In this article, I’ll show you how I use layer masks in Capture One Pro to dodge or lighten areas of a photograph and burn or darken areas of a photograph. Click here to see part one and part two.

Knowing how to dodge and burn gives you more control in how your photographs look and also can be used to help direct the eye of the viewer to a specific area of the photograph. The photograph below is our starting place.

In the video, I show you one of the approaches that I use. First, I add a filled layer. Next, I make the adjustments using the Exposure section and other sections in Capture One with my attention on the specific area I want to enhance.

Once I’m happy with the adjustments, I delete the mask and then using the brush, I paint the mask back in. I do this little by little, setting my mask brush to apply a small amount of the mask on each pass.

Next, I can adjust the opacity of the layer to reduce the amount of the darkening or lightening from that layer.

And finally, I often go back to the Exposure section and any other sections that I used and fine-tune those settings. I may then go back and add or remove some of the mask until it looks the way I want. It’s a back and forth kind of process.

The other controls to explore when you are working with masks is to change the opacity and flow amounts when using the brush. The opacity controls the density that the stroke is applied. The flow controls the rate that the opacity is applied.

So for example, if you set the opacity to 100% and the flow rate to 10%, 10% of the opacity will be applied with each stroke. So it will take 10 separate brush strokes to apply 100% of the mask. So by changing these values, you can control how much mask gets applied with each brush stroke.

In the video what I will do is lighten/dodge the area around where the sunlight is beginning to strike and then darken/burn the areas outside of that. In this example, I overlighted and over darkened the areas so it would be easier for you to see.

Watch the video

Here’s the before and after with dodging and burning: