photoshop creative

Photoshop Tip: Dodge and Burn exposure non-destructively

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 14, 2012

The Dodge and Burn tools hearken back to the days of darkrooms and chemical trays and have certainly earned their place in Photoshop’s toolbox


Dodge and Burn

To work smarter and non-destructively with the Dodge and Burn tools, add a new layer and go to Edit>Fill. Choose 50% grey from the Contents: Use menu and hit OK.

Change the blend mode of this layer to Overlay, and the grey will disappear. Dodge and burn using this layer, and those effects will be more visible, as opposed to working on the image’s layer.


  • Darrell

    Thank you ! – This makes a big difference.

  • haeruddin

    very simple but usefull tools ! thanks for advance \m/

  • Grum

    hi, I’ve used this technique in the past, but am using it more now, and wondered when I use this technique, how does it affect cmyk vs rgb? I ask because when I use this technique in cmyk, even after clicking overlay, the grey does disappear as it’s supposed to, but the image becomes a tad lighter. I can tell because when I click the eyeball to hide the grey layer, the image is colorful, and when i click the eyeball to bring back the gray layer, the image gets washed out or lighter. Any thoughts? Thanks!