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Chapter 6. Fixing and Retouching Photos > Using the Tonal Adjustment Tools

Using the Tonal Adjustment Tools

In traditional photography, technicians can control darkness and lightness values on specific parts of an image by masking off one area of film while exposing another. In the process, selected areas are either burned in (darkened) or dodged (lightened). Photoshop Elements’ Burn and Dodge tools replicate this effect without the bother of creating masks. Instead, you simply drag an adjustable tool’s brush pointer through the area you want to affect, leaving the rest of the image unchanged. If one portion of an image is dramatically overexposed or washed out, while another portion is underexposed, the Dodge and Burn tools can be used to target and correct just those specific problem areas. The Sponge tool, which works in much the same way as the Dodge and Burn tools, increases or decreases the intensity of the color. You can use the Sponge tool to bring colors back to life in badly faded, older photographs, or work in the opposite direction, pulling the color out of a newer photo and creating an antique, faded, or color-tinted effect.

To lighten a portion of an image with the Dodge tool:


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