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Photoshop Elements >

Burning & Dodging >

General Purpose: Overlay Layer >

1 - Introduction

Here are all of the burning and dodging tutorials.

Jump Down to General Purpose: Overlay Layer

Use This Method . . .

. . . if you need to burn and dodge small areas.

Be sure to check off as you go along.


1) Preserve your original file.

If you haven't already done so, go to Preserve Your Original File.

2) Create a Background copy layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to Create a Background Copy Layer.

Create an Overlay Layer

3) At the top of your screen, go to Layer > New > Layer, or press Ctrl + Shift + n.


The New Layer window appears.


In the New Layer window, do the following two steps.

1st Step

4) In the Mode menu, change Normal to Overlay.


2nd Step

5) At the bottom of the New Layer window, select Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray).



6) Click OK.


The new layer will appear in the Layers panel.

The thumbnail in the layer should be gray.

If it isn't, you skipped Step 2 above.


Create Several Overlay Layers

7) Create extra overlay layers.

Press Ctrl + j three times.


You'll use a separate overlay layer for each part of the photograph.

For example, use one overlay layer to burn in a bright sky.

Then, you can use a second overlay layer to dodge a shadow on a face.