How to Retouch Skin Using Dodge and Burn to Get a Natural Result

The trend in the portrait, fashion, and beauty industry is to come back to a more natural look while still removing the unwanted blemishes. But without the proper techniques and settings, it’s difficult to make an image flawless while avoiding the overly retouched look. Zoë Noble is a talented photographer and retoucher based in Europe, and she’s created a series of tutorial to teach the methods that will help you reach that high-end look. In this one, you’ll learn how to use dodge and burn to even out the skin.

Dodging and burning is an essential part of any good portrait retouching workflow. It usually comes right after cleaning the skin like previously shown in the article about using the clone stamp tool. In the video above, Noble explains what settings she uses to set her brushes and also how she relies on curves to dodge and burn.

While she doesn’t go into details when it comes to color correction, she does touches interesting points that you could then further explore. Some of them have already been talked about here on Fstoppers, and others will be in future articles I plan on writing. Also keep in mind that mastering dodging and burning to even out the skin takes lot of work and practice. It’ll take a few months before you can retouch images quickly and fully understand what you should edit or not.

I’d love to hear some of your biggest issues when it comes to retouching and retaining a natural look when editing. Do you have troubles with color correction? Or is the texture the most troublesome part of the workflow? Do you find seeing issues a problem or does it come naturally? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to write more articles about post-production in the upcoming weeks.

[via Zoë Noble]