Dodge & Burn is a function that many a photographer / image editor uses. but, where does dodge and burn actually come from and how do we get this technique?

There will probably be readers who read and think this now, huh? Dodge & Burn. What’s that ?! Dodge & burn is a technique of painting with light and shadow that many image processors use in photoshop. By painting on light spots on the skin with dark (burn) you create a unity in the skin color and you get a smoother overflow, therefore this is a much used technique. This same money for the darker spots on the skin, this you paint with light (dodge)

Anyway, dodge and burn has been around for longer than that Photoshop exists, and this is because it was also an analogue way of editing. In the past people used a white and black pencil, with this pencil they could then draw on the negative so as now to level the spots. Places that you wanted to have darker you drew softly with black and places that you wanted to have lighter you signed with white. If you wanted to create a bit of an even effect, you used both colors alternately. After you had corrected your negative you could enlarge it and you could print it as you wanted it and your photo would be finished after all. Image manipulation is actually not at all of this time but has been around for centuries.

And actually this is also the only real tool in photoshop that is realistic with the old post-processing. Only dodge & burn do you need to create unity in the face, to add more shine and more dynamism.

But nowadays you have so many techniques to mimic the effect of Dodge & Burn. Like Frequency separation, this is actually a way in which you work with frequency separation within a quarter of an hour because of dodge and burn, so you would think, why the hell would you keep Dodge & Burn? The answer: Detail

With Frequency separation you get the detail out of the skin, and this is of course very unfortunate unless you are finishing the campaign for Nivea. Where I Frequency separation itself is for use, for example, to remove wrinkles from the clothing. Frequency is therefore not by definition wrong unless you do not know how it works. But if you want to keep detail in your photo, you choose faster for dodge and burn.

But, there is also a downside to dodge and burn; You have to practice a lot before you can do it, you have to discover when it becomes too much and when it is not.

At the top of the page is a screenshot of the dodge and burn layer. Unfortunately I can not yet show the above picture as before and after because it will be published on January 20th, as soon as it is published I will come back to this article and I would show a before and after of the above picture before and after dodge & burn.

Next week I want to put an article online about a new lens that I had inside, Are you curious about this lens and what I have to say about it? Subscribe especially via Bloglovin, then stay informed of all new posts!

Love, Jasmijn

2 thoughts on “How did the dodge and burn technique come about?”

  1. Rofl
    Dodging and burning are done by manipulating the light reaching the paper. Either with projection printing
    Eg Ansel Adams or in contact printing Eg Edward Weston

    You dodge by creating a shadow creating less exposure

    And you burn by allowing the light to strike only a small
    Area of the print
    Yes, photographers like George Hurrell “ Retouched” their Negatives with pencils.
    And prints were also bleached with potassium Ferricyanide Strongly recommend you read

  2. Hey Rofl
    Dodging and burning are done by manipulating the light reaching the paper. Either with projection printing
    Eg Ansel Adams or in contact printing Eg Edward Weston

    You dodge by creating a shadow creating less exposure

    And you burn by allowing the light to strike only a small
    Area of the print
    Yes, photographers like George Hurrell “ Retouched” their Negatives with pencils.
    And prints were also bleached with potassium Ferricyanide Strongly recommend you read

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