Photoshop Tutorials: The Burn Tool

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For all of us who have been using Photoshop for quite some time now may or may not know what our very own Burn tool is for.  In the series of our tutorials in Photoshop, we have discussed the different tools in the tool bar with a slight description on what it does.  In this tutorial, you will know what the burn tool is, why it is there, and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is the Burn Tool?

In previous versions of Photoshop, you do not have an easy access to both Dodge and Burn tools because you have to go through a lot of stuff (creating special layers, blend modes, etc.) but now, Photoshop finally made it.  From its term, burn, the burn tool is a feature in Photoshop to selectively darken any area of your image.  While the Dodge tool is its counterpart, the Burn Tool is an effective way to change the color or to darken some specific points in your image.

While it is selected, you will see different options at the top bar which controls how the Burn Tool behaves.

Burn Tool Range

  • Midtones – Selecting Midtones changes the middle range of grays.
  • Shadows – Selecting Shadows changes the darkest areas of your image.
  • Highlights – And selecting Highlights changes the lightest points of your image.

The Exposure option lets you specify how much exposure the Burn Tool will do to your image.  For example, setting the exposure to somewhat less than 15% gives you a minimal change to the parts that you want to darken.

For the Burn Tool, it is best to use either Midtones or Shadows because the Highlights is best when you enable the Dodge Tool; to lighten the image.

How can the Burn Tool help me with my projects?

Now that we know what the Burn Tool is there for, how can this feature or this tool give aid to my works done in Photoshop?  Here are a few:

  • When editing photos that have shadows, selecting the Shadows option from the range and by brushing the shadows, it makes the shadows darker; making the image have more depth and emotion.
  • Normal Photos that are overexposed by little can be cured by a little burning of the area where it has been overexposed.
  • You can add a little bit of mystery, and more in-depth color by darkening the photo. Light photos are great but making it a bit darker will give it a more alluring and sophisticated effect.

These are only a few things that the Burn Tool can do for you.  On the other hand, the Dodge Tool, will be discussed in a different tutorial in our series.  I hope you guys learned what the Burn Tool does and how it can be super beneficial to people who use Photoshop.  Stay tuned for more Photoshop tutorials.

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