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Throughout the history of photography, burning and dodging or darkening or brightening different parts of our photographs is incredibly important. It's kind of an art in the craft. It's especially important when it comes to working on people photographs. So here in this movie I want to share with you a valuable technique that you can use in order to effectively burn and dodge. Let's zoom in on this picture. This one was captured by Kevin Thomas. Kevin thanks a ton for the use of this file. What we are going to do here is we are going to create a new layer. We are going to then change that layer's blending mode to Soft Light.
So, first with this initial image, let's just click on the New Layer icon. Let's then change the blending mode to Soft Light here. Here we'll double-click the layer name. What I am going to do is I am going to name this layer dodge because that's what I'm primarily going to be doing here. The way that this works is if you select your Brush tool, you can then paint with different opacity amounts with black or white or a color to darken or brighten. Let me make some exaggerated adjustments just to highlight how this works. If I click now, you can see with black, it's darkening that area.
If I paint with white in that same area, it's brightening. Now the only downside to using black and white is you can see that it changes the hue. Yet, you can also select a color, here I'll use my color picker, and I am going to sample a color say from the lips and then click OK. And now I am going to do a similar edit. Now as I do that you can see that there is a color inside of this. It's brightening and it's changing the overall color. The reason why that's important is because when working with people, especially say the face area, you want to have a burn or a dodge effect that matches the color palette of the image.
So let's take a look at how we could do that here with this image. There are these shadows underneath the lips. I want to decrease or diminish those. So I'll go ahead and press Command+A on a Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows, then Delete or Backspace to delete those kind of demo brushstrokes that I just did. Next I'll deselect by going to Select and choosing Deselect. All right! Well, here what we want to do is select our Brush tool. Then if you have the Brush tool, you can press Option or Alt. That will temporarily change your Brush tool to a color sampler.
Here I want to sample a nice bright tone, this bright white up here in the face. Sometimes you will then need to go to the color chip and just brighten this up even a little bit more. Next, we need to change your brush characteristics. We can do that by increasing our brush size and removing all the hardness, and you want to decrease the opacity something less than 50%. I am going to try 30% and see how this works. Then what we are going to do is we are going to paint over these shadows. Go ahead and paint back and forth because we have this lower opacity. This will allow us to do this progressively.
So we can build this effect up. You also may want to paint over other shadows that you notice in your image in similar areas. Then decrease your brush size by pressing the left bracket key and you can work on the smaller part of the shadow. As we're doing this, it doesn't really look like much is happening, but that's okay. You really want to be patient with this process. Let's evaluate how we are doing so far. We're not finished, but we're getting closer. Here is before and now here's after.
We really reduced this in some pretty significant ways. This has smoothed out the overall area underneath the chin and it's looking a lot better. Yet, there's a problem. One of the problems is that my brush strokes, well they are a little bit too kind of like streaks. You can see them there. To soften that, we go to Filter, here we choose Blur and then next, Gaussian Blur. In doing this, it's kind of like increasing the feather amount that we did when we were, say, working with a mask. All right! Well, here you can see as I increase that it's going to then decrease the intensity of those edges.
You want to do that until it looks really nice and soft and then click OK. Here we have that before and then after. If you haven't removed the shadows all together, what you can do is just create another layer or sometimes it's helpful to duplicate this layer. In duplicating it, you are going to get double the intensity of that effect. Here, it's obviously too bright and too strong, but we can decrease our opacity and then just subtly bring this in so that we can then have just the right amount. All right! Well, if we look at this, there it is, our before and then now our after.
We've definitely improved this photograph by decreasing or diminishing the shadows underneath the lips there; once again before and after. All right! Well, now that we have seen this technique once, let's go ahead and take a look at it with another photograph and let's do that in the next movie.
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