Dodging and burning in Photoshop is a staple technique for professional photographers and retouchers. In this tutorial, you will learn how to sculpt highlights and shadows to add dimension, remove blemishes, and guide the eyes of the viewer to the most important parts of a photo.
Add shape, add definition, and keep the viewer’s eyes locked on to your subject.
Sculpt Highlights & Shadows
IMPROVE YOUR ENTIRE PHOTO
What is Dodging & Burning?
Dodging and burning is the art of sculpting and enhancing the highlights and shadows that wrap around your subject. The techniques in this tutorial will help you accentuate shape and add dimension so that your photos pop off the page (or the screen).
How to Dodge & Burn in Photoshop
In the early days of photography, dodging and burning was done by hand in the darkroom. Now with Photoshop, we have the ability to paint with light, brightening highlights or darkening shadows with a few precision brush strokes.
Portraits & Landscapes
Whether you’re shooting sweeping landscapes or intimate portraits, we’re certain that our dodging and burning workflow will help bring your vision to life. Learn how to use highlights to keep the attention on your subject and use shadows to add depth and detail to landscapes and environments.
ADD SHAPE & DEFINITION
Add Shape & Definition
Whether you’re taking an athletic portrait and want to emphasize a person’s form and musculature, or you’re a product photographer that needs to accurately represent how a product would look and feel in real life, this tutorial will help you add shape and definition to nearly anything.
We take you down to the pixel level to remove small blemishes and distractions while keeping the original textures in tact. Most blemishes can be fixed by simply reducing or removing some of the harsh shadows that they create. Learn to zoom in and retouch these delicate areas with powerful dodge and burn techniques.
Learn how to look at the big picture, tackling larger areas of highlight and shadow so that your images look great on mobile devices, Instagram, and other social media. Learn to enhance facial structure, body shape, and tackle harsh transitions between highlight and shadow.
Have you ever looked at a photo and were unsure of where your eyes were supposed to focus? Dodging and burning can help the important parts of an image stand out. Learn how to use highlight and shadow to draw more attention to your subject for a more powerful image.
Correct Highlights & Shadows
Things don’t always turn out perfect after a photoshoot. Even with great lighting, your shots still might have some exposure issues that need fixing in Photoshop. Dodging and burning can help bring back detail, balance exposure, and create more dimension in your subject.
Clothing & Environments
Dodging and burning is traditionally done on people and portraits, but it can make a huge difference in a variety of other photos. We show you how to apply dodging and burning techniques to a number of situations like adding beautiful detail to folds in fabric and adding depth to a landscape.
When people hear ‘blemish removal’ they often think of the Healing Brush Tool or the Clone Stamp Tool as the go-to methods for retouching. There’s a better way! In this tutorial, we break down how to use dodging and burning and RAW processing to remove blemishes by simply adjusting only the light levels in a photo.
Highlights & Shadows
Dodging and burning starts by analyzing how the light is interacting with your subject in an image. Where are the brighter areas? How about the darker areas? We show you what to look for when identifying where to dodge and burn. Then you can follow along as we plan our edits for each image and take you through the process, step-by-step.
Tools & Techniques
Follow along as we cover all of the tools that you’ll need to master for effective dodging and burning. Learn how to use the Brush Tool, Dodge & Burn Tool, Adjustment Layers, Blending Modes, and learn how to process RAW images in both Photoshop and Lightroom.
ADD HIGHLIGHTS & SHADOWS
Preserve the Original Details
Learn how to dodge and burn down to the pixel level, adjusting areas of light and dark to reduce and remove small blemishes while keeping the natural skin texture in tact.
Dodge vs. Burn
Dodging is all about the highlights. Looking for brighter areas of your subject and making them slightly brighter. Burning is all about the shadows, which involves darkening the dark areas. Combining both methods creates increased contrast around the edges and curves in an image, adding a whole new dimension to your photos.
RAW & JPEG
Learn how to get the most out of your photos, whether you’re working with an 8-bit JPEG or in 16-bit RAW. We even show you a professional RAW processing workflow in both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Instructor & Featured Artist
PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor
Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.
Photographer//Designer – Featured Artist
Lydz’s body of work explores the expressions in masculunity and femininity through her funky perspective with light. Fascinated by the architecture of human form, her images often present a subtle touch of delicacy while discovering the beauty within flaws View Lydz’s Portfolio
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