Demo: Non-Destructive Burn/Dodge in Photoshop

Ah, handy. I do the bulk of my local adjustments in Lightroom (where they’re inherently non-destructive), but sometimes I need a little more granular control.

6 thoughts on “Demo: Non-Destructive Burn/Dodge in Photoshop

  1. The “sample all layers” setting gives this capability, in one way or another, to a lot of retouching tools. I always do my healing brush work on a new blank layer (no need for 50% grey fill), and doing it this way also makes it easy to toggle the whole “type” of retouch operation on and off in one click. Nice concise tut, too.

  2. What if you want to remove dodging and burning from non-detsructive layer above, lets say you painted on some area where you did not wanted? When you want to clear or to remove dodging or burning you have painted hold down Alt key, click on eyeball on the left side of layer filled with 50% Gray and only that layer will stay visible on your screen while other layers will be temporary hidden. Click the Foreground color (upper color selection box in the toolbox) on the left side of screen to open Color Picker (Foreground Color) dialog and sample neutral gray color from image area where you have layer with 50% Gray displayed, be careful to not sample painted area.
    More details and screenshots here (Non-destructive dodging and burning).

  3. Fwitw -there’s a more straightforward way to do the same which saves some clicks:
    Create new layer with dialog (ctrl+shift+n), set to overlay here and check the neutral colour-checkbox.

  4. Ahhh, an oldie but a goodie.
    – Because the dodging and burning is kept on a separate mask, if you’ve painted it with too hard-edged a brush in some location you can simply blur that part of the dodge/burn area to smooth out the effect
    – You can make color adjustments, not just tonal adjustments precisely the same way. A little warming here or there, for example
    – You can get a similar but gentler effect with “soft light” as the blending mode

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