If you ever worked in a wet darkroom, you know about dodging and burning. Dodging makes photos lighter and burning makes them darker. Photoshop’s DODGE and BURN tools do the same thing. However, most photographers don’t know that dodging and burning in RGB or sRGB mode, the two most popular photo color spaces, can cause your image’s colors to shift.
To avoid these color shifts, consider a switch of your image to LAB mode. Go too IMAGE > MODE > LAB. This is a subset of RGB so switching back and forth between the two will in no way harm your image or change its color.
Make a duplicate Background Layer. Select the DODGE or BURN tools. Go to the OPTIONS PALETTE and select MIDTONES and 100% opacity. If you need to correct the opacity of your work, you can do it on the entire layer since you made a duplicate background layer.
Then make smooth corrections using DODGE or BURN tools. I suggest a soft brush so that your dodging and burning looks more natural.
You should note that when dodging and burning in LAB mode, you are only affecting the lightness of the colors, not the hues. That is the secret of working in LAB mode. You are only changing the luminosity channel. The two color channels are unchanged.
If you are sure of your changes you can flatten the layer and go on or save a copy with both layers intact.
While there are other ways to deal with this problem, this is the way I suggest for beginners. I am sure in the comments section below you’ll hear other approaches.
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