You’ll find these tools in the Enhance section of the Tools panel. The Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools are nested together in the Tools panel. In this tutorial, we will be working with Dodge and Burn tools; we’ll save the Sponge tool for another day.
After selecting which tool you need to use, select a brush from the drop-down menu in the Tool Options bar and adjust the size according to the size of the area you are going to “paint.” I find that a soft round brush usually works best.
Shadows – if you want to lighten or darken a dark area in your photo
Midtones – if you want to lighten or darken an average-toned area in your photo
Highlights – if you want to lighten or darken a light area in your photo
Finally, use the slider to adjust the exposure percentage. The exposure is the strength of the brush stroke – you could also think of it as opacity.
In my first example, the original photo of the bird looks okay, but I think she is just a little too dark. I want to emphasize her and bring her out of the background a little. Because I want to lighten her, I’m choosing the Dodge tool and a large soft round brush. Since the bird is primarily gray, I select Midtones from the Range drop-down, setting the exposure to 35%. Keep in mind you may need to experiment with exposure percentages until you get the right amount of exposure for the photo you are working on.
This time, I am using a large soft round brush, and because I want to darken a dark area of the photo, I select Shadows from the Range drop-down with the exposure at 50%.
Here are the results: