Dodge, Burn and Other Heresies – Darkroom Technique Part 5 – by Sroyon Mukherjee

So far in this series I’ve only talked about ‘straight printing’, which is to say, no part of the image was locally manipulated. I tweaked exposure and contrast of course, but those tweaks were applied uniformly to the whole image.

Part 5 is about two classic techniques for local manipulation of exposure and contrast – dodging and burning. Dodging lightens certain print areas by blocking enlarger light from reaching them. Burning darkens certain print areas by giving them additional exposure. Local manipulation can also be classified into same-grade and split-grade; I’ll explain the distinction later, along with examples of both types.