Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop

Are you looking to enhance the highlights and shadows in your photos in a simple and effective way? Look no further than dodge and burn in Photoshop! This powerful tool allows you to selectively lighten and darken areas of your images, creating stunning depth and dimension. Whether you’re a professional photographer looking to fine-tune your work or a hobbyist looking to elevate your photos, dodge and burn is a game-changer. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the basics of dodge and burn in Photoshop, providing you with the tools and techniques you need to take your images to the next level. Let’s dive in and discover the transformative power of simple dodge and burn techniques in Photoshop.

Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop

Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop

Today’s article will cover a foolproof method for dodging and burning in Photoshop. Aaron Nace from Phlearn will demonstrate a non-destructive technique that leverages the lights and darks of a photograph to determine where to dodge and burn.

Creating a Curves Adjustment Layer

To begin, one should create a new adjustment layer and select a curves adjustment layer. The curves adjustment layer allows one to make areas of the image lighter or darker. For dodging, the layer mask should be inverted to black, and then white should be painted over the areas where the effect is desired.

Blending the Effect

Once the dodging has been applied, the effect can be blended with the photograph by going to Image > Apply Image and using the default settings. This creates a more realistic blend with the image.

Applying Burning

For burning, a new curves adjustment layer should be created, and the curves should be pulled down to darken the image. The layer mask can then be inverted, and white should be painted towards the outer areas of the image to make the layer visible. Similar to dodging, the burning effect should be blended with the image using the Apply Image function, ensuring it blends seamlessly.

Adjusting Levels

One of the advantages of this technique is the ability to adjust dodge and burn levels after the initial application. By simply double-clicking on the adjustment layer, the brightness or darkness can be altered, allowing for fine-tuning of the effect.

Non-Destructive and Realistic Results

This dodge and burn technique is non-destructive and seamlessly blends the effects with the image, creating a realistic result. It can be applied to any photograph to enhance the lighting and shadows, providing more depth and dimension.


If you found this tutorial helpful, be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to Phlearn for more free tutorials every week. With this non-destructive dodge and burn technique, you can elevate the quality of your photographs and achieve realistic lighting effects.

Frequently Asked Questions about Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop

What is Dodge & Burn in Photoshop?

Dodge & Burn is a technique used in Photoshop to selectively adjust the exposure of specific areas of an image. “Dodge” lightens areas, while “Burn” darkens them.

How can I use Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop?

To use Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop, you can create a new layer, set the blending mode to “Overlay,” and use the Dodge and Burn tools to lighten or darken specific areas of the image.

What are the benefits of using Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop?

Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop allows for precise and selective adjustments to the exposure of an image, enhancing the overall quality and impact of the photograph.

Are there any tips for using Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop effectively?

When using Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop, it’s important to work on a separate layer and use a soft brush to ensure smooth and natural-looking adjustments. Additionally, it’s important to use the tools subtly to avoid overdoing the effect.

I hope you find useful my article Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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