The One Simple Trick I Use To Improve All Of My Images With Photoshop



Curves offers more precise tonal control than any other tool. So when I need precision dodging and burning (about 80% of the time) I use Curves, which means I use Photoshop (PS).

I look forward to the day we can make local adjustments with Curves in Lightroom and Camera Raw. But currently, Lightroom (LR) and Camera Raw (ACR) don’t have this feature, yet. But can’t you do something similar in Lightroom (LR) or Adobe Camera Raw’s (ACR) using the six Basics sliders (Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks), in combination with the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, or Radial Filter, even in combination with Color, Luminance, or Depth Range Masks? If close is good enough, yes. If you want to make your images really shine, no.


Is it hard to dodge and burn with Curves in Photoshop? No. It’s easy.

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  • Terry Gardner

    26.04.2021 at 13:02 Reply

    I’m a retired newspaper photo adjuster/editor. I always used curves to adjust digital and scanned photos for printing in the daily newspaper. Photoshop was the only program we had in those days. Publisher never spent the money for LR. Of course I was not allowed to alter any photo because of ethics. All the ad design computers had PS installed and I was part of that department. Today they come together as a package so why not use them both in conjunction. I now have the photography package for my personal use.
    Alas the paper was sold to some conglomeration, they moved their offices and send the the paper out to another city to be printed. Down from six days a week to only two days. They have a somewhat online presence but no daily updates.

  • Witta Priester

    26.04.2021 at 13:19 Reply


  • Chris

    26.04.2021 at 14:02 Reply

    Thanks for your posts! You and Vincent Versace are the reason why I started using dodge and burn and so I learned to understand its power. Learned a lot from you guys 👍
    Dodging and burning in RAW process is possible, with an individual curve, plus mask refinement:
    Capture One, there you can dodge and burn (not only) on layers. Said goodbye to CR and LR a long time ago. Also the curves tool is far more precise there and you can enlarge it as much as you have space on your screen, plus a luma only curve. Why sticking with CR or LR?
    Once again many thanks and keep it up 🙂

  • Bill Brennan

    26.04.2021 at 14:02 Reply

    While LR has continually improved its editing tools, I need PS to put the finishing touches to make images look great. I use Levels, Curves and Sharpening tools on virtually all of the images that I plan to share digitally and in print.

  • clipping path

    01.05.2021 at 11:10 Reply

    Thank you so much for this valuable trick. The after image is so much beautiful to feel the real image looks.

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