June 16, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 23 – Swings and Slides…EDIT
Welcome to the 23rd week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Swings or Slides” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide some basic editing tips. You can then try these tips on your own photos and link up here – linky will now open EARLY on Thursdays and be open THROUGH SUNDAY. If you’d prefer, can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look. We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements and Adobe Camera Raw…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using.

Today I’ll share a video on non-destructive dodging and burning, but first…here’s my SOOC again. 

IMG_4595 (swing) SOOC RS
I’m completely aware that this is a simple snapshot…and quite honestly, I could have left it alone and everyone would have been happy. But, I can’t imagine a week of Shoot and Edit/Good to Wow without learning something new! 

So, building on what we’ve learned in the past 22 weeks (Week 1: Edit, Week 2: Edit, Week 3A, Week 3B, Week 4: Edit, Week 5: Edit, Week 6: Edit, Week 7: Edit,  Week 8: Edit, Week 9: Edit, Week 10: Edit, Week 11: Edit, Week 12: Edit, Week 13: Edit, Week 14: Edit, Week 15: Edit, Week 16: Edit, Week 17: Edit, Week 18: Edit, Week 19: Edit, Week 20: Edit, Week 21: Edit, and Week 22: Edit) I started my edit by opening my photo in Adobe Camera Raw and running a nice clean edit.
IMG_4595 (swing) ACR RS
I really feel like Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom) does a good job with basic processing, so don’t feel like you have to jump over to Photoshop because all the cool kids are doing it (totally kidding). But you also know that I’m a Photoshop junkie…and I love the creative control I have when I take my photo from ACR to Photoshop. 

Although my photo requires little more than my Nice and Easy Action, I thought we’d also talk about dodging and burning. More importantly, I thought we’d talk about non-destructive dodging and burning. What does that mean? 
For beginners, dodging and burning are tools in Photoshop and other editing programs which darken (burn) or lighten (dodge) desired areas. The problem with the tools is that they can’t be used on transparent layers and must be used on the actual image. This has a few problems (read more):

  • It destroys pixels
  • You can’t create a transparent layer and dodge/burn on it, your work can’t be masked for easy ‘undoing’
  • Although you can’t do it on a transparent layer, you can duplicate the layer, add a mask and dodge/burn that layer but this increases the file size
There are a few ways to solve these problems. 
  1. Use a Photoshop action that either creates separate transparent layers with masks or one transparent layer with mask that you can paint white to dodge and black to burn such as MCP Action’s “Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness.” This action creates two transparent layers with masks: one for dodging, one for burning.
  2. Or  create two blending layers with layer masks: one set to multiply (to darken), one set to screen (to lighten). Fill each layer mask black and then use a white brush to apply the effect. 
  3. Finally, you can watch the video below to learn how to do it manually. It’s actually quite easy!
Do I even need to say it…okay, “I told you so.” By using this approach, you won’t destroy the pixels in your image. As an added benefit, I bet you also learned a few new shortcuts…right?

As I mentioned earlier, I ran my Nice and Easy action. I then followed the steps in the tutorial to lighten up my nephew and the little girl in the back’s face just a bit and darken some of the areas around them so that my subject matter popped! The difference is really subtle so I thought a mouse-over would help you see the difference. What do you think?
So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed non-destructive dodging and burning. For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 22 weeks. And, if your image calls for it, try to do a little dodging and burning yourself.
IMG_4595 (swing) Compare
I hope you found today’s lesson useful and I hope you have a great Thursday! If you have any questions or need more explanation, don’t hesitate to contact me. Next week’s theme is “Father’s Day.”