Dodging and burning is a technique where portions of a photograph are selectively darkened (burning) or lightened (dodging). This is where you can add emphasis to certain portions of a photograph, or just bring back detail in certain areas. It’s a powerful technique for composition and creativity. The terminology comes from the traditional darkroom where an enlarger—combined with cupping of hands and cutouts on wire—were used to control the amount of light on different portions of a photograph.
Editor's Note: This is a guest blogpost from Colin Smith of PhotoshopCafe.com. If you find this useful, we encourage you to check out the RouteCS6 tour that he is currently doing.