Posted on

Dodging and Burning in Portrait Photography

Dodging and burning (“D&B”) is the process of adding light or shadow to parts of a photo to create contrast and emphasis. Put simply, when you “dodge” you are increasing exposure to that part of the photo and when you “burn” you are reducing the exposure. These names come from the physical darkroom process, but for today’s example I will do my D&B on Photoshop, and I will assume you have basic knowledge of Photoshop layers and masking for the purpose of this tutorial (if not, you can see Chelsea’s tutorial here.) There are many other editing programs that support D&B, including Lightroom. The most important thing to remember when you are dodging or burning is to keep it subtle and work with the natural highlights and shadows that already exist in the image. Done correctly, D&B is an easy way to make a portrait more life-like and impactful.

Continue reading Dodging and Burning in Portrait Photography