The transition from film photography to digital photography has made so many of the quirky and difficult things about film processing a piece of cake in programs like Photoshop. One of these things is burning.
Have you ever had a photo that looked great, except for one small area that looked a little too light? Unless you never take pictures under any sort of direct light source (doubtful), you probably have. Fixing this problem is fairly easy when you use the Burn Tool.
For instance, when I captured this photo of my daughter discovering her shadow, I loved it but always felt like the shadow needed to be a little bit darker. Enter Burn Tool.
To get started...
1. Open the photo you want to edit in Photoshop.
3. In the tool selection toolbar, at the top of the screen, you can change the brush diameter and brush hardness, much like the eraser and paintbrush tools. Find a brush that's right for the area you're working on. A tip with brush sizes is to not go too big or you may do more damage than good.
4. Next to the brush size, you can also select the Range you want to edit. Look at the area you want to add some color and depth to. Is it a shadow, midtone or highlight? For most pictures, you'll use either shadow or midtones. On most pictures, I'd recommend starting with the midtones.
In this picture below, the sunspot is a cool effect, but it really washes out the faces. Solution? You guessed it, apply a burn.