I fought using Photoshop tools for a long time because I felt a good photographer shouldn’t need to alter their original work. However, I’m finding that there are simply natural obstacles that want to ruin your pictures – like harsh sunlight.
Lately, I’ve been playing around with Black and White photos. I decided to try the Dodge and Burn feature in Photoshop to clean up this one of my friend’s son, Landon. Here were my issues with the original:
- The clouds have no highlights
- The white building in the distance competes with Landon for the eye’s attention
- The railroad tracks are dull and flat
Using the Dodge tool, I added the highlights to the clouds. I used an exposure of about 5%, because it’s easy to monitor the gradual change and avoid that over-processed HDR look. Next, I used Burn to eliminate the highlights from the white building. Finally, I added highlights to the wood planks in the track to emphasize the wood grain.
This is something I’ll continue to play around with until I get the hang of it. A part of me also wants to crop the entire sky out and just go with Landon and the railroad tracks.