Course Description

Are you curious about what it takes to get flawless, striking but still natural-looking portraits? Expert photographers use the classic Dodge (lighten) and Burn (darken) technique in selected areas on an image to enhance the definition of their work and play creatively in light and shadow. Thanks to Photoshop, this creative process is easily accessible, allowing you to realize your unique vision to convey mood through dramatic composition and exposure. In this course you will take a deep dive into Dodging & Burning, as together we retouch a series of portraits so you can experience firsthand the artistic power of this modern take on a traditional technique.

You Will Learn

  • How to perform a classic portrait edit workflow with professional Photoshop techniques

  • Effective use of the Dodge & Burn technique to enhance any image

  • Post production special effects: emulating Gel Lighting

  • Best ways to work with confidence using Masks and Adjustment Layers

  • How to work in a non-destructive way with the use of most powerful Photoshop tools

Skills You Will Gain

Master Advanced Dodge & Burn

You will learn how to prepare your photo for the edit by enhancing definition and adding more depth and contrast with the Dodge & Burn technique — the "heart" of any efficient retouching effort. You’ll achieve subtle yet deep nuances in your work using this time-tested method.
Master Advanced Dodge & Burn

Corrective Dodge & Burn

At the corrective stage, together we’ll work with large magnification and focus primarily on perfecting surfaces in the photos such as smoothing skin texture. The work takes precision and patience, but the results are well worth it: totally transformed, gorgeous images.
Corrective Dodge & Burn

Contouring Dodge & Burn

The second stage of Dodge & Burn is contouring, which many photographers consider “the fun part.” During contouring, we will work with global enhancement of light and shadow in the image — the effect is increased contrast and a greater sense of depth and volume. There is a fine line between an enhanced, effective image and overdone, fake-looking final effect, and we’ll discuss how to achieve the former and avoid the latter.
Contouring Dodge & Burn

Non-Destructive Workflow

Learn how to combine masks and adjustment layers to bring your artistic vision to life without compromising flexibility. You’ll be able to create fresh versions of one photo in no time, or revisit your artwork in the future to bring new ideas to life with just a handful of strategic adjustments.
Non-Destructive Workflow

Color Work Finish: Gel Lighting Effect

Add style to your image and get the artistic look by adding dramatic coloured effect inspired by theatre and cinematography. By introducing strong, flashy colors, we will create images with a twist — provocative, vibrant portraits, pulsating with energy. You will learn the complete color grading process with the Color Fill and Selective Color Adjustment Layers combined with Photoshop Masks to achieve an eye-grabbing effect.
Color Work Finish: Gel Lighting Effect

Complete workflows using real-life examples train you for better results in your own work

Learn by Doing

Three Complete Fine Art Portrait Workflows

In this hands-on course, you’ll be taken step-by-step through the Dodge & Burn technique to reveal the full potential of your portrait hidden in its frames. Working in a precise and targeted way creates balanced, striking compositions. With each of our portrait subjects, you’ll have a blast getting creative and experimenting with striking color combinations to create unique work that truly stands out.
Three Complete Fine Art Portrait Workflows

We love helping photographers improve their skills

Real Students, Real Results

What current students are saying about the course

“Very good course, nicely explained.”

Bojatan MijatovicBojatan Mijatovic

“C'est un très bon cours très bien expliqué.”

Cédric ReinetteCédric Reinette

“Explicação clara e objetiva.”

Rodolfo Tadeu de JesusRodolfo Tadeu de Jesus

“Muy buenas tecnicas muy recomendadas, ayudan mucho para mejorar como retocador de retratos.”

Wilson Andres OquendoWilson Andres Oquendo

What's Included

  • • 4 hours of in-depth content for beginning / intermediate users

  • • High resolution TIFF source files for you to edit along with the videos


  • 1
  • 2
    2. Edit 1: Olga in Yellow / Violet
  • 3
    3: Edit 2: Carine in Pink / Blue
    • Quick Intro to the Edit
    • Dodge & Burn Local - Corrective
    • Dodge & Burn Global - Contouring
    • Luminosity Adjustments
    • Sharpening
    • Gel Lighting Effect - 1st Light: Pink
    • Gel Lighting Effect - 2nd Light: Blue
  • 4
    4. Edit 3: Chris in Red / Blue / Cyan
    • Quick Intro to the Edit
    • Selective Sharpening
    • Dodge & Burn Global - Contouring
    • Targeted Color Adjustments - Desaturate
    • Luminosity Adjustments
    • Sharpening
    • Gel Lighting Effect - 1st Light: Blue
    • Gel Lighting Effect - 2nd Light: Red
    • Gel Lighting Effect - Light Leak: Cyan
    • Final Touches
  • 5
    5. Resources
    • Download Resources Here

Using the Dodge & Burn Technique for Professional Photoshop Portrait Editing