How to Dodge and Burn Photos in Lightroom

Traditionally, more involved edits such as dodging and burning are done in Photoshop, but it's often desirable to stay in Lightroom if you can. This helpful tutorial shows you how to dodge and burn a portrait all in Lightroom.

Dodging and burning is one of the most important and fundamental retouching techniques, as it allows you to further sculpt the light and shadows on your subject and create a better sense of three-dimensionality in a two-dimensional photograph. However, moving over to Photoshop from Lightroom generally means larger files and more time involvement, and sometimes, you just want to do a quick job to accentuate your subject a bit more. This helpful tutorial PiXimperfect shows you how to do it all in Lightroom. Just like Photoshop, it's entirely non-destructive and can be adjusted at any time just by grabbing the adjustment brush handle. Just be sure to take it easy by turning the flow and density down and slowly building up the effect. Also make sure to turn feathering up and auto masking off, lest you'll get some very hard-edged and undesirable results. Overall, it's a great way to quickly add the effect, particularly if you don't need highly nuanced results. 

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6 Comments

But... Why? Adjustments brush is so slow...

Motti Bembaron's picture

The way this guy explains things, even I can understand. Great tutorials.

Alex Cooke's picture

Right!? I wish I had known about him when I first started.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I love his tutorial about Frequency Separation, the best I saw so far.

j.d. hunter's picture

do you mean in photoshop CC ?

Alex Cooke's picture

No, Lightroom.