Way back (longer than I care to remember!) I used to take photos on film and develop then myself. So when people complain that digital tools like Photoshop are cheating and that you couldn’t do that with film I enjoy pointing out that you could actually do most of the things with film. I’m not saying it’s easy but it was possible. One of the simpler things to do was dodging and burning – essentially over or under exposing parts of your image to draw the viewer’s eye to a particular place in the image you want them to look. Sure enough, these tools also exist in digital tools like Photoshop and Lightroom. So it is interesting to see the latest book from the Craft & Vision stable looks at how to dodge and burn your images. However this time, rather than just a simple eBook giving you inspiration, Piet van den Eynde’s Dodge & Burn is a “how to” tutorial complete with custom Photoshop panels and exercise files to follow along on.

To begin with the 90 page guide (it’s far more than a simple book this time) explains what we mean when we talk about dodging and burning and why you might want to do it. This is followed by a very clever example of the options available and how additional elements in a scene can restrict these. The options start with the most basic global adjustments, changing something across your whole image, through Lightroom tools such as graduated filters or the adjustment brush, to specific plugins and finally to Photoshop.

Once these five methods of dodging and burning have been outlined the rest of the chapters take each one and in turn and go into detail about how they can be used. These are accompanied by example images and step by step adjustments to show how Piet arrived at the final image. Depending on which package you buy (see below) you can follow along using the same exercise files as shown in the guide.

As mentioned, this latest Craft & Vision release is far more than their usual inspirational books. It’s more of a full on master-class in how to dodge and burn. It also comes in two flavours:

  1. Dodge & Burn “Lite”
    – 90-page Dodge & Burn book
    – “Lite” version of EasyDodge (custom Photoshop panel)*
  2. Dodge & Burn “Full”
    – 90-page Dodge & Burn book
    – “Full” version of EasyDodge (custom Photoshop panel)*
    – 10 exercise RAW images

* Obviously Photoshop is required for the panels to work. You can see them in action in the demo video on Piet’s website.

As Piet says in his introduction: We all know that there are different reasons why the image we have in our mind is not always the image that comes out of our camera: for one, we’re always growing as photographers, and so is our skill at capturing difficult lighting situations. but even if you are a true “conquistador of light,” there might still be reasons why your capture does not completely reflect reality or your vision. Personally I think mastering your ability to dodge and burn your images well is a great skill to have.

As always there’s an offer for the first few days. There’s no discount on the Dodge & Burn “Lite” option and you can get it for $5. However if you buy Dodge & Burn “Full” you can get it for US$8 (normally $10) by using the code DODGE8 or buy 5 or more books at Craft & Vision and use the code DODGE20 to get 20% off. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) July 22, 2012 (check your timezone here).

Click below for:

Dodge & Burn “Full” or Dodge & Burn “Lite”