Non-Destructive Pixel Editing In Photoshop

Decided to test my little flatbed scanner yesterday. After recently tidying up my desk at I uncovered a proof that had for some reason been set aside and not made it's way into the place where I put work I'm considering.

As always I had to tweak the image as I would in the darkroom, one of my favourite ways to do this without destroying pixel data in photoshop is to use a 'soft light' burn and dodge mask this allows a lot of control and as I said no pixels are destroyed in the process. It could also be used as a starting point for a finished print in the wet darkroom, if I was so inclined.

Here's the image, a larger version is available on flickr just click the image.

Brooklyn landscape

And here's what a 'soft light' burn and dodge mask looks like.

Photoshop non destructive pixel editing

Basically it's an empty layer filled with 50% grey. Then after changing the "blending mode" of the layer you use either the burn or dodge tools to dodge and burn or, you use the paintbrush with black and white paint, at really low opacities like 10% and lower to darken and lighten selected areas of the image. The secret is build-up up the areas you want to lighten or darken.

As for the scanner, well it's a Canon CanoScan FB630U. Given to me by a relative, thanks Deb. It performed really well actually. I scanned a whole pile of emphemera that I collect for other projects and it did a good job from the look of things on screen [I don't have a printer at home] the only criticism I have is it didn't cope to well with the higher resolutions scans, over 10 megabytes or so, and these were several attempts at scanning the proof above. Still for more graphic projects and small web scans it's pretty good.

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