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Local Dodging and Burning for Beauty Retouching

Lesson 3 of 11

What is Global Dodge and Burn?

Chris Knight

Local Dodging and Burning for Beauty Retouching

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

3. What is Global Dodge and Burn?

Lesson Info

What is Global Dodge and Burn?

As we mentioned, this was about sculpting depth overall in the big picture. It manipulates larger areas than local dodging and burning. So we're talking about sculpting arms and bodies and faces and often times especially with local dodging and burning, what you'll up with is a flatter surface. You tend to sometimes overdo it and remove a little bit of depth that you may necessarily want. Global dodging and burning allows you to bring it back. A lot of people are more familiar with global dodging and burning. It's kind of one of the earlier things we explore in the post-production process. And truthfully I do this after local dodging and burning. If I've gone through and I've maybe lost a little bit of depth, I bring it back after this. But we have to start with explaining about this because this is probably something we're a little bit more familiar with. So contours, shape, and adds or removes dimension if you want. It can be as simple as following the light in the scene. I always ha...

ve this is a really good place to start if you don't know where to global dodge and burn. If you don't know what to lighten and what to darken. If you just start with what's there and you darken the dark stuff, and you lighten the light stuff, it will generally make it a little bit more three-dimensional. And that's a really good place to start. You can also use this in darker tone images where you maybe don't necessarily have a high degree of separation between a background and the subject. And you can actually lighten that edge a little bit. And it can help you to create a little bit of separation. You may think this is a little bit of an obvious effect. But if you actually pay attention to a lot of famous images, historical images, even a lot of images you see today in magazines and in print, they do this affect quite a bit. And it just helps to give yourself a little bit of separation. So just to give you an idea about what global dodging and burning looks like. We're just very simply going to see the starter image here. This is what my global dodging and burning looked like independently. So this was done on a 50% gray layer using dodge and burn. And you can see I've lightened the light spots and darkened the dark spots. It was about making the muscles pop a little bit more. Adding a little bit of sheen to the material and his body until we end up with this. It's a subtle difference. But here's the before and here's the after. And before and after. It's just about giving it a little bit more depth. You may feel like you want to go a whole lot more heavy-handed on this and that's perfectly okay. You can go as heavy as you want. But like I said, this is kind of the principle that we're all a little bit more familiar with.

Class Description

Chris Knight demystifies local dodging and burning to show you one of the most effective ways to make skin look amazing in your images! He'll show you how to use one of the most powerful tools in a retoucher’s arsenal. Chris will walk through this non-destructive technique that speeds up your workflow while softening the transitions between skin tones without losing the details you want to keep. Get an in-depth look at skin retouching and take your portraits to the next level.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017.1.1

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Andreas Böhrnsen

Great course on dodging and burning and beauty retouching in general. Think he went through all the steps very thoroughly. Well explained and overall a good course. Would highly recommend it to anyone into portrait and beauty photography.

Bjorn Carlen

A highly recommended class! Chris Knight is super efficient and tremendously clear an instructor. He manages to sqeeze so much useful information and tips into this hour, that I have to go back and revisit several times before i get it all. That may say something anout me myself, but I think also about the efficiency of the instructor. Very good!


I have viewed many Creative Live classes and rank this one among the best. Chris very effectively organized his class to impart knowledge. He Starts with an overview and summary level walk thru of the process and then goes into details and does an actual retouch. He concludes with a lesson on what can go wrong and provides practice images. I highly recommend this class to anyone seeking to learn Dodge and Burn. Thank-you Chris for a great educational experience!