How to use the Color Dodge and Burn Blend Modes in Photoshop

2/02/2018 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

How to use the Color Dodge and Burn Blend Modes in Photoshop

If you have spent any amount of time with me you know that I am always trying to come up with new ways of using Blend Modes.  I have recently started experimenting with the Color Dodge and Color Burn Blend Modes.   At first I thought they were trash at best!  That was before I figured out how to use them effectively.


The Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes do not use the Opacity slider to control their effect.  These two blend modes use the FILL adjustment to control how much they apply themselves to the image.   You can use Opacity to subdue the effect, but the real magic with these blend modes and their algorithm is tied to Fill.

They are beautiful blend modes when you give them a chance, but they do require a bit of finesse to use.  Try these settings for each Blend Mode:

Color Burn

Adjustment Layer:  Color Fill (any color)
Fill:  15%
Opacity: 50%
Blend If to protect the shadows
Color Dodge

Adjustment Layer:  Color Fill (any color)
Fill:  15%
Opacity: 50%
Blend If to protect the highlights


What colors should you use for your Color Fill Layers?  Any colors really, however, I prefer to use colors that are harmonious.  These colors are typically Complementary Colors on the color wheel or colors that are directly across from one another.  Try using Blue and Yellow, Green and Magenta, or Red and Cyan.

If you like this tutorial, check out the entire 90-minute course on cropping! www.f64.co/crop


You may also like: Three Dramatic Black and White Processing Techniques


About Blake Rudis:


EverydayHDR.com is a High Dynamic Range photography blog dedicated to being a 100% free HDR resource. There are a plethora of tutorials, tips, and great photos to stroll through. After checking out this Youtube channel, why don't you head on over to everydayhdr.com!


This article and all the images were originally published  on f64 Academy



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