The Best Way to Style Your Images With Dodging and Burning in Photoshop

In this video tutorial, I show how to create dynamic images by using dodging and burning and painting in some light effects.

In my new course Photoshop course, Hollywood Processing, I show pupils how to create Hollywood Style imagery like the ones you see on movie posters. One of the main aspects of achieving this look is dodging and burning.  I know many creatives who do not utilize this technique as much as they should. I believe when used in conjunction with other skills like color grading and light painting, it will give you images that stand out from a sea of visuals that all use the same presets or LUTs. We aim to be different, to make our images stand out, not to blend in. The more you stand out, the more likely you are to be noticed by potential clients. Dodging and burning can be used in many different ways: it can be used to create depth, to guide the viewer's eye, to retouch skin, to pull out details, or to create a painterly feeling. it is up to to you to decide which of these you want to do. I tend to go for depth, style, and the painterly feeling, but that is just my taste. You do not have to apply the same amount as me, but if you are not using dodging and burning at all, you are missing out.

This tutorial is great for beginners. In the video, I will also show you how to paint in light with a brush. The tutorial is fairly easy to follow along with just a series of curves adjustments and layer masks.

Clinton Lofthouse's picture

Clinton Lofthouse is an Advertising/Entertainment photographer, creative artworker and Photoshop expert from the U.K. Specializing in composite and photomanipulation imagery.
When he is not chained to his desktop PC editing, Clinton likes to put on Synthwave music, wear Aviator sunglasses and pretend to be in an 80s movie.

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Another dodge and burn topic.. :-)