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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Local Dodging and Burning for Beauty Retouching

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

We are going to, today, be talking about local dodging and burning for beauty retouching. If you are not familiar with local dodging and burning it can seem a little bit mystifying, and a little big complicated, and so what I wanted to do was break down the fundamentals of how you actually work through this process and how it can really bring up the caliber of the retouching in your images. Now it's important to know that this technique is not necessarily going to be maybe the best course of action for every person and every scenario, but when you want to really get that high level of polish to your portraits and beauty images and fashion images, this is generally the way it is achieved. If you want to follow along at home, the images we're gonna be working with today are available on my website for free. Just go to and it's under the download section and the photos that we're actually going to be working with were very generously donated by Lindsay Adler and we're...

gonna be working through her beauty images today. So they are free and available for you to practice on my website if you are so inclined. Now, the goals for today are quite simple. What we are aiming to do is make skin look amazing. To do that we need to be able to recognize micro-transitions in the skin. A big part of this is maintaining depth. That's usually where a lot of people go wrong, is they tend to end up flattening out the skin too much and it ends up looking a little bit cartoonish and fake. And then again we are trying to avoid certain common mistakes like being a little bit too heavy-handed. Now, the actual gear we are going to be using today is quite simple. We're gonna be spending our entire time in Photoshop. We are going to be working with a tablet today. You do not need a tablet for this particular process, but I do highly recommend it. I'm gonna be on a Wacom Intuos Pro, medium size. Generally go with whatever you feel comfortable with but that's what we're going to be working with today. And lastly, for this you will need to practice. You will need to practice lots and lots. I do find that this is very much a technique and very few people are good at it the first go-around. It's why retouchers do this for a living and you pay them a decent amount of money to do so. But, for those of you that wanna take it up on your own images, we're gonna do that today. We're gonna be looking at three core concepts, some simple clean up methods in Photoshop. This is what needs to happen before you can actually delve into the local dodging and burning process, because although local dodging and burning can do a lot, it does not do everything and there are sometimes a few better methods to achieve your goals, before you even get into that step so we're gonna be doing a few simple, local clean-up methods. We're gonna be doing local dodging and burning. That's gonna be the primary focus of today. But in order to do so we're also gonna talk about global dodging and burning because it very much plays a part in this process and it controls depth on a broader scale. Local dodging and burning is about controlling depth on a micro scale, and global dodging and burning is about the big picture.

Ratings and Reviews

Andreas Böhrnsen

Great course on dodging and burning and beauty retouching in general. Think he went through all the steps very thoroughly. Well explained and overall a good course. Would highly recommend it to anyone into portrait and beauty photography.

Bjorn Carlen

A highly recommended class! Chris Knight is super efficient and tremendously clear an instructor. He manages to sqeeze so much useful information and tips into this hour, that I have to go back and revisit several times before i get it all. That may say something anout me myself, but I think also about the efficiency of the instructor. Very good!


I have viewed many Creative Live classes and rank this one among the best. Chris very effectively organized his class to impart knowledge. He Starts with an overview and summary level walk thru of the process and then goes into details and does an actual retouch. He concludes with a lesson on what can go wrong and provides practice images. I highly recommend this class to anyone seeking to learn Dodge and Burn. Thank-you Chris for a great educational experience!

Student Work