Portrait Editing Part III: Dodging & Burning

Sorry for the delay everybody! If you subscribe to my channel via Vimeo or YouTube you probably saw that I posted the video yesterday, but work and life with the new baby got in the way of getting the blog post up sooner. This is Part III in the series on editing portraiture from start to finish, and today we’re covering what I consider to be the bulk of my editing process: Dodging & Burning.

Dodging and Burning have been tools in the art of photography since long before Photoshop and the Digital SLR took over the market. Film photographers used light to dodge and burn for decades in the dark room and it’s actually quite amazing to go back and look at some of the greats to see their notes on what they want done in the dark room to finish a photo. Dodging and burning is all about subtlety and small, intricate changes that can vastly change the way we view an image. Something as small as editing the shadow and highlight sides of a wrinkle in the skin to lessen the effect, to a much more universal edit like a vignette to bring our eye into the subject of the image. These are just two examples, and today we’re going to get into how I approach Dodging and Burning for – what I feel – is the best effect on my imagery. Take a look and be sure to check back next Tuesday for my next section on Frequency Separation!

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