Burning and Dodging – Adding some highlights and shadows with Photoshop

I have another processing video for you this week. I thought I would show you how to do some burning and dodging. It is something I do in most of my photos. I like how you can do small areas to add more highlight or shadows.

I know you can sort of do it in Lightroom and ON1 Photo Raw and I will do some similar videos with those. Though they don’t have specific tools for it, well not that I can tell so far, so I thought I would show you with Photoshop first.

I chose an easy image for the video, but you can use it for many photos. Let me know if you want to see it used in other types of images. For this, I’ve used one of my macro flower images.

This is the raw image, well almost. I put it into Camera Raw and made some slight changes, but you can see what I did in the video.

Once I had done the dodging and burning this is how it looked.

I haven’t done anything else to it, well not much. You see what I did in the video.

Here is the video for you to watch.

I do struggle doing these videos, not because they are hard, but I have no idea what skills people want to learn. Maybe you don’t want me doing them at all.  I will keep trying and seeing what I can do.

I hope you enjoyed this one.

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  1. This was great! I finally got a chance to view the video. So, Leanne I have a question. It might be dumb, but I will ask anyway.

    So why wouldn’t you just adjust the highlights and/or shadows usin the adjustments and tweak the contrast? Is it because you only want to work on very specific parts of the photo?

  2. Hello Leanne, we haven’t met but you have visited me a couple of times. Thank you for that, and thank you for the great video. I have no idea what I am doing on PS so your video isvery helpful. Your flower photos were lovely too.

  3. I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

    1. So glad your wrist pain is going. I just came across a Women’s World article about wrist pain and studies of ways to heal it so I thought of you. 🙏🤗

    2. Thank you Flowerpoet, I’ve learned with any pain it is best to identify what is causing it and stop it. Seems since I stopped use the mouse as much my wrist has felt a lot better.

  4. Thanks Leanne, that was useful – subtle edits with impact. I can see how I can adapt this for some of my underwater shots!

  5. This is one of the things I’ve been trying to do and I wish I could have gotten the video to play. It just kept stalling. But at least I got a general idea. Thanks!!

    1. I wonder why the video wouldn’t play. Did you try playing it on YouTube? I hope you were able to see enough to get the idea of what I was doing. Thank you Marilyn.

  6. Please do continue with the videos. I follow you because your flower shots are better than mine. Watching your videos allows me to begin to understand how you create your images.

    I use different processing software but with any luck I’ll be able to adapt some of your techniques.

    1. Thank you Brian, good to hear that some of you like them. I love post processing, so it is nice to share.
      What software do you use Brian?

  7. Great lesson. I’ve been doing something like that but in LR, using the brush and radial filter. I’m not artistic, so I mainly use it to lighten up a shadow area. Yes, keep doing these videos and include some for LR.

    1. Thank you Anne. I am hoping to do a video on how to do this sort of thing in Lightroom as well. I am not as much of a fan of the result, but it works.

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