How to use dodging & burning in Photoshop to contour the face

Dodging Areas Of The Face - Portrait Photography

Using the dodge tool can bring back a light resource that naturally reflects and contours the facial features.  

It is one of the best portrait tools that so many photographers forget to use.  We have created an action that will allow you to simply paint on and correct where you may over use, unlike the original dodge tool that Photoshop puts in your toolbox.  

Simply click play on the Dodge action and paint over the areas you see below where natural light hits the subject.  When complete change the opacity to blend naturally.     

 

How to use dodging & burning in Photoshop to contour the face

(video below to show these steps)

Where you should possibly place the "Dodging":

  • Above brow bone (medium brush)
  • Inner corners of eyes (small brush)
  • Just below brow bone (small brush)
  • Under eyes (medium brush)
  • Middle of lips (small brush)
  • Down neck (medium brush)
  • Down middle of arms (medium brush)
  • Down shin bones (medium brush)
  • Click here to download Everyday Clean Action Set with Dodge Tool and19 other amazing actions!

Please remember to wipe the dodging where natural light hits these areas.

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"Burning" Areas To Bring Definition - Portrait Photography

Once you have added the natural light you will need to burn some definition to the contour of the face.  We have created an action that will allow you to simply paint on and correct where you may over use, unlike the original burn tool that Photoshop puts in your toolbox.  

Simply click play on the Burn action and paint over the areas you see below where natural shadows create contour.  When complete change the opacity to blend naturally.

Where you should possibly place the "Burning":

Please remember to wipe the burning where natural shadows contour the face.

Below is a video that will help you see why this tool can really bring life and dimension to a portrait photo.  

We have the opacities turned up a bit so you can really see where we are painting, however you can turn this down to blend naturally.  

 

Video Tutorial On How To Dodge & Burn In Photoshop

 



2 comments


  • Manish Suwal 'Enwil' (@manishsuwal)

    The video doesn’t show up. :-(


  • Stacie Jensen

    I’m so sorry. I’ve fixed it. Thank you


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