In the old days of wet darkrooms, printers routinely employed a technique called Dodging and Burning to change the exposure locally when printing. They did this by blocking the light from the enlarger that fell on the paper (dodging) with their hands or implements and, conversely, allowing the unblocked areas to receive more light (burning). This technique worked well in most cases, but if you didn't get the exposure right, you had to start all over.
Photoshop has had the Dodge and Burn tools for a number of iterations, and they are very powerful tools in their own right. However, similar to wet darkroom printing, if you don't get it right, histories not withstanding, you will have to start all over. Rather than use the Dodge and Burn tools, here's another method that you may want to try that can increase your options.
1. Create a new layer above your image layer and give it a memorable name; for this exercise, call it Dodge & Burn.
3. In the Fill dialog box, choose Use: 50% Gray from the Contents pop-up menu and click the OK button.
4. Change the Dodge & Burn layer's blend mode from Normal to Overlay.
5. Press D to set the foreground and background colors to their default setting.
6. Select the Brush tool and a suitable brush tip and paint on the layer as if you were painting on a mask.
Painting with black is similar to applying the Burn tool, whereas painting with white is similar to applying the Dodge tool. If you make a mistake, change the foreground color to 50% gray (in the Color Picker, enter the following percentages: H0, S0, B50) and paint over your strokes to undo the effect. Press X to switch foreground and background colors, which will have the effect of switching between the Dodge & Burn tools.
You can vary the strength of the effect in a number of ways by changing the options for the Brush tool.
■ Apply pen pressure to the strokes.
■ Change the opacity level.
■ Select the Airbrush option.
■ Change the blend mode, for example, to Lighten or Darken, to gain finer control over which tones are affected (remember to change the foreground color, because some modes treat black as neutral whereas others treat white as neutral).
Finally, you are not confined to painting with only black and white; you can choose a shade of black or white to fine-tune the effect of the brush strokes.
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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.