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Dodging & Burning in Photoshop for Black & White Images

Lesson 20 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

Dodging & Burning in Photoshop for Black & White Images

Lesson 20 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

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Lesson Info

20. Dodging & Burning in Photoshop for Black & White Images


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Advantages & Pitfalls of Printing


Demystifying Color Management


Understanding Bit Depth


Best Color Space to Work In


Importance of Image Capture


Live Shoot: Natural Light


Live Shoot: Studio Lights


Lesson Info

Dodging & Burning in Photoshop for Black & White Images

Going to color blending mode to bring that back. And we'll turn it off, and then what I'm gonna set up, between the color, and the luminance layer here is some dodging and burning layers, okay? So we're gonna use your two classic curves, okay, our two classic shapes where we push the middle tone up to dodge the image, or make the image lighter. Dodge comes back an old terminology that used to be used in the darkroom, dodging something meant that you know, you were dodging the light away from the larger onto the paper which means you left the water on the paper, so it was making an area lighter. And burning was when we hid certain areas, and you just focused the light onto one spot to suck more light onto the paper to make it darker. So we still use that terminology today which is really good. So making the image lighter, beginning with the mid point and just pushing that midpoint out. Don't go too crazy, like right here cuz that's obviously way too much and we've blown things out. So j...

ust gentle, I mean we want to gently I mean bring the tones to where we want them to be. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hit command I on the keyboard to hide that effect. And then of course go back into luminance, and above that we create a curves layer which is gonna be our burn layer. From the midpoint we bring it, drag it down, not too much. Right there is sufficient. And then command I on the keyboard to hide that. So what we're gonna do is, you know, bottom layer, we're gonna label it. Remember, be organized, label your layers as you're working. So that'll be our burn layer, and this one here will be our dodge layer. Okay? Doodge, dodge. Gotta learn how to spell before I can photograph. Okay. Dodge and burn. Now. There is an action which is the dodge and burn action. Okay, and it's this one down here. So I'm gonna delete those so you can see what the action does. So just basically you're setting up your work flow, dodge and burn, there it is. You play it. Dodge and burn it and there you are. So you're not constantly having to set up adjustment layers and that's the beauty of actions. You know, really to set up your workflow. And I mentioned this in a previous lesson, where we you know, we just used the actions to set things up and then we just turn layers on or off to make the look or the desired effect that we want, okay? Unfortunately, you know, recipes for images can work amazingly well on one image, but not on others depending on how tonality is, you know, is working for us. So we need to do a couple of things here. Okay I want to bring some darkness to the edges of this. I'm gonna take the brush, okay, and we're gonna take a nice big brush, soft, flow at 2%, and I'm gonna just darken this area here, just to even that across. Okay so we're just gonna bring some darkness down. Notice what my opacity on the brush is, 2%. Actually what I'll do, cuz I get this question a lot, is I think I should address, I will address, the difference between opacity and flow when you're using the brush. Do most of you know it or you think I should address it? Let's address it. Let's create a new layer, new document, and it doesn't have to be big, so we'll just go into photo here. Not really overly excited about the new interface of you know, creating new documents in Photoshop. But I'm sure I will get used to it one day. So let's zoom out. So what I'll do is I'll take a brush, okay? And we'll take a black brush. And what I'm gonna do with this brush, okay, I'm gonna keep the flow at 100% and I'm gonna bring the opacity down to, to 10%. Now with this brush, as I draw on here, okay, and I don't take my finger off, or the clicker off the mouse, I can draw this 100 times over and over again, I will only lay down 10% worth of ink. Until I take my pen away and I begin the journey again, and I lay down another 10%, okay? And then another 10%, and then another 10%, and then another 10%, and another 10%. Okay so, it's building up according to the opacity value that you have put into Photoshop. Flow works a little bit different. Flow is a little bit more intuitive to what we know and what we've learned back in school when we first started learning how to draw with crayons. Crayons, when we wanted to get really aggressive with crayons, the more we pressed, okay, over and over again, the more we built up the color, and this is exactly what happens with flow. I start to draw, and I draw and I rub, and the more I rub, there it is. Combine that with the pressure sensitivity of the WayCon, okay, and what happens all of a sudden is that if I reduce my flow right down, okay, I've got the ability, okay, to create beautiful transitions, okay, and create little spheres and little balls, okay? In other words, I can shape an image and I can recreate shadows and I can redo highlights, just by working with very, very small flow settings. Sometimes it is a combination between opacity and flow. Okay, so I want to, if I've got the flow at 1% but I've reduced the opacity right down, then I've got even more control for minor details, you know, especially if I'm retouching something that's going to be reprinted you know to a 60 by 40 inch in size, and I want that nice, beautiful, you know gradation. The skin, you know, I will use that technique a lot. Okay so I'm just gonna close that down. So that is the difference between opacity and flow. So let's go back to 2% because I think 2% was good for me here. And we'll just keep on darkening and evening that out. Okay, this is good. And essentially what we want to know you know is just, we want to bring our attention to where? To where our model was. Okay so let's keep working with this. Down here. I'm gonna darken the leg up a little bit, just through there. Okay then I'm gonna take the dodge layer, reduce my size of the brush, okay and what I'm gonna do is I'm going to just dodge that arm out a little bit more. Just even that out just a fraction. And I'm going to add a little bit more light here in the chest. Just open up those shadows up a little bit more. And coming into here, we're gonna work with the burn layer again, we're gonna reduce the opacity. Not the opacity, the size of the brush, and we're just going to darken certain areas. Just to give it a bit more shape. So we'll make darker what's already dark, and we'll make lighter what's already light. Okay, that's pretty good. Yep, but it still needs a little bit of darkening through there, so I'm making the brush a little bit bigger. Okay, and we just darken it down overall. So we've added, we've added the dodge and burn locally if you like, to get more volume out of the dress. But then we come over the top and we darken that area. Okay so we still have depth and shape. This is starting to, to really come to life. We come a little bit closer to the face and we address the eyes now. A little bit of dodging to the eyes, we bring the opacity of the brush, sorry the size of the brush, down. There it is, working with a quite big brush. I'm going to get down to 1% for this because you don't want eyes to look like she's possessed yeah? By having these eyes just, you see a lot of the retouching with the eyes are just "warning, danger". Too much, okay? Just gradual, just lightening of the eyes, okay? And lightening of the catch lights as well, okay? So bring this up a little bit more. Just gentle. The centerpart there. Giving it a little more zap in the eyes. There it is. Just checking on the mask. Yep. And then I'm just gonna add some highlights here. This side of the eye and just dodge out some of these areas on the nose. I'm gonna add a bit of a, just a gentle highlight on the other side of the cheek, just to give the face a little bit more shape. And we're gonna burn this in as well. Oops, going to the burn layer. Just to even that out. Shadow out, there you go, it's starting to come to life. That's what it's all about. So good, dodge that edge of the mouth as well. You notice also with dodging and burning when we're dealing with the monochromatic image, or the black and white image, it's easier to see areas that need to be darkened and lightened. Why, because color is not in the way, okay? So that's the way we do it. And then the burn layer here. And smaller brush, just to fix that up. And just shape the eye a little bit more. Okay, that's good. And just a little bit of dodging through there, just to blend that transitional shadow. Okay that's good. Starting to look pretty awesome. Okay, bring the color information back, okay, and we get, we always go from where we started. Okay, to where we're coming from. You see it's subtle changes, they're making a huge difference to where we need to be. Okay, turn the color information off again. Just gonna, there's one little technique that we're gonna do before we wrap this session up. That's good.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Rocco's Photoshop Actions
Rocco's Printer Evaluation Files
Color & Luminosity Seperation Action

Ratings and Reviews

Roberto Valenzuela

I honestly consider many courses to be great, but optional. However, this course by Rocco Ancora is a MUST! It helps the photographer complete the circle of being a photographic artist. Our job doesn't end at the edit, it ends with the print. When your clients can hold and enjoy your creative vision physically, that is when the magic of being a photographer happens. I have been so fortunate to travel the world teaching and meeting some of the best photographers in the world. That being said, I can say with confidence that nobody can teach this combination of Photoshop retouching / fine-art printing better than Rocco Ancora. I believe in this class so much, I traveled to Seattle to attend this course to be part of the live studio audience. I have never done that before. But that's how important I consider this material to be. I am so happy I took the time to go and learn from the man himself. Now, I will get this course to watch it, dissect it, study it, and practice it. Very excited to see how the knowledge in this course will propel my career further. --Roberto Valenzuela

a Creativelive Student

I was fortunate enough to attend this class in person and got to experience Rocco's prints in person. The quality is absolutely breathtaking and a game changer, Learning these skills will really help my business in a number of ways. In the past, I have had a difficult time convincing clients to purchase typical lab prints through my studio, as opposed to buying them through Walmart or Costco where the quality was "close enough." Rocco's method that he shared in this class creates three dimensional images of unmatched quality and images that just jump off the page. The knowledge from this course will empower me to help run a sustainable business and thrive as a photographer. You would be foolish to not learn these methods and incorporate them into your business. Highly Recommend!!

April S.

I have invested time into learning Lightroom and Photoshop, my own gear, and my particular photographic style, but the one thing I am really lacking is a solid understanding about preparing an image for print, and the various print options (e.g., paper types). When I saw this course come up on the CL schedule it caught my eye immediately so I RSVP'd for the live broadcast. I was at work when it started and couldn't watch at that time. I do listen in from work sometimes, but after 2 minutes of listening to this course I realized it was one I really needed to watch closely and focus on. So, I stopped the stream after a couple minutes and bought the course. I have never done that before. I always wait and watch as much as I can in the initial broadcast (or rebroadcast) to decide if a course is one that I really should spend for. I knew right away though that Rocco was presenting the very information I was lacking and needed, and I wanted it! In addition, it was clear to me after looking him up online that he's a consummate professional with lots of experience and his delivery style even in just the couple of minutes that I listened reflected that. I already have X-rite ColorMunki Display and Colorchecker, a good monitor, and I have a photo printer (Canon Pixma Pro-100) but I'm lacking that technical understanding of color and know I'm not using my resources to their fullest. I use my Canon Pixma to test-print images before uploading to the print service I use. My method isn't ideal since the service uses different printers and ink, and paper depending on what I choose, but at least I have a much better idea of what my image file will give me in print form. After Rocco's course I believe I will be much better equipped to prepare my images and choose the options best suited to each image. I'll still test print if only because it's fun to see something on paper, but I expect the results I get from the print service to be much better once I really know how to put this knowledge to work for me.

Student Work