How to Retouch Skin Using Dodging and Burning in Photoshop

It is quite impressive just how advanced editing and retouching tools have become, but even so, many of the world's best retouchers prefer a more fundamental, old fashioned technique: dodging and burning. This fantastic video tutorial will show you how you can use dodging and burning for retouching skin using Photoshop.

Coming to you from Eli Infante, this excellent video will show you how to use dodging and burning for retouching skin in Photoshop. At its most fundamental level, dodging and burning is a very simple and tried and true method: simply lightening and darkening different areas of a photo. Typically, you probably use the technique on more of a macroscale, where you can bring attention to or de-emphasize different parts of a photo, but it is also more useful on the microscale, where you can use it to reduce or eliminate blemishes in a very natural way. On the other hand, it can be a bit time-intensive as opposed to other retouching techniques, so you might want to reserve it for your most critical images. Nonetheless, in those cases, it can be a very powerful technique. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Infante. 

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7 Comments
K P's picture

Great video!

davidlovephotog's picture

Just don't go crazy or your photo will look like an oil painting. All the dodging and burning can't fix bad lighting so that's number one.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Good lighting = Soft lighting?

Barry Strawbridges's picture

A balance of highlights, midtones, and shadows depending on your particular look or aesthetic.

davidlovephotog's picture

My biggest pet peeve is when people shoot an image one way and then try and dodge and burn it to look like it was shot another way. Or if shot against the sun with no fill light or reflector, there is no catch lights but they still dodge the face to not be dark. Where are the catch lights if they were lit from the front?

sam dasso's picture

Of course were is nothing wrong with Photoshop, but same effect can be done with PortraitPro 19 in one click.