Converting a Color Image to BW in Photoshop Elements Extra: An alternative burning and dodging tool.

Part 2.


Now let’s do some burning and dodging. This is a much simpler method than we
discussed in previous tutorials, but just as effective. After you try this, try
the old way as well. See which you like the best. Easier isn’t always better.


While the MIDDLE Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer is selected, click on
the "New Layer" icon. This should put a new blank layer between the two
existing Adjustment Layers. Change the Blend Mode of this new layer to
(I have changed the name of this layer to "darken



Next make sure the default colors (1, see below) are set to black as the
foreground and white as the background as shown below. Next click on the
Gradient Tool
(2). In the tool Options bar at the top, select the
Black to Transparent
option (3) and select the Linear gradient
option. (4)



Placing the cursor at the top of your image, drag straight down. (1) This should
create an effect of a gradual burn from top to bottom. (2) You can change the
of this layer if you feel you over did it. (3)  If you need to increase
the effect, make a copy of this layer above this one.



As you can see we have made the sky darker and let the clouds show through
more. (This layer could also be used to do an edge burn instead of just
burning the sky. Can you guess how? The answer is at the end of this article)


Next we are going to create a nondestructive layer for our burning and
dodging, so we are not working on the actual image. While holding the
key down click on the New Layer icon, You will get the dialog box
below. Change the Mode to Softlight as shown and check the
"Fill with Soft-Light-Neutral color…"
box and the click OK.



Now you will paint into this new layer. Choose the Brush tool. Make sure the
in the tool Option Bar at the top of the screen is set low to
something like 15%.  Now when you paint in this layer with black, you will
darken the image in the areas you paint. Conversely, if you paint with white,
you will lighten the areas in those areas. Give it a try now and see.
Remember to change the Opacity on the Option Bar at the top of the
screen if you need more or less effect.



Here is how my image looks after I am done working on
it. Check out
the icon in this layer to see where I painted black and white strokes.



While this is an effective tool for burning and dodging,
and also pretty simple, many of my students prefer the method described in my
previous tutorial <>
because of the way it affects the colors as well. On color images you may want
to try both to see which one you like best.


Lastly, when you are satisfied, you may want to add a final Level Adjustment
Layer to the top of the stack to make sure your tonal range contains whites and



If you like, try adding some color back into your image. Make a duplicate of
your original background layer and drag it to the top of the layers stack.




Pull down the Blending Mode
menu and change the blending mode to either "Color", "Overlay", or
"Hard Light" and see what each one does. Play with the "Opacity
to change how much the mode affects your picture. You probably
will need to take it down to around 50% to keep the effect from being too
overwhelming. But as you will see, each one does something a little different.


Here’s the original:


Here’s what my final black and white and "hand tinted" editions look like.






That’s it! Try it on more of your images to get the hang of it.

A tutorial by Michael Fulks

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