Dona, although the dodge and burn tools are available, they have one notable shortcoming; each dodge or burn dab is incorporated into the image. This makes it impractical or impossible to undo one or more of the changes minutes later, when other dabs have been added elsewhere in the image. Instead, you must then pile correction on correction rather than modifying the original image values. It is an inefficient and often destructive procedure.
There is a better way – one that puts the dodge and burn adjustments on a separate layer where they may be seen at any time and each adjusted or even eliminated, returning the area to its original value – all without corrupting the original image. This is how to do it:
1. Add a blank layer and then choose Edit > Fill and from the double-arrow options of the Use field, choose 50% gray. Then click OK. The image area will become gray overall. Next, change the Blending mode in the Layers panel from Normal to Overlay. The Background image will return although you will be working on Layer 1.
2. Do not use the Dodge and Burn tools. Choose the Brush tool and adjust its size, hardness and opacity. Dab or stroke with the Black to slowly add density. To lighten an area, dab or stroke with White. Although the image will reflect the changes, they are being recorded on Layer1 and may be viewed by turning off the eye in the Background layer. Best of all: to undo any tone adjustment and return the area to its original value at any time, simply return that area to 50% by cloning from an adjacent unretouched area in Layer 1.
Woah Norman. I can't let that pass unchallenged. The poor Dodge and Burn tools get a lot of bad press because they are destructive, but they have features that make them invaluable for illustration. We can set them to target Shadow, Mid tone, or Highlights
We also have the Protect Tones feature that tries to prevent clipping, but more importantly, prevents hue change when used on colours
This is just the Dodge tool with Protect Highlights turned off on the left, and on on the right. The gap is with it set to Shadows where it barely had an effect, but it is there if you look closely.
I use both tools a lot to create depth, or just to make an element stand out, or merge into the background, and always with Protect Tones turned on. We can always use a copy of the layer and layer mask to give us a sort of non destructive work around.