Colour Casts and Dodging and Burning with Curves

Colour casts are important in photography and especially film as they can evoke mood and atmosphere in a visual. Adding a blue tint to an image adds drama and cools the image, while adding yellow or red adds warmth and creates a positive feeling to a photograph.

This image here is very cinematic with the colour cast changed slightly, a blue tint added to the background. Additionally, a slightly orange tint has been added to the skin which provides a nice contrast as they are opposites on the colour wheel. With this edit, I also added a curves layer to darken the whole thing then used a layer mask to ensure the face wasn’t darkened too much.

Curves adjustment layers are a non-destructive method of dodging and burning, or brightening and darkening areas of an image. Using adjustment layers is helpful because they have layer masks and are easy to adjust and erase areas which give the opportunity to have multiple colour casts or multiple dodge and burn layers.

I also added a magenta/red/yellow tint to this image after brightening and darkening selected areas  which creates an interesting effect as it is warm, but also cold as it is slightly purple. the hint of coolness is reflected in the content of the image itself.


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