The Art of Dodge & Burn

Too many people, some of them photographers, don’t realize the importance of editing in the creation of a photograph. In many cases, it’s a 50-50 deal — half capture and half processing.

Below us a picture of Ansel Adams with two versions of his famous image, Moonrise over Hernandez. The one on the left is straight from the camera; the one on the right is after Ansel worked his darkroom magic. recently ran a story about Pablo Inirio, a master print maker for Magnum Photos, the famous photo agency. The article has examples of how proofs  were marked up with instructions for dodging and burning. The article is about prints developed in a film darkroom, but the concepts still apply to the digital darkroom. It’s the art of dodge & burn that can make your pictures pop and give them greater dimensionality.


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