Dodging and burning in Elements

slingshot

Active Member
Just moved from proper darkroom to digital, and I'm looking for some fairly easy info on how to dodge and burn in elements, could someone point me in the right direction.

I found a couple of tutorials on the Adobe Website which consisted of cropping, red eye removal etc.

Cheers

Slingshot
 

Liquid101

Distinguished Member
You'll find the dodge and burn tool at the bottom of the toolbar. It defaults to the burn tool which is the hand makign an O shape symbol. Click and hold to access the dodge tool 'stick with a circle' and the sponge tool (which soaks up saturation.

Try using a large brush size than you think nessecary to give you more controled an even tone. You can control the 'exposure' in the top toolbar for fine control. You can also change which part of the curve you effect the most. For example setting to Shadows can make a blue sky deeper without effecting clouds. Midtones for general burning, and Highlights to remove halos and control distracting highlights.

The sponge tool is useful for selctive desaturating - especially useful when you've burnt in areas of clours and you need to tone down the colour.

Like everything in Photoshop - Play and experiment and you'll soon find the best way of working.
 

slingshot

Active Member
Cheers Liquid, that's pretty helpful, I'll have to have more of a play, especially playing with the curve.

I guess the bits I was really struggling with was more in terms of making masks and shapes for burning and dodging.

So for example if I simply wanted to add in 2 stops burn to the sky which gradually fades to 0 stops at the horizon. Traditionally I would do this with a piece of card and make a rough mask. Is the best way to do it by hand and gradually decrease the exposure?

Slingshot
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
you could apply a gradient as a mask to get the fade you like. Not sure if you can apply a burn uniformly across an image (eg apply a 2 stop burn which would be fully applied where there is no mask, to not applied where the mask is fully on).

Worth playing though. I think that'd be painful otherwise to do it by hand.
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
ok, just had a quick play in photoshop 7 (ancient I know). Coudln't find a simple way to apply a burn across the whole image, but this might work:

Create a new adjustment layer. Apply levels and bump up/down the exposure to the most extreme you'll need. Then click to add layer mask (rectangle with the circle in it at the bottom of the layers palette). This will add a mask to the levels layer. Click the mask (the rectangle on the right) to select it. Now go to the paint bucket and hold down until you select the gradient tool.

now you can paint a gradient into the layer mask, which will protect some parts of the image below from the full force of the levels you just applied, while letting others through. Play with the gradient to get the effect you want (gentle transition, harsh transition etc)
 

allymac123

Well-known Member
Cheers Liquid, that's pretty helpful, I'll have to have more of a play, especially playing with the curve.

I guess the bits I was really struggling with was more in terms of making masks and shapes for burning and dodging.

So for example if I simply wanted to add in 2 stops burn to the sky which gradually fades to 0 stops at the horizon. Traditionally I would do this with a piece of card and make a rough mask. Is the best way to do it by hand and gradually decrease the exposure?

Slingshot

The way I do this is to create two pictures from the RAW file at different exposures. You then copy one image onto the other and use a graduated layer mask. (create a new layer mask then use the gradient tool in the toolbar which might be under fill).
 

jamesbryan17

Active Member
I would say for you to use a soft edged brush, with say a 10% exposure so that you don't burn it too quickly, Same with the Dodge tool.
 

slingshot

Active Member
Thanks for all the replies, looks like I've got some playing to do at the weekend. Seems like there's a few different ways to achieve the same effect.

Cheers

Slingshot
 

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