Friday, April 22, 2011

Tutorial: Making the eyes stand out

As the biased mother that I am, I think my kiddos have amazing eyes. Because I am not a professional photographer, have kids who are moving targets, and can't always shoot when the lighting is ideal, my pictures can use a little help. In this picture Emma, although adorable, doesn't have eyes that look as luminous as they do in real life. I figured out a few tricks to make her eyes really goes...

1. Open PSE and the file you wish to work with.
2. Zoom in on your eyes and using the magnetic lasso tool, outline the iris on one of your eyes. 

3. Change the "feather" amount to 10 px (feathering is what blurs what you work with with what you leave alone so it isn't quite so obvious. or at least that is my understanding of what feathering does). Then go to {enhance -> unsharp mask} and change your radius to 3.7, keep your threshold at 0, and play with the "amount" lever. Closer to 100 works best. If you set your amount too high it doesn't look natural.
4. At this point, you can leave it alone and you'll have added some sparkle to your eyes. You can also adjust the contrast a little bit to make them stand out a bit. I am going to opt to deepen the blue tone in this picture because they are a little muddy and don't show as vibrantly as they do in real life. With the iris still selected, go to {enhance -> adjust color -> color variations}.
then click shadows -> increase blue and lighten as well as highlights, increase blue, and lighten. Look at those eyes! That is how they look in real life! You can apply this same series of moves for other eye colors as well. 

subdtle, natural, easy...the eyes have it.
p.s. do you know how to take a screen shot? on a mac, it is command+shift+3

1 comment:

  1. This is SO cute!!! And your blog is just adorable. did you do all of it yourself? You should link up with some of the editing challenges so more people will find out about your blog!