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Photoshop CS4's adjustment features offer unparalleled opportunities to correct and manipulate images. In Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth, Jan Kabili explains how to use all the major Photoshop adjustment features. She shares the best techniques for adjusting image quality, and shows how to use the new Adjustments panel to streamline a photo correction workflow. Jan also demonstrates multiple ways to eliminate color casts, and explains how to use the new On-Image Curves control to adjust brightness and color. This course offers a detailed look at the techniques photographers and designers use to master image adjustments in Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
After you have made global corrections to tone and color using the techniques you have learned so far in this course, there is still often a need to work small, to make local tonal corrections and one way to do that is to use the Dodge and Burn tools. Professionals used to shy away from these tools because to be honest, they didn't work very well. But in Photoshop CS4, these tools have gotten a makeover and they are much better, so they are worth taking a look at. The Dodge and Burn tools are located over here in the Toolbox. Like their namesakes in the traditional wet dark room, the Dodge tool is used to lighten local areas and the Burn tool to darken local areas.
I am going to select the Dodge tool and then I'll come up and look at the Options bar. The Range feature allows me to choose whether the Dodge tool is going to affect Midtones, Shadows or Highlights. I will start with Midtones and I can always come up here and change to Highlights or Shadows if I need to. The Exposure field determines the strength of the effect of the Dodge tool. I think it's a good idea to start with a lower exposure and then you can build up an effect with multiple strokes of the Dodge tool. To change the number in the Exposure field, you can scrub over the Exposure label, you can use the Exposure slider or the way that I like to do it is to use keyboard shortcuts as I'm working in the image.
To change the Exposure in multiples of 10, you can just press one digit, so if I wanted a 30% exposure, I would press 3 and if I wanted a 50% exposure I would press 5 and if I wanted 45% I would press 4 and 5. So that's a quick way to change Exposure as you work. I am also going to make sure that Protect Tones is checked. This is the secret to making the tool work better in Photoshop CS4 and it's particularly important to have Protect Tones checked if you are working on skin tones like this.
Now I'm going to go over to the Layers panel. The big downside of the Dodge and Burn tools is that they are not nondestructive. In other words, if I use the tools on this image layer, the pixels on this layer will be permanently changed. So in order to preserve the original, I suggest making a duplicate of the image layer before you use the Dodge and Burn tools. Yes, it will make the document bigger, but at least it will preserve your original image. To make a copy of this layer, I'm going to hold down the Ctrl key and click on the layer on a Mac or Right-click on a layer on a PC and choose Duplicate Layer. I'll click OK and I work on that selected Background copy layer.
Now I'm going to move the tool into the image. I can resize the brush by using the right bracket key to make it bigger or the left bracket key to make it smaller and I can hold down the Shift key and press the left bracket key to make sure I have a soft brush. I would like to lighten this dark area under the model's eye, so I'm just going to click and drag over that area, I can do that a couple of times to increase the effect. I might do the same here in the corner of her eye and under her brow. I can also use this tool lighten eye color.
So I can come over the iris of her eye here and click and if I do that a few times, accumulatively lighten her eye. If I think I have gone a little bit too far, I'll press Command+Z on my keyboard. That's Ctrl+Z on a PC keyboard. Now I'm going to give the Burn tool a try. I'll go back over to the Burn and Dodge tool space in the Toolbox, click there and I'll choose the Burn tool. Up in the Options bar, I have the same options that I had for the Dodge tool. I'm going to lower the Exposure to maybe 40% and I'm going to try using this tool to darken her lipstick. So I'll just come over the model's lips and I'll click and drag to make them a bit darker.
If I come up to her eyes and I use the left bracket key to make the brush small, I can make her eye makeup darker. It's already pretty dark, so I'm not going to do too much there. So you can use the Burn tool to emphasize features in a portrait like this one. You can also use it to direct the viewer's attention toward the lighter parts of the image by darkening the corners, which is sometimes called vignetting. I'll do a little bit of that in this portrait by moving up to one of the corners and making my brush bigger and then I'll just swipe it across her forehead a little bit, maybe here on this hot spot, over on her ear, down her cheek and down her neck.
When I'm done with my local corrections with this tool, I can get a before and after view by going over to the Layers panel and clicking the eye icon on the Background copy layer. So this is how I started a few minutes ago and this is where I am now. Some subtle changes, but significant ones. Remember that the Dodge and Burn tools aren't just for portraits like this. You can try them out anywhere that you need to make a local correction to tonal values. Unfortunately, this is not a nondestructive tool. So if you prefer to work nondestructively, which I really do recommend, please listen to the next movie where I'm going to show you how to Dodge and Burn on a neutral separate layer.
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