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Using Soft Light for burning and dodging

From: Photoshop CS5 for Photographers

Video: Using Soft Light for burning and dodging

Burning and dodging is all about brightening or darkening different areas of our photograph. There actually are a handful of different techniques that we can use to burn and dodge. What I want to do is show you here yet another technique, which can be really helpful, because it adds a little bit more flexibility to how we burn and dodge. Well, let's zoom in on the image a little bit and first let's deconstruct how this technique works. I'm going to go ahead and create a new layer. I'm going to name this layer burn and dodge. Next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and grab my Brush tool.

Using Soft Light for burning and dodging

Burning and dodging is all about brightening or darkening different areas of our photograph. There actually are a handful of different techniques that we can use to burn and dodge. What I want to do is show you here yet another technique, which can be really helpful, because it adds a little bit more flexibility to how we burn and dodge. Well, let's zoom in on the image a little bit and first let's deconstruct how this technique works. I'm going to go ahead and create a new layer. I'm going to name this layer burn and dodge. Next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and grab my Brush tool.

Then I'm going to paint on this layer with black or white. Make my brush a little bit smaller here, but you'll notice as I paint with black we can see this black stripe, and then now I'll paint with white next to this and we'll have a white stripe. Now that we have these two areas on the image, let's take this to a blend mode of Soft Light. Now when we take to a blend mode of Soft Light, you can see that the black darkened and the white brightened, just like burning and dodging works. Well, the interesting this about this is that if we go back, let's say, to our Normal blend mode, if we add a little bit of a color shift either into the brightening, let's do that over here, or for that matter into the darkening effect, and this time we'll add perhaps a dark red over here, what we can do is we can actually burn and dodge, and have a little bit of a hue shift.

Let me show you what I mean. When I take this now to the blend mode of Soft Light, you can see here that while this is darkening, rather than darkening the black, it's darkening to this deep red. While this is brightening over here, rather than brightening to white, you can see it's brightening to a little bit of a red shift. Let me grab the Move tool and move these around a little bit, so you can see them in some different areas. Again, you can see how I'm either darkening over here or brightening over here with white or with this bright red, or with black, darkening, or with this other color.

Again, you can see how this is affecting different areas of the image in different ways. The interesting thing about that is what we can do is some pretty elaborate burning and dodging. All right. Well, how then can we begin to tap into the power of this technique? Let's go ahead and delete this layer and start over. The first thing we want to do is a new layer, and we'll name this new layer burn and dodge. Next, we want to take this to a blend mode of Soft Light, and then we want to target an area that we're going to work on.

In this case, I want to work on the eyes. I'll grab my Brush tool. What I'm going to do is simply paint with white. I want to lower the opacity, typically, you want a pretty low opacity, and make my brush a little bit smaller here. I'm just going to go ahead and start to paint over these shadow areas. I'm looking to try to make some subtle improvements. It's not going to be anything huge, but I just want to bring a little bit more light into this area of the face. You can see that as I paint more brush strokes, I can brighten this up more and more.

There are a lot of retouchers who actually retouch completely with this technique. This is how they'll remove wrinkles. This is how they'll do most of their work. All right. Well, so far so good. I'm simply brightening up these areas. It looks a little awkward, but let's look at our before and after. Here we have before and then after. It looks a little awkward, because my brush strokes aren't very good. So what I need to do is go to Filter > Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur. What Gaussian Blur will do for me as we can see here's my before and after.

Let me zoom in a little closer here, so you can see that. Here we have before and then after. It really just smoothes all of these brush strokes out. Let's click OK. Now, look at our before and after. Here we have before and then after. It's a little bit too high, so I'll lower my Opacity as well. Again, just bringing a little bit of light into that area of the image, it looks that much better. All right. Well, how else can we use this? Well, let's say that in another area of the photograph, we notice that this is a little bit too bright up here on the helmet. Well, I'll click on the Background layer, grab the Quick Select tool, and I'm going to simply paint over the white of the helmet.

Well, now that I have all of that selected, what I can do is create a new layer and this one, because I know I'm just going to be burning, I'll just name this burn. Then I'm going to grab my Brush tool and I'm going to paint with black. What I'm interested in doing is I'm going to paint with black over this area of the helmet, because I want to then darken this up. So I'm just going to paint this in here. You can see how I'm building that up a little bit. Next, I'm going to take this to a blend mode of Soft Light. All right.

Well, let's see how this looks. Let's go to Select and choose Deselect so we can actually see what's happened here. Well, if we look at the image, we can see here's our before. Let's zoom in again, and then once again here's our after. So, I was really able to successfully darken this helmet up without going too far. Now this image will print much better, because this white was too bright to really reproduce this. The nice thing about this is if ever there's too much of this layer, well, I can simply create a layer mask.

Grab my Brush tool, in this case paint with black, and I'll go ahead and increase the Opacity here so we can see how this works. I'm just going to remove the darkening effect from the lower area down here. I don't need that. Really just up top. So now, it's just darkening down these brighter tones that were a little too blown- out. All right. Well, let's zoom out and look at our overall before and after with this burn and dodge technique. We can look at the before and after by Option+Clicking or Alt+Clicking on the eye icon of the background layer. Here we have it, before and now after.

Now keep in mind that this technique is actually really quite powerful. So what you're going to want to do is start experimenting with it, and the best way to experiment is to simply create a new layer, change the blend mode to Soft Light, and then just to begin to paint with different colors and also with different shades of gray, or of course with black and white.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 for Photographers
Photoshop CS5 for Photographers

204 video lessons · 43192 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 16s
    1. Welcome
      2m 14s
    2. Using the exercise files
      45s
    3. Photography and Photoshop
      1m 17s
  2. 27m 21s
    1. Becoming a successful student of Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Strategies for success
      2m 9s
    3. Taking visual snapshots
      3m 32s
    4. The importance of the 30-minute blink
      2m 38s
    5. Isolation
      5m 41s
    6. Creative memorization
      2m 59s
    7. Say it out loud
      4m 9s
    8. Be prepared for surprises
      1m 17s
    9. Why Photoshop CS5?
      3m 55s
  3. 20m 8s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      2m 51s
    2. Introducing the Bridge workspace
      2m 57s
    3. Using Bridge to review and evaluate photographs
      4m 12s
    4. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      1m 56s
    5. Introducing Mini Bridge
      3m 49s
    6. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 23s
  4. 25m 52s
    1. Choosing your color settings
      2m 35s
    2. HUD color picker preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Image interpolation preferences
      3m 52s
    4. Zoom preferences
      1m 47s
    5. Interface preferences
      3m 3s
    6. File-handling preferences
      2m 59s
    7. Performance preferences
      2m 28s
    8. Cursor preferences
      2m 59s
    9. Guides and type preview preferences
      3m 25s
  5. 23m 46s
    1. Introducing color management
      2m 53s
    2. Two simple steps for more accurate color
      5m 34s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      4m 28s
    4. Why color settings and monitor calibration matter
      5m 18s
    5. Creative tip: Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    6. Monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    7. Color management resources
      1m 48s
  6. 35m 9s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      1m 27s
    2. Working with the Tools panel
      4m 36s
    3. Viewing and arranging documents
      4m 29s
    4. Combining multiple images
      4m 15s
    5. Closing multiple images
      2m 17s
    6. Working with panels
      3m 50s
    7. Customizing your workspace
      4m 14s
    8. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      4m 49s
    9. Working with the Application bar and Full Screen view
      4m 3s
    10. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 22m 54s
    1. Bit depth 101
      5m 29s
    2. Introducing image size
      3m 26s
    3. Resizing images
      6m 50s
    4. Resizing by cropping
      2m 33s
    5. Straightening an image
      2m 22s
    6. Creative tip: Sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 33m 49s
    1. Introducing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 33s
    2. Opening images in Camera Raw
      3m 48s
    3. Using the basic Camera Raw controls
      3m 20s
    4. Color correction and white balance
      3m 7s
    5. Processing multiple images
      2m 21s
    6. Crop and compose
      4m 31s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    8. Camera raw workflow
      7m 36s
    9. Saving images from Adobe Camera Raw
      3m 7s
  9. 38m 9s
    1. Introducing transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing layers
      2m 58s
    3. Working with layers
      3m 49s
    4. Aligning layers
      2m 8s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 18s
    6. Organizing layers
      3m 34s
    7. Layer style effects
      6m 18s
    8. Creating a clipping mask
      3m 0s
    9. Targeting and moving layers
      4m 10s
    10. Layers shortcuts
      6m 25s
  10. 44m 59s
    1. Using the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Using the Quick Select tool to remove a background
      2m 16s
    3. Using the Quick Select tool for creative color effects
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Marquee Selection tool
      2m 55s
    5. Using the Magnetic Lasso tool
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Polygonal Lasso tool
      3m 28s
    7. Making color range selections
      3m 35s
    8. Using Refine Edge to improve selections
      3m 17s
    9. Using Refine Edge with a color range
      4m 21s
    10. Introducing paths
      3m 43s
    11. Creating a path selection
      4m 24s
    12. Using a path selection to improve color
      6m 48s
  11. 42m 31s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 13s
    2. Deconstructing how masking works
      6m 56s
    3. Masking defined
      1m 51s
    4. Refining masked edges
      5m 58s
    5. Building a mask based on color
      6m 11s
    6. Changing a color using a mask
      3m 54s
    7. Masking and selective sharpening
      5m 53s
    8. Using the Mask panel controls
      4m 7s
    9. Quick Mask mode
      6m 28s
  12. 15m 8s
    1. Creating a custom border using masking
      6m 10s
    2. Using pre-built borders
      4m 21s
    3. Exploring sample image frames
      4m 37s
  13. 21m 40s
    1. Introducing the Adjustments panel
      4m 50s
    2. Using Hue/Saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      4m 29s
    3. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      4m 46s
    4. Working with vibrance and saturation
      3m 31s
    5. Working with adjustment layer presets
      4m 4s
  14. 27m 10s
    1. Introducing levels
      3m 29s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      6m 32s
    3. Modifying color and contrast with levels
      6m 15s
    4. Using levels to make subjective color shifts
      5m 11s
    5. Using levels and masking
      3m 5s
    6. Creative tip: Checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 34m 14s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      2m 53s
    2. Demystifying curves
      5m 45s
    3. Using curves to modify color, contrast, and tone
      2m 58s
    4. Combining selections and masking with curves
      3m 6s
    5. Creating hand-painted masks
      4m 27s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      6m 23s
    7. Using curves to enhance color
      4m 24s
    8. Using multiple curves adjustments
      1m 41s
    9. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      2m 37s
  16. 23m 5s
    1. Creative tip: Blending two elements
      58s
    2. Introducing blending modes
      2m 26s
    3. Blending modes visualized
      4m 40s
    4. Blending multiple images together
      4m 34s
    5. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      1m 53s
    6. Improving overexposure using blending
      1m 36s
    7. Improving underexposure using blending
      4m 8s
    8. Blending shortcuts
      2m 50s
  17. 16m 40s
    1. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      4m 58s
    2. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting color with Camera Raw
      1m 58s
    4. Camera Raw color correction with a color chart
      1m 52s
    5. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
      3m 38s
  18. 27m 27s
    1. Replacing color
      2m 9s
    2. Replacing color with Hue/Saturation
      5m 12s
    3. Modifying color with Selective Color
      3m 40s
    4. Modifying multiple colors with Selective Color
      3m 5s
    5. Creating dramatic sunset colors
      2m 59s
    6. Using Color Balance to improve sunrise colors
      1m 13s
    7. Using Color Balance, selections, and masks together
      4m 57s
    8. Improving a family portrait with Color Balance
      2m 35s
    9. Creative tip: Shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 31m 12s
    1. Creative tip: The digital darkroom
      1m 20s
    2. Introducing the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 22s
    3. Using the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 31s
    4. Enhancing dimension with the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 58s
    5. Improving tone with the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 12s
    6. Using Soft Light for burning and dodging
      5m 58s
    7. Darkening with the Soft Light blending mode
      5m 39s
    8. Adding contrast to the highlights
      4m 12s
  20. 15m 1s
    1. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      4m 9s
    2. Converting a portrait to black-and-white
      4m 22s
    3. Converting a landscape to black-and-white
      2m 18s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      2m 39s
    5. Creative tip: Seeing beyond color
      1m 33s
  21. 11m 2s
    1. Adding lens flare
      3m 34s
    2. Adding film grain
      1m 47s
    3. Introducing Smart Filters
      1m 44s
    4. Applying Smart Filters
      3m 57s
  22. 10m 17s
    1. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      2m 56s
    3. Advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 56s
  23. 45m 18s
    1. Using the Dust and Scratches filter
      3m 8s
    2. Removing dust and scratches with masking
      2m 44s
    3. Introducing the trio of healing tools
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Healing and Clone Stamp tools
      3m 26s
    5. Healing along edges and areas of contrast
      2m 8s
    6. Healing and patching
      5m 19s
    7. Using Content-Aware Fill
      4m 27s
    8. Using multiple content-aware tools for the best results
      4m 19s
    9. Making multiple selections with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 18s
    10. Deleting unwanted elements
      3m 59s
    11. Removing a garment strap with spot healing
      1m 46s
    12. Cleaning up an image with spot healing, cloning, and healing
      6m 14s
  24. 48m 59s
    1. Creative tip: Leaving crumbs
      1m 18s
    2. Whitening teeth
      2m 8s
    3. Improving eyes
      3m 24s
    4. Changing eye color
      2m 48s
    5. Enhancing makeup
      5m 33s
    6. Removing blemishes
      2m 20s
    7. Softening skin
      7m 0s
    8. Reducing shadows around eyes
      5m 32s
    9. Reducing and removing wrinkles around eyes
      6m 43s
    10. Improving highlights and shadows
      5m 6s
    11. Changing body size and shape with Liquify
      3m 50s
    12. Modifying the body with Puppet Warp
      3m 17s
  25. 23m 19s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      5m 16s
    2. Removing distortion with Automatic Lens Correction
      2m 22s
    3. Improving a portrait with Lens Correction
      2m 16s
    4. Using Free Transform to correct perspective
      4m 47s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 47s
    6. Changing a portrait with Puppet Warp
      3m 51s
  26. 37m 11s
    1. Introducing Smart Sharpen
      4m 56s
    2. Smart Sharpen demystified
      5m 49s
    3. Smart Sharpen and masking
      8m 49s
    4. Using Smart Sharpen on small details
      5m 3s
    5. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      6m 9s
    6. High Pass sharpening an image
      6m 25s
  27. 20m 5s
    1. Resizing for the web and email
      4m 23s
    2. Sharpening for the web and email
      2m 49s
    3. Correcting color for the web and email
      3m 50s
    4. Saving and exporting images for the web and email
      2m 43s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      4m 0s
    6. Sharing photos online
      2m 20s
  28. 17m 15s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      3m 5s
    3. Resizing and sharpening for a specific print size
      3m 12s
    4. Using Soft Proof to preview the print
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Print dialog box
      2m 25s
    6. Choosing printer settings
      1m 59s
  29. 56s
    1. Goodbye
      56s

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