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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Now that we've been introduced to a few burning and dodging techniques, what I want to do is take a look at how we can apply one of those techniques, and also, how we can learn something new about burning and dodging. We'll be working with this photograph of my daughter Annie here with her brand-new puppy. This was the day that she brought that puppy home. What you'll notice is that her face is really bright, but light, it tapers off, it becomes darker and darker here as this lower portion of the image was closer to the shadows. So what I want to do is brighten that up so that this picture is both about Annie and also about her dog.
Well, one way to do this of course is to create a new layer and to change the Blending mode of that layer. To do that, we'll go ahead and click on the New layer Icon, and I'll just name this Burn and Dodge by double-clicking in that layer name and then retyping the name there, and we'll take this Blending mode to Soft Light. We can do that and select our Brush tool. With the Brush tool, I want to paint with white rather than black. So I'll press the X key in order to select white. Next, what I want to do is change my layer Opacity.
To do that, because I have the Brush tool selected, I can just press a number key on the keyboard. Here, I'll press 3 to take this Opacity to 30%, and then to change my Brush Size, I'll use the right-bracket key to make this a little bit bigger. Now here what I can do is go ahead and just paint over this area a little bit, just trying to brighten this lower portion of the image up just a bit. I'll go ahead and just paint a few brushstrokes back-and-forth in order to add a little bit of brightness to that area. Well, now here's our before, and then here's our after.
And by painting into this area, well, it's just bringing that forward. Well, what about darkening up the top? Well, just press the X key again to flip between black and white, lower the Opacity a little bit more by pressing 2 on the keyboard, and then just click and paint over the area that you want to darken up; in this case, the top part of the image. And by changing the tonal relationship what we can do is kind of equalize things a little bit so that there is some more equal amounts of brightness here. All right! Well, let's go ahead and turn this visibility off so we can see; there's that before, and after.
And burning and dodging allows us to do things like that. Yet, here I want to add to this technique. I want to show you another way that you can burn and dodge and that is with Gradient. So let's turn off the visibility of this layer for a moment, and let's create a new layer. Click on the New layer Icon, let's again name this one Burn and Dodge because that's what we'll be doing. This time though, let's select the Gradient tool. The Gradient tool will create a gradient with your background and foreground colors; in this case, white and black.
If you position the cursor over the image, you can click-and-drag. If you click-and-drag a short distance, you'll have a short transition. If you click-and-drag a long distance, well you'll have a long transition. You have more gray in the middle. Well here, you can see with this gradient, we have black up top and white below. Well, if we change this layer's blending mode to Soft Light, we can imagine what will happen. Well, the top of the image will become darker and the bottom will become brighter and here we can go ahead and click-and-drag across the image in order to find the right spot for how we want to have that transition take place.
Well, of course at this point, it's overdone; it doesn't really look very good. Yet, if we drop the Opacity say to 20% or 30% perhaps, what we'll see is that this might just work. Take a look! Here we have that before, and now our after. Essentially, it subtly darkened the top of the image and then it subtly brightened the bottom of the image. And by applying this gradient, well, it can help us burn and dodge our photographs in some wonderful ways. This can work with pictures like this or when you have those photographs, where you have the sky which is really too bright, you could create a gradient, so you could darken that area and then brighten another area.
So as you seek to explore how you can work with burning and dodging, what you want to do is experiment with how you can paint this adjustment in using that Brush tool, and also, how you can use this Gradient tool in order to come up with some interesting results.
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