- Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book
- The Adobe CC Book for Digital Photographers
- Adobe Photoshop CS 6 for Photographers : A professional image editor's guide to creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC
Dodging and burning are two of the most used post processing techniques ever. They are used by photographers from all walks of life, shooting all kinds of images. A lot of people associate dodging and burning with digital photography and computer editing. The truth about these two techniques is that they are surprisingly old. In fact, they are as old as photography itself. Of course, the process was entirely different in the dark room ages.
But let's take a quick look at what dodging and burning actually do. They are used to affect the exposure of a photograph. Dodging is used to enhance exposure, while burning is used to reduce it. Of course, this is just a very basic explanation. The true power of dodging and burning lies in local adjustments. Burning works great with shadow areas, while dodging is great for mid tones and highlights. The tools are very easy to use in Photoshop and Lightroom, but it takes quite a bit of practice to master them and add them to your style of editing. Nevertheless, if you make a wrong stroke, you can just cancel it.
In the days of film photography and dark room processing, things were a lot more interesting, at least in my opinion. Dodging and burning were done by exposing certain areas of the image a little more and covering up everything else. Photographers would use their hands, almost like drawing in sand. Check out some videos of it on YouTube and if you want to see a professional at work, watch War Photographer, the movie about photojournalist James Nachtwey's life and work.
If you want to boost your dodging and burning skills, watch this tutorial made by Michael Woloszynowicz, you can subscribe to his videos here.