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Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools

From: Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Video: Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools

The Toning tools, which are the Dodge tool, the Burn tool, and the Sponge tool in Photoshop, have always been intended to help you change the exposure and saturation of localized areas of a photo. But in previous versions of Photoshop, they often did more harm to an image than good. So Photoshop users tended to stay away from them. But these tools have been improved in Photoshop CS4, so much so that there are a really useful way of changing the exposure and saturation in localized areas of an image. I am going to start by selecting the Dodge tool right here in the toolbox.

Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools

The Toning tools, which are the Dodge tool, the Burn tool, and the Sponge tool in Photoshop, have always been intended to help you change the exposure and saturation of localized areas of a photo. But in previous versions of Photoshop, they often did more harm to an image than good. So Photoshop users tended to stay away from them. But these tools have been improved in Photoshop CS4, so much so that there are a really useful way of changing the exposure and saturation in localized areas of an image. I am going to start by selecting the Dodge tool right here in the toolbox.

Like a Dodge tool in a traditional darkroom, the Dodge tool will make areas of a photo lighter and it used to do a pretty bad job of that. Let's see how it does on this photo. Before I get started, I will check the Options bar. Here I can vary whether the Dodge tool concentrates on the Shadows, the Midtones or the Highlights in a photo. I will leave this at its default, Midtones. The Exposure determines the strength of the effect. I am going to lower that. I would like to start with it low and then I can apply the tool successively to increase the effect in the image.

The important checkbox is the Protect Tones checkbox. Do leave that checked, because that will make the tool behave a lot better than in older versions of Photoshop. So let's see how it does on this image. One thing I would like to do is to lighten the area under the model's eyes. I will come into the image and I am going to make my brush big by pressing the right bracket key, and I am just going to drag under the eyes and that immediately makes that area lighter. I will do the same under the brows, and then I will make the brush bigger by pressing the right bracket key again, and I will give it a hit in the middle of the forehead lightening that area too.

I might run the brush over the hair to brighten it, and finally I might try to lighten the eyes by making the brush smaller and moving it over the inside of each eye. So the effects are subtle, but I really think they have improved the look of the photo. Next I am going to select the Burn tool, which is located in the same tool slot. As in the traditional darkroom, the Burn tool will make an image darker. So I am going to use it to darken the background area here to focus the eye on the subject.

I am going to make the tool bigger and I will leave all the defaults in the Options bar including the check next to Protect Tones, and then I am just going to drag over areas of the background, darkening them. I will make my brush smaller with the left bracket tool to get in here and in here. Now let's try the Sponge tool. I will go back to the Tool Options bar and down to the Sponge tool and if you look in the Options bar here, you will see that this tool is set to Desaturate by default.

I would like to increase the saturation of parts of this image, so I will click on the Mode menu and I will choose Saturate. Notice that there is a Vibrance checkbox here. This means that in Photoshop CS4, the Sponge tool is using Vibrance technology. We've come across Vibrance before as a new kind of adjustment in the Adjustments panel. Vibrance is a subtle way of varying the saturation of color. It concentrates on colors that are less saturated than others in an image and it tends to protect skin tones. So it should be just what we need here. I am going to come in and make my brush smaller by pressing the left bracket key, and then I am just going to click in the eye to saturate it just a bit and I will do the same in the other eye.

I am going to reduce the Flow by clicking and dragging to the left over the word Flow, and then I am going to run the Saturation brush over the lips, adding a little saturation to the color there. I see that the model's nostrils are a little bit red and to fix that I am going to change the mode of the Sponge tool to Desaturate, and then I will come in with that low Flow and I will just run my mouse over the nostrils removing some of that red. To compare how the image looks now with these changes with the original image, I am going to go to the History panel, go to the very top, and I will click the snapshot at the top.

So here is how the image is with the changes, and here is how it was when we started. So as you can see, you can use these Toning tools in Photoshop CS4 to quickly brighten areas of a photo, darken other areas, and add a little bit of saturation where you need it most.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

103 video lessons · 67244 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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