Video Tutorial: A better way to dodge and burn in Photoshop

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Here is a video on dodging and burning in a non-destructive manner using your brush tool instead of the built in dodge and burn tools.

These are a great way to give your photo a finished look after running one of the MCP Complete Workflow Actions.  This method works well on black and white conversions and well as color pop and vintage photos.

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 Video Tutorial: A better way to dodge and burn in Photoshop

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and teaches Photoshop to photographers across the globe.

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13 Comments and 0 Replies



  1. 1
    Heidi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! Can’t wait to try this technic.

  2. 2
    SandraC says:

    Thanks for this tip!

  3. 3
    Erin says:

    Awesome, video tutorials are soooooo helpful! Can’t thank you enough. I stayed up braving photoshop til 5am yesterday…you have inspired me, or at least sleep deprived me.
    THANKS!

  4. 4
    jodi says:

    another great tut! thanks so much.

  5. 5
    Pam Davis says:

    Great Tutorial, I really learn alot from watching how you work. Pam

  6. 6
    gina says:

    soooooooooooo helpful, thank you…

  7. 7
    Casey Cooper says:

    As usual, awesome job! Thanks for sharing!

  8. 8
    Pam says:

    WOW! I had no idea that dodge/burn effected the pixels. Thanks for this great tutorial, Jodi. I have learned so much more from you in Photoshop than any other source.

  9. 9
    Barb says:

    I love your tutorials, Jodi!

    Can you tell me… is this the same thing as your “touch of light, touch of darkness” action? If not, how are they different? I love using that action since I’ve finally read the instructions on using it. :D

  10. 10
    admin says:

    They work differently – but the results obtained can be the same.

  11. 11
    Tiffany says:

    Great tutorial!! Thank you for sharing

  12. 12
    Dan says:

    Can you explain why you first fill the layer with 50% gray? I’ve been dodging and burning this way for a while now though I just do it on a new blank soft light layer. I’ve tried it with the gray and I can’t tell any difference. Just curious if I’m missing some reason I should do it that way. Thanks. I love all the great videos here.

  13. 13
    admin says:

    Just how I have always done it so you are working with neutral underneath. I will have to try your way too to see if there is a difference. I actually usually now prefer dodge and burn using my touch of light and darkness action – which is curves – that you actually paint on (light or dark). It is even more non destructive – but this can go deeper…



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