The “S” curve in nature is a very powerful graphic element. I was thrilled to find this one in the dunes.
During our recent tour with Cole Thompson, he was kind enough to show us some of his post processing techniques. Learning how he uses the Dodge and Burn tool was an eye opener for me. I used these tools and new ideas to lighten and darken key areas in this image. The key when using these tools is to work on all three tonal ranges, shadow, mid-tone and highlights. There is a drop down dialogue box that shows all three on the tool properties bar at the top. Before, I would use just one and that approach does not work nearly as well. It is also important to use a brush at just 2 or 3% opacity. Even though you don’t feel like you’re doing much when lightening a dark area when working on the highlights, trust me, there are pixels that are indeed being affected. The same holds true when darkening a light area. There are shadow and mid-tone pixels there.