Taking a photograph that is aesthetically pleasing and ends up without any processing or corrections can be very difficult. Photographers from beginners to experts with great experience strive to ensure that their photos are truly perfect. And this is done through the use of common and in-depth retouching. Delicate and painstaking procedures can give the skin an even cheap relief and ideal tone, the whiteness of the teeth, the shine of the hair and eyes. Of these subtle little things that the handler pays attention to, the whole picture is formed and pleases the eye for a long time.

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There are many ways to help adjust the imperfections in a photograph. But among them there is one special one that professional photographers working on magazine photo shoots use in their work. Their job is to create a treatment that leaves the texture natural and spontaneous, but at the same time all imperfections are competently hidden. This is aided by a technique called Dodge & Burn. This is a retouching method that opens up numerous creative opportunities for the processor. Only the highest quality photos can be worked with D&B. All details and nuances must be displayed with both maximum approximation and removal. In this article we will examine all the details of using the technology and also learn about two methods of retouching.

What is the Dodge and Burn Technique?

Retouching using this technique may seem very time consuming and painstaking. It can only be done with great patience. While this is partially true, the principles of such retouching are so simple that even the novice photographer will cope. Using it on portraits, especially large ones, is ideal. They will see all the imperfections such as long pores, excess hair, acne, etc.

To understand the nature of this technique, let’s look at its name: Dodge can be translated as «Lightening» and Burn as «Darkening. This means that the primary task is to lighten and darken. But what is it that you determine exactly? In Retesh, we first pay attention to the defects of the facial skin. Even the same acne has a convex tip. The skin itself is light areas and shadows. If the work is performed with ambiguity and clarification, with the help of technology the dark areas become lighter, on the contrary, the light areas become darker. Thus, the convex detail is completely flattened. The principle to be guided — change the lighting pattern so that the volume defects (pimples, scars, irregularities, wrinkles) are flattened and therefore invisible.

In addition to the high quality of the image, make sure that the light is correctly shown. Otherwise, noise in the form of noise cannot be avoided. It is better to shoot in raw format. It is considered most convenient for post cutting.

The advantage of this method is that it is multifaceted. It need not be used only in the correction of imperfections in the skin, hair, teeth, etc. Bright foot patterns can be worked on in a different way, and the shape and volume of the face can be altered if needed to correct facial and silhouette features.

Dodge and Burn tools

All work on retouching a photograph is built on the use of the «Lighting» and «Dim» tools. Therefore, it makes sense to learn about as much information as possible, at least using simple examples, as well as learning to apply them in a case.

The essence of the tool can already be understood from its name. It is as if it were a «drawing» tool, allowing you to obscure or lighten local areas of an image. The default tool corresponds to the «O» key. There are only two settings. At the same time can be called very important

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  • Range (Range) — selection of an area of the application. For darker areas, you can use the Shadow version (Shadow), Light — Highlight (Backlight), and Neutral Midtone (Medium Tone). Let’s show a simple example. If the retoucher’s task is to lighten the dark section of the chin and leave the light in its original shape, the shadow (shadow) range should be used with the Dodge tool tool. Dark ;
  • Exposure (Exhibit) — Exposure power. An important option where beginners often make mistakes and set the slider to 100% and receive a spot in the photo. Here, the highest setting is important: 7-10% is sufficient for shadow operations and less than 20% for neutral areas. It is worth remembering that values may vary here. Individual approaches are important here. A little practice will help you achieve the most natural results.

Where are Clarifiers and Dungeons used?

The dodge and burn tool tools have different options for use. The Clarifier is great for retouching eyes. It can create a white sclera with it, and it can also add a bright glare to the iris. This technique is good because it allows the audience to draw more attention to the photo. There are also techniques for design drivers. For example, for a portrait of a man, you can apply darkening of the cheekbones, chin, eyebrows, and nose line, making the image of the person in the photo more gentle and courageous (especially in black, and white portraits).

The use of the dodge tool when highlighting control lights is a more rare, but exactly the same spectacular option. You can easily notice this technique in concert photography — when musicians surround good light.

Retouch images using the Dodge & Burn Technike

This technique implies three ways to perform it With the help of a corrective layer with curves. With the help of a neutral gray layer. Working with levels. The most popular and simplest are called the first two and will be discussed below.

The curve method

Using curves not only eliminates skin imperfections, but also helps to add volume, glare, and photos. Open the photo and note all the places that need immediate intervention. The image should be considered as carefully as possible. For this, bring in a combination of the Ctrl key and + up to 100%. As soon as the amount of work has been determined, create two adjustment layers, one for clarification and one for dimming.

Initially, select the «curved» layer in the lower right corner. This is how a new layer opens as well as a window with curve settings. Task: Set the cursor in the center of the diagonal line that passes through the schedule. The points that appear will be transferred somewhere on one cage and the picture will immediately lighten. Now the schedule has a curve, intersected by the name of the layer, and it is time to change it to «bright» with two clicks. To invert the layer mask, click and use the Ctrl+I key combination. The description effect has disappeared.

For the second layer causing dimming, move the curves to a single cage. The picture will be darkened and this layer may be renamed. For example, «darkened». The next step means that the same combination of Ctrl+i will restore the picture to its original appearance.

Next, we need a group of auxiliary layers. It is easier to manipulate them, and we will look at the variations lightly. You can use the Ctrl+G keys or find «Layers» in the lower right corner and press the folder image. The group will be taken to the second floor above all the layers. In the group, create a new layer. Select the folder and use the Shift+Ctrl+N key combination (or select in the lower menu the element for which you want to create a layer) — it is now in the group. If the background color is black in the palette, the Ctrl+Backspace combination will help fill the new layer with the same shade. If the color is different, it must be replaced with black using the toolbar. Double-click on the image in the lower layer to open the palette and convert the slider to the desired color.

The next step is to change our regime of imposing black. Of all the modes in the list, selecting «Color» will make the image black and white. Duplicate the layer using Ctrl+J and place «Soft Light» in the new application mode. If the result seems too dark, you will need to manipulate the layer’s transparency.

It is time to use the brush. The main things in it are softness (put rigidity to zero) and opacity below 10%. Pressing the brush can also be greatly reduced. It is time to increase the image so that all irregularities are clearly visible. We fix them with a brush of a size that does not result in imperfections (the size is controlled by the keys [and]). Depending on which action we need to take (darken or lighten the site) — select a specific mask for the working layer. By the way, this is why we have renamed them conveniently: the masks are called «Masks» and «Masks» in the «Masks» section. Increase the degree of the ceiling by pressing the brush several times in the same area.

The white spot on the brush removes a section of the mask, and the effect of the layer set with the curve appears in the image. In dark areas, draw over the mask on the «lighten» layer and then draw on the lighter one on the «darken». The brush should be slightly smaller than the skin on which the work is in progress. If the defects have been thoroughly resolved, go further each time checking the result. Turn off the group of auxiliary layers to see the resulting result. For this, click on the eye image.

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Use the gray layer

In the second method, create a new layer and rename it with a convenient name. In the Application Mode list, select Soft Light (Soft Light). In the same window, you need to put a box on «Pour 50% Gray». The working layer is now ready. To simplify our work, we will create two more auxiliaries. In the first black and white, translate the red color to the left. Thus all defects will be seen even better. The second layer is «curved» so we add contrast. Select the curve by clicking on the Correction Layer icon and create a schedule of S-curves with the eye designed to highlight all irregularities. It is recommended to use the Ctrl+G key combination to merge layers into groups. Next step: highlight the DB layer working layer.

Now you can retouch yourself with a soft brush with a small radius. Here, as in the first method, it is important to place the following settings: Opacity: 10% and Flow: 10%. Large values are overgrown and the face looks unnatural and comical. Small brushes should not exceed the lack of skin off the sharp edges. Changes should be minimal, and if you feel this is not enough, it is better to walk several times to enhance the effect. In particularly dark areas, the increase in opacity should be 15%.

Next, use D.D. to discard the default black and white colors and «draw» the layer with a white or black brush, depending on the toning and clarification. The X key helps to quickly switch between flowers. You can continue drawing and periodically turn off the visibility of the layer to view the result. Approach the photo to see the nuances of the process and also move on to evaluate the general plan. As soon as the work is completed, turn off the visibility of the auxiliary layer — the image will be in color again.

Having mastered the Dodge and Burn Retouching Method, your skills will improve significantly. This means that the quality of your photos will be significantly improved. This method opens up great scope for implementing creative ideas, so don’t be afraid to experiment and practice!