photoshop creative

Improve your photos with Dodge and Burn

Posted in:
General, by Mark White
March 6, 2015

Make non-destructive enhancements to shadows and highlights

1. Create a grey layer

Open your image and create a 50% Grey layer via Layer>New>Layer. Select the blend mode and change it to Overlay and tick the check box to fill it with a neutral colour. Hit OK. This layer will now have no effect on your base image other than to protect it.

2. Dodge the highlights

Select the Brush tool and lower the Opacity to 10-15%. Press D to reset your colours to default, then X to switch white to the Foreground colour. Draw in white on the grey layer to brighten areas such as eyes, forehead or hair highlights.

3. Burn the shadows

Now hit X again to switch to black. Paint with 5-10% Opacity over shadow areas to enhance the depth, for example eye make-up, around the hair line or defining facial features. To reverse any of the effects, simply paint with 50% grey back on the layer.