How to Dodge and Burn in Lightroom

In the videos of this article, you will learn everything about how to Dodge and Burn in Lightroom. This essential technique is not only possible in Photoshop, but also in the very popular photo management and editing software.

Yesterday, I featured a video tutorial by Jimmy McIntyre about a clever Dodge and Burn technique in Photoshop. There are actually dozens of ways to dodge and burn in Photoshop, and some of them may be complex and confusing.

Nevertheless, Photoshop is still the go-to tool for this kind of work. But there is also a much simpler way to achieve similar results in Lightroom with the adjustment brush. In the videos below, you’ll learn how three Lightroom masters apply the technique to achieve rather different effects and results.

Happy dodging and burning.

Dodge and Burn in Beauty Retouching

The first video is by Ed Gregory, Ed shows you the basics of applying dodge and burn to a portrait photo with the adjustment brush. You’ll see how he accentuates highlights and shadows on a model’s face with this technique.

Dodge and Burn for Gritty Portraits

In this video by Kelvin Designs, you will learn how to dodge and burn a male portrait to make it look really gritty with a lot of impact.

Dodge and Burn in Landscape Photos

Here is a very in-depth video by YuriFineart. In the 42 minutes of this tutorial, the instructor explains the basics of dodge and burn, which kind of images can benefit from it and all the details of applying it in Lightroom. Then he goes through the entire dodge and burn process for a sample image.


Dodge and Burn is one of the essential techniques in photo editing. It helps you add selective contrast to your photos and shape the light according to your creative vision. Photoshop obviously offers the most complete support for all kinds of different dodge and burn techniques. But if you’re a Lightroom user, there is a simple technique for applying it in Lightroom to too, as you’ve seen in the videos above.

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