Master Dodge and Burn

For Beauty, Fashion, and Portrait Retouching

With Michael Woloszynowicz

In Retouching Academy's latest production, Michael Woloszynowicz dives into one of retouching's most fundamental techniques, dodging and burning. Michael breaks down this fundamental, nondestructive process into a four section course that teaches both the theory and practical application that goes into dodging and burning an image.


The photographers at Retouching Academy have produced some of the industry's best work when it comes to beauty photography and retouching. Not only are their images stunning, the educational content they have produced has provided immense help to other photographers learning the industry. The last product we featured, "Studio Beauty" with Julia Kuzmenko McKim was such a big hit that we're bringing more of their post processing techniques to Fstoppers.

In RA's latest production, Michael Woloszynowicz dives into one of retouching's most fundamental techniques, dodging and burning. Michael breaks down this fundamental, nondestructive process into a four section course that teaches both the theory and practical application that goes into dodging and burning an image. Here's a little more of what this course provides. 

What's Covered in This Tutorial?

Lesson 1 

It's important to understand some of the broader points of retouching an image before we dive into practical application. This lesson introduces you to the tools and settings needed throughout the course as well as the reasoning behind choosing D&B as a corrective technique.

  • Underlying theory behind D&B, what is it, how it works, why it is so important, and how it compares to other techniques
  • The elements of an image: Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity
  • Local or Corrective D&B
  • Global D&B or Contouring
  • D&B vs. Other Retouching Techniques
  • D&B types within your workflow
  • Tools and Layers for your D&B work
  • Working with Curves Adjustment Layers for Corrective D&B and Contouring
  • Working with 50% Gray Layers for Corrective D&B and Contouring
  • D&B as a part of your retouching workflow

Lesson 2

In this lesson, we begin to use D&B for localized correction and to refine luminosity shifts in skin to make it look perfect. We also examine how the technique can be used in combination with other tools like the Healing Brush. While we walk you through practical application of using D&B, we'll also demonstrate some pitfalls to avoid which give your images unnatural looking results. 

Lesson 3

In the third lesson we dive into the idea of contouring or global D&B. 

We explore how adding accentuating highlights or shadows on certain areas of the face and body can give your subject more depth and dimension to give a more three-dimensional appearance. 

This lesson starts with a completed beauty image and then moves on to  completing the black and white image from lesson two. 

To finish this lesson, we contour a color image to give an extra example of this technique. As well as the standard contour process, we examine the best ways to go about reshaping areas of the face using light and how to organize your layers when doing so. 

Lesson 4

The final lesson will involve putting the final touches on all our images, particularly from a color standpoint. 

Although our focus with D&B is to correct luminosity shifts, we still have to pay attention to color. This course doesn't dwell on color correction techniques but it is important to be able to identify color issues and understand the most useful tools for correcting color. 

We'll explore how to use D&B to work on details such as harsh shadows, dark spots in the whites of the eye, as well as peach fuzz on the face, and deal with the resulting color problems in those areas. 

Bonus Materials

In addition to the educational video lessons, this course provides the following:

  • Michael’s D&B Actions
  • RA D&B Tool Presets for D&B Brushes
  • Practice file (Fabrics)
  • Practice file (Beauty portrait)

What's Included in This Tutorial Download?
  • A PDF including course information and a course outline
  • Four lessons teaching the theory and technique of dodging and burning
  • 3.5 hours of video content
  • Practice images to follow along
  • Michael's D&B actions and brush presets

Bundle Deal

Although this course stands on it's own as an excellent educational resource to master dodging and burning, a more comprehensive retouch of any image includes color grading as well. Michael has also produced a separate tutorial that discusses the theory and practical application of color grading your images. You can purchase this tutorial separately on the Color Grading sales page or purchase the bundle deal with both products below. 

Buy Only the Dodge and Burn Tutorial
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1 Comment
Mark Harris's picture

The video is good BUT wow, why cant he just tell us the way to do it without first telling us about 10 other ways that he does not prefer. We bought your video, we want to do it your way so stop wasting time with the other gazillion options