Dodging and Burning: The Essentials

Dodging and Burning:  The Essentials

I have been teaching Photoshop for several years and one thing I have learned over time is that everyone dodges and burns their images in a slightly different way.  After all, the basics of dodging and burning is simply making an area of the photo lighter or darker.  While it is often overlooked, it may be one of the most important steps in your entire image process.  Are you dodging and burning your images I wonder?

In the past, Dodging and Burning was a tedious process in the darkroom.  Unlike today’s practice, Dodging and Burning required a lot of patience and manual labor with perfectly cutout masks and a splash of math.  It could take hours and multiple attempts to get your image looking great.

These days dodging and burning is a breeze in Photoshop.  While it is a simple task and can be accomplished in mere seconds it can add complex visual aesthetics to your images.   If you aren’t dodging and burning, it is about time you start painting with light!

In the Dodging and Burning Course material, you will learn the following:

  • The origin of Dodging and Burning
  • Destructive Dodging and Burning
  • Nondestructive Dodging and Burning
  • Curves Layers for Dodging and Burning
  • Dodging and Burning with Brushes
  • Installing and using the Dodge and Burn Photoshop Extension (CS, CS6, CC)

*Included in this course is a Dodging and Burning exclusive Photoshop Extension!


02 Destructive Dodging and Burning

Length: 5 minutesComplexity: Easy

Lesson 2 Destructive Dodging and Burning   In this lesson, we are going to talk about destructive dodging and burning.  This is something you should NEVER DO!  However, we must talk about it so you understand the difference between destructive (things applied directly to an image) and nondestructive processes (adjustment layers than can be deleted […]

03 Nondestructive Dodge and Burn

Length: 7 minutesComplexity: Standard

Lesson 3 Nondestructive Dodge and Burn In Lesson 3 we will discuss nondestructive Dodging and Burning on a 50% gray layer using the Dodge and Burn tools.  This is one of my favorite ways because it is very fast and effective.  I often refer to this as Traditional Dodging and Burning.

04 Curves Dodge and Burn

Length: 7 minutesComplexity: Standard

Lesson 4 Curves Dodge and Burn In this lesson, we will look at using two separate Curves Adjustment layers for Dodging and Burning.  The basic premise here is to setup one curve for dodging and one for burning and we wil use the mask to reveal the effect.

05 Dodge and Burn Brushes

Length: 7 minutesComplexity: Standard

Lesson 5 Dodge and Burn Brushes In this lesson, we will focus on using brushes and layers for dodging and burning.  It will involve creating one layer for dodging, one for burning and creating brush presets for Black and White.  of the three methods this one can be the most challenging, but can often yield […]

06 Installing Presets and the Panels

Length: 7 minutesComplexity: Easy

Lesson 6 Installing Presets and the Panels In this lesson, we will install the panel and the presets into Photoshop.  Follow the video carefully and refer to the PDF guide for assistance with the installation process.   Install the Presets into Photoshop.  This can be done in Photoshop using the .tpl file (instructions included in the […]

07 Using the D and B Panel

Length: 6 minutesComplexity: Easy

Lesson 7 Using the D and B Panel   In this lesson, we will take a brief walk through the Dodging and Burning Panel.   We will discuss all of the buttons on the panel and how they operate with the uploaded brush presets.  Please be sure you have installed not only the panel, but […]

08 D and B Conclusion

Length: 11 minutesComplexity: Easy

Lesson 8 Dodge & Burn Conclusion   In this lesson, we will discuss everything we discussed in detail and look at the pros and cons of each method with a bit more scrutiny.  While each method is unique, each one comes with their own set of challenges and circumstances.   Explore your favorite way and […]

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