Dodging and Burning in Photoshop To Bring Light To Life
After nailing your lighting in camera, shape it even more by dodging and burning in Photoshop. By creating adjustment layers and masking them out where we don’t want to affect the image, we can mold the light and emphasize the parts we want. In this case we want to make it look like there’s a beam of light shining from the lamp, so we create a curves layer and pull up the reds and general brightness. By selecting the shape we want, blurring it, and adding a gradient, we get a natural looking spread of light that doesn’t look fake. Think of it as a more advanced version of dodging and burning in photoshop.
Now that we have our lighting looking the way we want it, we can begin to add color to the image. Clipping the shadows and making them cooler adds a film-esque tone to the image. Adding another colored light source to the top right corner helps to fill in the empty space and balance out the composition overall.