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Dodge/Burn Methods


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I have seen several methods of dodging and burning out there. There's the 50% grey layer where you can either use the dodge and burn tools or a white and black brush. Then theres the soft light layer, using the black and white brushes. And the last method I've seen is using two curves adjustment layers and masking in dark and light where needed.

Up to this point I've been using the 50% grey layer with the dodge and burn tools. While I almost exclusively leave the settings on midtones, I've always wondered if this method had an advantage because you could choose between highlights, midtones, and shadows. But I'm not really sure.

What I would like to know is if one method has an advantage over the others and why? Or if certain methods are better for certain situations and what those would be?

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13 minutes ago, Melissa Keeney said:

Then theres the soft light layer, using the black and white brushes.

This one is the ONLY one to use.  It's by far the easiest, and it rocks.

Here is a tutorial on it: https://www.damiensymonds.net/simple-dodge-and-burn-tutorial.html

There is also a demonstration in this video: https://www.damiensymonds.net/liquify-demonstration-cloning-dodge-burn.html

I used it here: https://www.damiensymonds.net/double-chin-fix-without-liquify/

And it is most important when combined with the colour fix layer of the Handyman Method: https://www.damiensymonds.net/2015/04/the-handyman-method.html

15 minutes ago, Melissa Keeney said:

There's the 50% grey layer where you can either use the dodge and burn tools

NEVER use the dodge and burn tools.  They're far too clumsy - having to switch between tools, and settings, all the time is incredibly time-consuming.  As you yourself described:

16 minutes ago, Melissa Keeney said:

While I almost exclusively leave the settings on midtones, I've always wondered if this method had an advantage because you could choose between highlights, midtones, and shadows.

It's absolutely not worth the hassle.

And this one is the same - WAY too clumsy switching between layers:

16 minutes ago, Melissa Keeney said:

And the last method I've seen is using two curves adjustment layers and masking in dark and light where needed.

 

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The thing about dodge and burn is, some people try to use it for major editing of their photos.  That's not what it's for.  It's only for fixing little areas, like bits of troublesome shadow, or double chins, etc, as shown.

Major editing must be done with Levels as usual.

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