Onions Have Layers. Photoshop Has Layers. You Get It?
Layers! That’s right, I said it. Photoshop has layers and it’s about time you learn how to use them!
So here you’ve got your typical family gathering photo. But guess what, Uncle Brian overexposes every photo he takes so you really want to edit them after. Good thing you know about soft light layer in Photoshop.
Once you have your photo open in Photoshop, create a new layer on top and turn the blending mode to soft light.
This is where the magic happens. Set your paint brush to black (maybe fiddle around with the opacity settings if you want to get real particular) and draw on top of the areas you want to darken.
See how the photo is changing already? This has the same affect as the burn tool. However, the burn tool is what us professionals like to call “destructive” editing. Because if you use the burn tool, then do a whole bunch of other stuff, you can’t undo the burn without undoing everything else. When using the soft layer, you can always delete or alter the layer at any time.
You can even turn your paint brush to white and use it to add highlights! Despite Uncle Brian’s deficient understanding of exposure you can still have a wholesome photo of Aunt Sandra.