In this in-depth video I’ll be taking a somewhat different approach to demonstrating dodging and burning. Rather than cover the actual painting aspect of dodging and burning, I’ll be focusing on 4 different approaches and discussing which is best suited for various situations, the best practices for each and the limitations that come with them. The video is beginner to intermediate in nature and will work with Photoshop CS3 and onward.

A subtle example of before and after dodging and burning can be seen above. The process for dodging and burning the above image took no more than 5 minutes.

Some of the tools/techniques that we will be using include:

  • Layer blend modes
  • Curves adjustments
  • Frequency separation including the ‘apply image’ tool
  • Dodge and burn tools
  • Layer blend-if

As promised, the actions for creating some of the bases for the dodging and burning techniques we discuss in the video can be found here.

Frequency separation settings for the Apply Image command are as follows:
16 bit, Invert: Checked  Scale: 2  Offset: 0  Blend Mode: Add
8 bit, Invert: Unchecked  Scale: 2  Offset: 128  Blend Mode: Subtract
The resulting high frequency layer should be blended with Linear Light blend mode.

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