Dodging and Burning: Simple Tools, Powerful Results – Free Quick Guide

Dodging and burning are fundamental and robust post-processing techniques. But they are often overlooked by digital photographers.

These two post-processing techniques are steps adapted from film photography. In the darkroom, film photographers blocked light from parts of their image while creating the photo print using something physical like cardstock (dodging). Other parts of the image would receive more light (burning) by cupping the projected light with their hands or using cardboard with a hole cut into it.

Both terms mean changing the exposure on a selected part of the image.

  • Dodging means to brighten parts of an image selectively.
  • Burning means selectively darkening parts of an image.

In this guide, Jenn Mishra will introduce you to the dodge and burn tools found in many post-processing programs.

She will also show you how to use the tools for dramatic effect and push the idea of dodging and burning to the next level in your photography and post-processing time.

The tools are simple to use but can have powerful results.

What she’ll cover:

  • Introduction to dodging and burning
  • Dodging and burning tools in Lightroom and Photoshop
  • How to use dodging and burning in your images
  • Extending the definition of dodging and burning

Dodging and burning allow you to create with light, and light can make anything beautiful.

Photo Credit: Jenn Mishra

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