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Dodge and Burn for Photoshop Drama

With the popularity of Photoshop plug-ins from companies like Topaz, On One and Nik, it’s easy to forget that much of the capability to create dramatic images already exists within Photoshop. It’s a little more work, but it’s fun, rewarding, and comes with no additional price tag!

About Michael Hoffman (224 Articles)
Mike has been a photographer, artist, educator, and technophile for most of his life. Early in his career, he created technical illustrations and photographs for electronic equipment manufacturers, and taught classes in computer aided drafting and 3D modeling software. When digital cameras became widely available in the late 1990s, the move was a natural one, and has led to a happy combination of technology, software, photography and art. Mike is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and Acrobat, and is well versed in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, as well as Illustrator and InDesign. He has also contributed his time and efforts to the excellent work being done by Operation Photo Rescue, in restoring photographs damaged by natural disasters. As an active member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, he continues his quest for excellence in art, excellence in design, and excellence in education.

5 Comments on Dodge and Burn for Photoshop Drama

  1. Hey Mike, did you know this works just as well without the 50% gray layer? I just paint on a blank layer. I like it better that way because you can use the eraser to get rid of an area you don’t like….

  2. Susan,

    If you simply paint on a layer with white and black, you’ll have a more direct impact on the color of the image. Using overlay blending tends to lower the luminosity with less effect on the hue. If you don’t like an area (in my technique) then you need to paint over it in 50% gray, which is the equivalent of erasing (return to neutral).


  3. great tutorial… thanks…

  4. Great tutorial as usual. Any way to make the photo available so we could follow your instructions?

  5. Ray, sorry, not this one; it’s from a personal project. This technique is very versatile, try it on one of your own, you’ll be surprised at the results!!


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