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Photo Touchup in Photoshop CS3


Select a photo that you want to touch up. I have picked an image i took on Brownsea Island in. It isn’t a bad photo but the colours aren’t as vivid as I remember them in real life.

Photo Touchup

STEP 2 – Dodge

The dodge tool is the first of a pallet of three that we will be exploring in this tutorial. It is located here..

Photo Touchup

The dodge tool works by lightening darkened areas under the brush. Its primary function is to bring back detail that you may have otherwise thought lost to the black.

I am using Brush Size 70 with 0 Hardness, and will be lightening the Midtones with an Exposure of 18.

In my experience, you wont often need to change from Midtones, but for extra tweaking feel free to change the mode and experiment.

In my image i want to being some of the detail lost in the sand back to life.

Photo Touchup

After a light brushing in the areas I want to save i have achieved the effect i want. Be careful you don’t overdo the dodging. It can lead to creation of noise.

Photo Touchup

STEP 3 – Burn

The Burn Tool as you may expect does the reverse of the dodge tool. It darkens objects. You may wonder about its uses, but it is fantastic at adding definition into photos. My favorite use is to revive distant, Grey horizon hills or mountains.

In my image, I want to restore that horizon and make some of the clouds look a little more ominous.

Photo Touchup

Ive got my Burn Tool set to a very soft brush (0 Hardness), varying the size as i need with the burn settings on Midtones and a very low exposure of 10.

Photo Touchup

STEP 4 – Sponge

Now for a little touch of Photoshop CS3 magic. The sponge tool has the ability to saturate or desaturate an area in order to restore or take away vivid colour.

The beauty of using the sponge tool over a hue/saturate adjustment is that i can can apply different levels of saturation with my brush depending on the areas i want to effect. So in this case i want to bring out the colours in the amazing sky, and more so in the sunset oranges.

To do this I will be using a soft brush (0 Hardness), of varying size. Mode set to Saturate and Flow set to 20.

So simply brush more over the areas you want to effect the most. To give you an idea of how I’ve applied the sponge,I saturated the blues slightly less than the reds and oranges. The water had the least amount of saturation.

Photo Touchup

And the results are fairly fantastic..

Photo Touchup

STEP 5 – Crop, Frame and Sign

A few final touches. I have cropped the image and added a black border to focus the viewer. I have also added a Palce/Date to the finished artical.

Photo Touchup

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these simple yet effective tools in action. Please feel free to post your own revitalized images and comment below.