to Highlights and I click and drag over the white water, that lightens the highlights primarily, and I kind of like that look in this photo. The next thing I'd like to do is try to bring back some more detail in this bright area of the sky by darkening it down a little.
So I'll go back to the toolbar, I'll click and hold, and from the flyout menu I'll choose the Burn tool. I'm going to leave the options at their defaults and move into the image, and click and drag over the lighter part of the sky down here, and that does darken it down bringing back some more detail in the clouds. I'd also like to see a little bit of the sunset color there, so I'll go back over to the toolbar and select the third one of the Darkroom tools, the Sponge tool. By default the Sponge tool is set to Desaturate, which means to remove color.
So I have to be sure to change the mode option from Desaturate to Saturate when what I want to do is intensify color. I will move into the image and I'll drag over those clouds and sure enough a little bit of that nice warm orange glow comes back into the cloud area. I could also bring back some aqua in the water by clicking and dragging with the Sponge tool set to Saturate over part of the water. Do keep in mind that when you use the Darkroom tools you're making direct corrections right on the Photo layer.
So if I were to save and close and then reopen this photo, I wouldn't have the option of undoing or modifying these corrections.
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