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Shaping Light with Dodge and Burn (A Photoshop Tutorial)

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‘Never Stop’ by Tyler Williams
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In this video I share a little bit of the history of dodging and burning in photography, as well as 3 techniques in Adobe Photoshop (using curves, grey layers and blending modes) to shape the light and shadows in your images. I use both portraits and street photography images as examples so you can see the potential for these techniques in different genres.

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  1. Omg, I always wondered how the dark room process worked. Didn't click on this for that knowledge but so so glad I did. Thank you for explaining the negative processing.

  2. Thanks Sean, learned so much on using photoshop in just 20’. Do you also correct white ballance, color correction, hue and vibrance in photoshop, or will you use lightroom for that? I have the feeling photoshop is so much more accurate than lightroom for these corrections

  3. This is a fantastic introduction to not just dodge and burn, but photoshop's endless tools – adding the makeup 'map' as a guide was genius! SUBSCRIBED

  4. Everytime I watch your videos it always feels like I have the urge to do a standing ovation in my bedroom at the end. Great content as always…

  5. Interesting techniques, thanks Sean! Especially that part about makeup was totally new to me. This is why I like your tutorials: you talk about the "why", not just "how".

    It surprised me that dodge/burn on an overlay layer has the same effect as on the image (I just checked). I didn't expect that, because on that 50% gray layer, dodge/burn work essentially like a simple brush. It kind of makes sense when you think about it. For those curious, I found an engineer-friendly explanation of the blending modes here:

  6. I love how you are so unlike many other photography youtubers that just spurt out vid upon vid about nothing much at all. EVERY SINGLE ONE of your vids is full of quality and interest (not to mention a TON of creativity). So even though you may not have millions of subscribers, know that EVERY subscriber you have FULLY SUPPORTS you, instead of just subscribing and then never bothering to watch any of your vids.

  7. This tutorial is fantastic… I never understood why masks were a big deal in layers… this now makes sense, it gives you complete control and flexibility without hitting undo on all your previous actions. This just changed my process for the better! Very grateful!
    Also, your phrase at one point, "cleaning up the light" sums the whole process up perfectly.

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