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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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