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How to dodge & burn like a pro?

Marissa C. Boucher' , Sep 20, 2005; 08:24 p.m.

I'm looking to increase my dodging and burning skills (mainly for portrait & wedding work) but I just can't get that pro look that many award winning photos have. Maybe someone knows of a highly acclaimed dodging/burning book, video, or online tutorial? I simply want to be doing it like the pros so I don't waste any time teaching myself the wrong way.

Of course, I realize that the pros photo itself was most likely great to begin with, but I'm just unsure as to the correct process of it all.

I have little experience with it in PS and the results I've had with it give skin tones a very inaccurate color. I've been using a multiple layers technique instead and have had much better results. I've heard that this method is actually better because dodging actually destroys pixels (who knows if that's true). I have noticed though that using levels and layers along with the eraser tool have looked more natural on the skin tones and color in general.

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Edward Ingold , Sep 20, 2005; 08:34 p.m.

"The Print" and "Forty Prints" by Ansel Adams. "Photoshop CS2 for Photographers" by Martin Evening.

Alex Di , Sep 20, 2005; 09:31 p.m.

I've been using a multiple layers technique instead and have had much better results. I've heard that this method is actually better because dodging actually destroys pixels (who knows if that's true). I have noticed though that using levels and layers along with the eraser tool have looked more natural on the skin tones and color in general.

Then why would you deal with dodging and burning? If Ansel Adams had adjustment layers, he'd have used them.

DI

Edward Ingold , Sep 20, 2005; 09:52 p.m.

If you use adjustment layers, and save the layers intact, you can always adjust the effects later. Once the layers are flattened, what you see is what you get.

Ray House , Sep 20, 2005; 11:48 p.m.

Here's one technique...make a blank layer above your image layer, change the blending mode to overlay. using your default black foreground color with a soft brush, paint over what you want to burn in. Using white will have the effect of dodging. The presure and opacity of the brush can be adjusted as well as the transparency of the layer. Experiment with other blending modes as well. I also usually do not flatten the layers, and like to work on a duplicate of the original.

Tricia Estrada , Sep 21, 2005; 12:55 a.m.

This site is great! (link)

Gary Megrenne , Sep 21, 2005; 01:27 a.m.

Here's a method I learned at an Epson seminar.

From the menu, select Layer > New > Layer...
A dialog box will open. Select Mode > Overlay
Check the box 'Fill with overlay-neutral color'

Use the dodge and burn tools on this layer. The exposure setting for the d&b tools should be between about 10-20%.

The effect will be fairly subtle, but if you toggle the layer on and off, you can see the changes that you're making. I've been using this method for about a year and it works great.

Nigel Nagarajan , Sep 21, 2005; 05:38 a.m.

Here are two techniques I use regularly for non-destructive dodging and burning:

1. Using Adjustment Layers
Make a selection of an area you wish to dodge or burn (e.g. eyes or teeth). You can hold down the shift key to add to your selection is you want to do both eyes at once. Feather your selection appropriately (Select --> Feather) or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+D. With the selection active, click on the new Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Choose any Adjustment Layer (e.g. Curves) and click OK without making any changes. Change the blend mode of the new Adjustment Layer to Multiply (for burning) or Screen (for dodging). Reduce the opacity of the new Adjustment Layer until the effect is subtle enough.

2. Painting with Soft Light
Make a new layer and change its blend mode to Soft Light. Fill it with 50% grey (keyboard shortcut is Shift+F5 then choose 50% grey). Get your brush tool and reduce its opacity to about 30%. Now make sure your foreground and background colours are set to the Photoshop defaults (press the D key). Now paint with black to burn or white to dodge. Reduce the opacity of the new layer until the effect is subtle enough.

Bruce Watson , Sep 21, 2005; 10:51 a.m.

Katrin Eismann: Photoshop Restoration and Retouching

Berni Harris , Jul 15, 2007; 04:08 p.m.

hi... i just want to know what is dodge and burn in simple terms? ive not got a clue :S


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