Chapter 2. Repairing with Focus and Toning Tools

In This Chapter

  • Dodging and burning

  • Manipulating color with the Sponge tool

  • Smudging rough spots smooth

  • Blurring for effect

  • Focusing on sharpness

One of the coolest things about Photoshop is the way it offers several tools to accomplish similar end results, but with distinctly individualized looks. The focus and toning tools in Photoshop are examples of this. The focus tools blur, sharpen, and smudge your image in much the same way as the Blur, Sharpen, and Liquify filters (which I cover in Book VII). The toning tools lighten, darken, and change the richness of color in your image a bit like commands such as Levels, Curves, and Hue/Saturation (covered in Book VIII, Chapter 1).

Repairing with Focus and Toning Tools

But where their counterparts operate only on layers or selections, the focus and toning tools let you paint the effects you want directly onto your image. Using these tools, you can often create much more subtle, natural looks tailored to meet your exact needs, as I explain in this chapter.


While you work through this chapter, keep in mind all the tips I give you in Book IV, Chapter 1 about using brushes. Most of that information applies to the brush-like focus and toning tools, as well.

Lightening and Darkening with Dodge and Burn Tools

Dodging and burning originated in the darkroom, where photographers salvage negatives containing areas that are too dark or too light ...

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