Simple Dodge & Burn in Photoshop

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Today we show you how to use Curves to quickly dodge and burn any photo in Photoshop. Follow along as Aaron shares an incredibly simple method to brighten the highlights and darken the shadows of any image, adding more dimension and drawing more attention to your subject.

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Michael Redbourn says:

Really useful. Thank you!

Jose Diaz H says:

Muchas gracias!

John Smith says:

Usually, I see this type of video, and it is either ridiculously difficult or overly simplistic. This clip taught me something valuable. Simple without being simplistic. Thank you for the most instructive three minutes and fifty seconds ever! Highlt recommended!

Barykada says:

How does that differ from processing the RAW image and doing only highlights or blacks (or similar) etc. ?

Christina M. Cooper Photography says:

Omg… this just changed my life. Love the ease and simplicity! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!

oneleggedlifter says:

It is so frustrating, i have tried so many different methods, i follow the whole videos correctly, but it is just not painting any light, i don’t get it! Can someone please help me out?

Paivi Project says:

Hello. That very cool. I wonder if I could do something like that in my photo editor. Thanks

Jack Chan says:

PHLearn is now wearing a makeup, no more need photoshop skills XD

Sun bro says:

Dude, I love this. So simple yet pretty powerful.

Francesco Zancan says:

Very interesting technique. I using a similar d&b but without applying the image in the masks. Thank you very much 🙂

Sadrazam Rahimi says:

Dear i really love your channel and teaching . may i know which Photoshop software and which version are you using ??

TheAksel13 says:

wow supper method! thanks a lot

Tinderbox says:

This video is so brief, it’s not clear to us what the Apply Image is doing. Is it only applying the dodge curve to the lighter areas and the burn curve to the darker areas? How is that threshold determined?
I guess this is okay for global dodges and burns, but not so useful when you want to apply variations to localized areas. How would that be done?

Eric Raeber says:

I like that idea very much, Aaron.

However, the “Apply Image” is destructive to the mask, meaning that if you need to modify your dodge and burn masks after you have “applied” the image, you would get irregularities in the mask.

I tried your technique, but instead of applying the image to the mask I used a “Blend If” for the curves adjustment layer. When I spread the black (or the white) cursor for the underlying image across the entire spectrum, I seem to get a very similar results, albeit without overwriting the mask.

Kab says:

So much better then when I use the gradient tool in Lightroom.

sexyboost3000 says:

Nice short and helpful guide. I love your guides since they ‘re still helping me improve my skills in graphic arts. You were there in my first steps and still going 😉

Xavier Taylor II says:

What recording software is that allowing you to preview live in the Photoshop nav?

Eddienom says:


Overwatch Mercy says:

I like how you teach, thank you

Ahmed Ali says:

Thank you very much..

Rombout Versluijs says:

Cool ffect and never thought about doing dodge and burn like this

Oscar Guzman says:

Thank you 🙂

Emrah Y. says:


Chaquille Daniel says:

Can you use this technique just on the face to boost highlights?

K. Adam Christensen says:

Thanks for this. I haven’t thought about using Apply Image on a mask like that before. I think I would have defaulted to using the Blend-If sliders, since those would allow me to refine how much of the shadows/highlights to ignore a little better.

陈阳 says:

can’t wait for doing it

JMarie Lott says:

Happy New Year Phlearn!! I’ve been all over your videos learning and overcoming my fears with editing in Photoshop.

Bob (WebGuyBob) Raymond says:

Good information, which I’ll use, but I hoping this video was going to be about best practices in using the dodge and burn tools.

BenyQuinonez says:

I feel like I’m going to forget this immediately… is there a lost of must do’s for photographs??

Grady Earls says:

BOOM!!! This technique is way better than the actual Dodge and Burn tools. Thank you!

23wiski says:

Nah, sorry awful technique

Steven Means says:

This is to hard

Nusret Suzme says:

what happened to you man. u used to be more energetic.

iLLPhoCorPhics says:

Like the technique. and thanks for sharing awesome tutorials

Meira Vich says:

an awesome way for dodging and burning

mlw1968 says:

Thank you for all your work.

Tonni Lerche says:

What happened to you? – suddently you are way too flirty with the camera 😀

I want the old Aaron back – the Aaron who are way more casual 😛

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