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Dodge and Burn Technique and our little cartoonish family at a strawberry field.

I like this cartoonish look, which I see on movie posters and advertisements, and I try to reproduce this look in my pictures.
I used a different workflow for each image for experimenting, however the main technique for such a look is a Dodge and Burn. I will describe it below.

I will not describe the whole process here, because I processed all images in different way by experimenting with Adobe Camera RAW settings and Blending Mode effects. And only one procedure was the same for all images: the Dodge and Burn technique.

This is a simple instruction on how to do it:

 

1. Create two Curves Adjustment Layers as shown on the picture below:

2. Hide these layers (Ctrl+I for PC/ Command+I for Mac):

3. Pick up White Soft Brush with very low Opacity (about 6-10%) and paint over the Layer “Curves 1” to illuminate parts of the image, and paint over the Layer “Curves 2” where you want to add shadows. Change the size of the brush when needed.

 

It sounds very easy, however a good result takes time and practice. Don’t be afraid to do something wrong. You can always change your brush to the Black, change opacity and correct everything.

 

Feel yourself as an artist:

– Add volume on the face and body parts by highlighting the center, and darkening the sides.

– Add shine to hair by intensifying the light and dark areas.

– Make eyes and teeth brighter and whiter.

– Increase a dynamic range by highlighting parts of the image (dark trees, shadows, etc.)

 

 

The Dodge and Burn technique is a magic tool in Photoshop. Using this method you can find your own style and make a unique look in the pictures.

 

Try it, experiment and do it your way.

Always yours, Genia

6 responses on "Dodge and Burn Technique and our little cartoonish family at a strawberry field."

  1. Really like what you have going on here Alex. Are you using any sort of Highpass?

  2. I’d love to know the lighting of the photos themselves. quite awesome I must say!!

  3. Hi Genia,

    The method I use is to create a layer above the image I need to dodge/burn. That layer is filled with 50% gray and the blending mode set to overlay. I then proceed to paint with a soft white or black brush at about 10% opacity on the layer to achieve my dodge/burn.

    Do you find that you get better results with the technique you described in your article?

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