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

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.

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 3


    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.

  2. 8


    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.

  3. 9


    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. 😀

  4. 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.

  5. 13


    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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