Dodge and burn like a pro

Learn to doge and burn like an expert and your black and white shots will shine

Creating black and white photo art isn’t simply a matter of shooting in a different mode, or converting a colour image. If you want to produce pictures that really stand out then you’ll need to master the essential skills of Dodging and Burning to bring life and depth to your final pieces.


1. Brush and burn

Select the Burn Tool from the palette. Choose Shadows from the Range menu and choose an exposure around 7%. Make sure the brush is large and feathery then begin to burn the sky on the right-hand side.


2. Deepen the shadows

To deepen the shadows in the water in the foreground, increase the brush diameter size to around 1,000. Make a few, short, swift strokes over the water to increase contrast.


3. Dodge the mid-tones

To pull back and even the heavy tone around the bushes in the centre of the frame, dodge the mid-tones. Select the Dodge Tool by clicking and holding the Burn Tool in the palette.


4. Dodge the highlights

Finally, dodge a few highlights to increase overall contrast. Select Highlights from the drop-down in the Range and keep Exposure at 7%. Reduce brush size to 250 pixels and stroke the naturally bright areas.