How to dodge & burn like a pro?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by marissa_c._boucher', Sep 20, 2005.

  1. 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.
     
  2. "The Print" and "Forty Prints" by Ansel Adams. "Photoshop CS2 for Photographers" by Martin Evening.
     
  3. 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
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    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.
     
  6. This site is great!
    http://www.thelightsrightstudio.com/videos/GetYourDodging&BurningUnderControl.mov
     
  7. Here's a method I learned at an Epson seminar.<P>

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

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

    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.
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. Katrin Eismann: Photoshop Restoration and Retouching
     
  10. hi... i just want to know what is dodge and burn in simple terms? ive not got a clue :S
     
  11. A tool in Adobe Photoshop. Used to darken or lighten an area with a size or pattern of your choice. That's a really simple answer. If only photoshop was that simple...
     
  12. sorry for such a slow reply haha! thank you :D!
     
  13. Adobe Lightroom.  I can have any number of dodge/burn local edits within an image, each being able to be modified, deleted, or added to anytime in the future. No layers necessary.
     
  14. I've wondered about this a couple of times over the years, but why is it that as soon as someone asks about Dodging and Burning in Photoshop people start talking about the 50% gray layer. Sure you can use a brush to make stuff lighter or darker. But what makes the Dodge and Burn tool, that part which is the most important you will not have!
    Dodging and burning is all about the selected range (the little drop down box at the top left) there you can select highlights/midtones/shadow. Set a nice soft brush at about 5% with the airbrush button on. Have patient be subtle make the blacks black and the whites white, add contrast where there should be more drama and where you want to direct the eye.
    I completely don't care about the destroy pixels argument. Just work incrementally on layer duplicates (shift-alt-apple e, is your friend). I hardly ever do it anymore, but I do keep at least one original layer.
    This guy explains some more and with a couple of examples.
    http://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=30
    This technique takes practice, but when you get a little feeling for it you'll notice you can do complete retouches with this. I hardly use anything else.
    http://www.theodoorthomas.com
     
  15. I have little experience with it in PS and the results I've had with it give skin tones a very inaccurate color.​
    It seems like you are trying to address two separate issues: tone and color. Dodge and burn corrects tones, i.e. light vs dark, in color or b/w, and for any subject, including skin. Color is based on hue and saturation. The two, while related, must be approached differently during correction. If the colors are off, the best dodge and burn method will not produce "accurate" skin colors.
    For me, getting "accurate" skin tones (vs other subjects) is by far the most challenging. Why? Because we are all "familiar" with skin tones, and "know" what "accurate" means. If a model should look at her own photo, she would be even more critical. I intentionally postponed serious skin correction until I had years of PS experience correcting other subjects.
    Katrin Eismann: Photoshop Restoration and Retouching
    Her book referenced a by-the-numbers method for skin tones originated by Dan Margulis, which suggests using a range of rgb numbers for each ethnic group. Complete books have been written using this method, such as this one by another Margulis disciple:
    http://www.amazon.com/Skin-Complete-Digitally-Photographing-Retouching/dp/047004733X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274093773&sr=1-1
     
  16. Not sure if you are even still following this thread. If you are, the two best resources on the net are any of Chris Orwig's tutorials on Lynda.com (portrait retouching etc). His tutorials cover pretty much all the concepts needed in professional retouching, cleaning up, reconstruction, enhancing, and contouring with dodging and burning.
    Another very good one is the High End Industry Retouching Techniques, just google it. This series is very good for understanding dodging and burning, is a little more thorough on dodging and burning than Chris Orwig's tutorials. Personally, I think the instructor pushes his images a little far, they end up looking a bit fake, but the principles are sound, and you can scale back the level of retouching shown to your personal taste. They also have a new series out which I haven't seen yet.
    Just remember to get very good at retouching, there are no short cuts, you must spend long hours watching the tutorials and practice practice practice on your own images.
    I hope this helps, good luck.
     

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