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photokaboom

Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements >

Burning & Dodging >

General Purpose: Overlay Layer >

2 - With Black & White Brushes

Brush Tool

8) Select the Brush tool.

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Make sure it's the Brush tool, and not one of the other members of the Brush tool family.

Look in Tool Options.

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Size the Brush

9) Move the cursor on to your photograph.

A circle will appear—the brush.

You can change the size of the brush using the Size slider in Tool Options.

The best way is to use the bracket keys.

[ makes the brush smaller.

] makes the brush bigger.

If you haven't already done so, go Brushes - Basics.

Make a Change in Preferences

10) In Preferences, you need to click Full Size Brush Tip.

You only need to do this once.

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The location of Preferences is different in Windows and Mac computers.

Windows PSE Preferences

a) At the top of your screen, go to the Edit > Preferences > Display & Cursors.

b) Click Full Size Brush Tip and click OK.

Mac PSE Preferences

a) At the top of your screen, go to the Photoshop Elements > Preferences > Display & Cursors.

b) Click Full Size Brush Tip and click OK.

Feather the Brush

11) Feather the brush.

Feathering makes the edge of the brush softer.

Press Shift + [ or ] to change the feathering.

If you use the brush at 100% (see below) the hard edge will make your burning and dodging obvious.

If you haven't already done so, go to Feathered Brush.

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100% 75% 50% 25% 0%

Select Black or White Paint

12) Select black or white paint.

Black paint will burn, darken, where you brush.

White paint will dodge, lighten, where you brush.

The foreground and background colors are located in the lower-left corner of your screen.

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They're black and white.

Default Foreground Color

Top

Black

Default Background Color

Bottom

White

If the aren't black and white, do the following.

Press d, or click the tiny black-and-white boxes icon.

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The color on top is the foreground color.

That's the color that will be "on" your brush.

If it's black, and you need white, press x or click the tiny double-arrow icon.

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The colors switch positions when you press x or click tiny double-arrow icon.

Which Color?

As mentioned, select:

• Black paint to burn, darken, where you brush.

• White paint to dodge, lighten, where you brush.

Color Picker

If you double click one of the color boxes, the Color Picker window will open.

You use the Color Picker to choose other colors.

If you happen to open the Color Picker, and don't need to choose a color, just click Cancel.

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Go to Color Picker.

Check the Layer

13) Make sure the overlay layer is active (blue).

Don't burn or dodge on the Background copy layer or on the Levels layer.

Brushing

14) Click, hold, and drag the brush.

It May Look Awful

Your brushing may look too dark or too light.

Be patient.

The next step will adjust your burning or dodging.

Tip

Don't attempt to brush the entire area all at once.

Click, hold, and drag.

Let go of the mouse button.

Repeat the above.

Reduce the Opacity of the Layer

15) Reduce the opacity of the overlay layer.

The Opacity box is at the top of the layers stack, to the right of the Blending Mode box.

It probably has 100% inside.

Do the following.

a) Click the tiny black triangle to open the slider.

b) Click and hold the gray circle.

c) Move the slider to the left while watching your photograph to see the change.

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Rename

16) Be sure to rename the overlay layers as you use them.

For example, Layer 1, above could be renamed as Foreground.

Do the following.

a) Double click the name of the layer.

Don't double click on the layer.

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The name will turn blue.

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b) Enter the new name.

c) Click some where else on the layer.

If you haven't already, go to Rename a Layer.

Use New Overlay Layers

Use a new overlay each time you burn or dodge a new area.