Our little cartoonish family at a strawberry field. Dodge and Burn Technique.

I like this cartoonish look, which I see on movie posters and advertisements, and I try to reproduce this look in my pictures.
I used a different workflow for each image for experimenting, however the main technique for such a look is a Dodge and Burn. I will describe it below.

RAW file and Processed file:

I will not describe the whole process here, because I processed all images in different way by experimenting with  Adobe Camera RAW settings and Blending Mode effects. And only one procedure was the same for all images: the Dodge and Burn technique.

This is a simple instruction on how to do it:


1. Create two Curves Adjustment Layers as shown on the picture below:

2. Hide these layers (Ctrl+I for PC/ Command+I  for Mac):

3. Pick up White Soft Brush with very low Opacity (about 6-10%) and paint over the Layer “Curves 1″ to illuminate parts of the image, and paint over the Layer “Curves 2″ where you want to add shadows. Change the size of the brush when needed.


It sounds very easy, however a good result takes time and practice. Don’t be afraid to do something wrong. You can always change your brush to the Black, change opacity and correct everything.


Feel yourself as an artist:

- Add volume on the face and body parts by highlighting the center, and darkening the sides.

- Add shine to hair by intensifying the light and dark areas.

- Make eyes and teeth brighter and whiter.

- Increase a dynamic range  by highlighting parts of the image (dark trees, shadows, etc.)



The Dodge and Burn technique is a magic tool in Photoshop. Using this method you can find your own style and make a unique look in the pictures.


Try it, experiment and do it your way.

Always yours, Genia

4 comments to Our little cartoonish family at a strawberry field. Dodge and Burn Technique.

  • Great photos! Love the colors and the sharpness. What lens is that?

  • Thank you, Jarod. It’s Fish eye lens by Canon.

  • Josué

    thank u for this technique!
    I usually use the 50% gray layer (blend mode:softlight) with burn and dodge tools …
    I will try yours :)

    The colors are excellent on these pictures , what do u do??
    I dont think it’s the vibrance/saturation adjustement layer
    When i try, i destroy my pixels :(
    Maybe selective colors ??

  • Josue, I do my main color correction in Adobe Camera Raw.

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