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The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools

From: Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos

Video: The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools

Selective Edits are one of Photoshop's core competencies, the ability to work on a small portion of the image and do very interesting things to it are something that Photoshop excels at. So we can take an image as far as possible globally in Camera RAW or Lightroom, but then when we're in Photoshop, we want to do things to specific pieces of it. We already talked about that with sharpening and sharpening key areas of the image, now I want to talk about it with Tonal Adjustments. And so what we see here is an image that I shot under control lighting, I've taken out as far as possible in Camera RAW and its looks great.

The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools

Selective Edits are one of Photoshop's core competencies, the ability to work on a small portion of the image and do very interesting things to it are something that Photoshop excels at. So we can take an image as far as possible globally in Camera RAW or Lightroom, but then when we're in Photoshop, we want to do things to specific pieces of it. We already talked about that with sharpening and sharpening key areas of the image, now I want to talk about it with Tonal Adjustments. And so what we see here is an image that I shot under control lighting, I've taken out as far as possible in Camera RAW and its looks great.

But let's see how much further we can go using some Brush Based tools. And a lot of people don't realize that the Dodge, Burn and Sponge tools were completely overhauled for CS4, they've what's called Protect Tones, which allows me to use them without introducing artifacts. So we're going to start with Dodge, which for those of you with photographic background, you know that these means I want to make an area lighter. And so, up here in the toolbar, I'm going to say that I want to make the Shadows lighter. Now I find that most of these, less is more, and you don't want Exposure to be really high, but when it comes to Dodging, I do use it in a pretty strong setting, 46% is pretty good.

Now really important shortcut is using the Ctrl+Opt or Ctrl+Alt key and clicking and dragging left to right. This is going to give me a visual representation of my brush. If I go up and down, I'll get the hardness of my brush, so I want a pretty soft brush, and I wanted a middle size and what I'm going to do is just come in here and start lightening some areas up. So I am going to give myself a smaller brush and start lightening the grill, I am dodging the areas in the grill shadow.

I'm going to dodge that headlight a bit. I'm going to come in here and dodge a little bit off the wheel. You can either click or sort of drag. If I am to work on that real wheel, again, Ctrl+Opt or Ctrl+Alt to get a smaller brush, lighten that up a bit. The other area that really wants to be lightened is these gull-wing doors, it's a key element of the car, but it's getting a little bit lost, with the rest of the image there, you want to be careful not to wander off of the image. I'm editing from afar in the interest of speed.

If you're really going crazy with this, you might want to zoom in a bit. So lightening those up, that's all looking pretty good. The next thing I what do is switch to my Midtones and I'm not going to spend as much time, but you'll notice I can pull a little bit more information of the grill, by targeting the Midtones. I can make that emblem really jump there and I can get a little more information from the headlights and it's almost like I'm cleaning them, by coming through here. Same thing on that rear wheel, I am going with the smaller brush and lightening it up and let's lighten those doors just a little bit more.

And then the next thing we're going to do is come to our Burn tool and that's opposite. I'm going to make key parts of the image darker. And so the first thing that I notice here is this sort of glaring highlight across the hood. It's a little bit distracting. So I want to go to Highlight and in this case I really want to use a low Exposure, 16% is just about right. I want to use large brush, so I am dragging left to right with Ctrl+Alt or Ctrl+Opt. And then I'm playing with the hardness to myself a nice soft brush, again, if I were to come all the way down to 99%, I'd see a very hard edge in red.

I am going to make that really soft. So now what I am going to do is just darken that area on the hood, and you can see that changing pretty quickly. What's nice about this is I am only affecting the Highlights, so I can go over other areas and it's just going to a blend in really nicely. So darken the hood to the degree that I want it, and the other part that drives me crazy is the windshield. So I am going to come over here and sort of aggressively darken the highlights in that, I am making sure to go over multiple times, because I am at a really low setting, I'm at 16%.

Then I'm going to go over to Midtones and just do the same thing. You can see the windshield darkening or sort of tinting the window as we go here, and last, we'll put it on Shadows and this is where it's really going to get quite a bit darker. So that looks pretty good, the other area that I see that I could change is this area off to the right on the pavement. You can use these tools to sort of equalize your Exposure. So I went over that ones with Highlight, then I'm going to build it up a little Midtone, and really gently large soft brush for our shadow.

That way it's not quite so distracting over there. And last thing we're going to do is switch to our Sponge tool. It's the same idea, we can either Saturate or Desaturate. What I want to do is Desaturate this reflector on the front of the car. So I come up here, I set it to Desaturate, and I'm going to turn off Vibrance. Vibrance is a way of giving you the best possible results, but it maps colors to more human flesh tones. In this case I've this sort of nuclear orange that I want to remove and I know that turning off Vibrance can sometimes get me more control.

So I'm just going to drag over that a bit and tone it down quite a bit. I am going to turn it Back On and move over to Saturate, and there's just a few areas of this image that I want to saturate. I am going to take the doors and the bright red leather upholstery, saturate those. It's just kind of monochromatic image, so I want the color that's in it to really pop and the other part I am going to take is these yellow lines in the pavement, the concrete here. And I want to make those just jumps right out of the image. So I am going to come over here and just drag my mouse across those.

And the last thing I have noticed is there's this fire extinguisher there in the background and I could probably Desaturate that a bit, it's a little bit distracting. Again, and I will get the result I want I can turn off Vibrance and now I really muted it. So let's go ahead and revert that. So here's where we started and here's where we ended up, before and after, pretty huge difference in just a couple of minutes of brush based edits.

So there you see where Dodge, Burn and Sponge, really dramatically change the look of the image. By interacting with small pieces, we can really change the look of the whole thing quite a bit.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos

31 video lessons · 12882 viewers

Bryan O'Neil Hughes
Author

 
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  1. 7m 53s
    1. Welcome
      2m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
    3. What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw
      4m 42s
  2. 9m 30s
    1. Reinventing the Crop tool
      5m 44s
    2. Using the new Crop tool the old way
      3m 46s
  3. 6m 4s
    1. Then versus now: Understanding how the Auto button works
      2m 55s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Auto
      3m 9s
  4. 6m 37s
    1. Using Curves
      3m 31s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Curves
      3m 6s
  5. 14m 57s
    1. Looking at sharpening
      2m 6s
    2. Understanding Smart Sharpen
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding the role of Smart Objects in a sharpening workflow
      2m 20s
    4. Applying brush-based selective sharpening
      5m 50s
  6. 9m 6s
    1. Understanding the challenges of building blur
      2m 54s
    2. Using Iris Blur to create shallow depth of field
      6m 12s
  7. 8m 20s
    1. The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      6m 24s
    2. Understanding the role of the graphics tablet
      1m 56s
  8. 12m 33s
    1. Understanding and using Content-Aware Fill
      3m 16s
    2. What to do when Content-Aware Fill doesn't work
      2m 38s
    3. Beyond fill: Content-Aware Patch
      1m 16s
    4. Content-Aware Scale: The feature nobody knows about
      3m 30s
    5. Content-Aware Move: Recomposing photos
      1m 53s
  9. 3m 17s
    1. Exploring what Liquify is really used for
      3m 17s
  10. 12m 1s
    1. Correcting automatically based on lens profiles
      4m 2s
    2. Getting the most out of Adaptive Wide Angle
      4m 47s
    3. Exploring lens distortion and video
      3m 12s
  11. 7m 22s
    1. Using presets new and old
      47s
    2. Surprising yourself with the Color Look Up Adjustment layer
      2m 15s
    3. Using gradient map presets for black-and-white conversions
      2m 31s
    4. Imagining a connected Photoshop
      1m 49s
  12. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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