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Chapter 13. Retouching > The Dodge and Burn Tools

The Dodge and Burn Tools

Now that we've had some fun with the Rubber Stamp tool, let's take a look at the Dodge and Burn tools. The words “dodge” and “burn” are taken from a traditional photographic darkroom. In a darkroom, an enlarger projects an image onto a sheet of photographic paper. While the image is being projected, you could put something in the way of the light source, which would obstruct the light in such a way that it would hit certain areas more than others—otherwise known as dodging the light. Or you could intensify the light by cupping your hands together, creating just a small hole in between them, and allowing the light to concentrate on a certain area more than others—otherwise known as burning. Using a combination of these two methods, you can brighten or darken your image. Photoshop reproduces these techniques with two tools: Dodge and Burn. If you look at the icons for these tools, you'll see that one of them looks like a hand; that would be for burning, allowing the light to go through the opening of your hand. The other one looks like (at least I think it looks like) a lollipop, which you can use for obstructing, or dodging, the light.

The Dodge Tool

Let's take a closer look at the Dodge tool. Because it can lighten your image, the Dodge tool comes in handy when you are working on people with dark shadows under their eyes. But before we get into cosmetic surgery, I'll introduce you to a very important pop-up menu, called the Range menu, which is associated with this tool. You'll find it in the Options bar at the top of your screen (Figure 13.24). The pop-up menu has three choices: Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights. This menu tells Photoshop which shades of gray it should concentrate on when you pan across your image.


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