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A portrait can be a cherished possession for a lifetime, and now making perfect portraits is just one Photoshop course away. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his vast knowledge of Photoshop to focus on the specific tools every photographer needs to adjust images and keep them looking genuine. Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training explores this program's deep resources and inspires photographers to do their creative best with everything from blemishes to backdrops. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this chapter, we are going to take a look at a number of different techniques that we can use in order to enhance and improve eyes. In this movie, here we have this photograph that I captured earlier this year, and I really like the composition. I like the way everyone is looking up. I climbed up on a tree in order to gain this perspective. So let's go ahead and double-click the Zoom tool to take this image to 100%. Now, when we do that, one of the things that's kind of interesting is we can see there are different types of eyes that are really close together, and that's one of the reasons why I want to start with this image, just so we can begin to see how these different techniques will work with different colored eyes.
Well, the first thing that I want to do here is I want to brighten the eyes out. So I want to add a little bit more sparkle to the eyes. I'm going to add a little bit more detail there. So how can I do that? Well, the first thing that I'm going to do is copy that background layer by pressing Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC and then I'll name this layer Eyes. Next, I'm going to navigate to my Filter pull-down menu and I'm going to choose Filter, Sharpen, and Smart Sharpen. What I'm interested in doing here is just bringing in some sharpening. So I'm going to go ahead and start with a pretty low amount. I want to be able to see the detail there. I'm going to bring my Amount up probably somewhere around 100 or so. This is a lower res file, so that it could be included with the training, and then I'll bring my radius up. I want More Accurate on. That will bring in little tiny details here, and we can see that I'm sharpening those little details.
I am also sharpening the rest of the image, and that doesn't look very good. I'm going to exaggerate this a little bit more because we will be able to lower its opacity, and let's go ahead and click OK. Well, now that we have sharpened everything, what we want to do is limit the sharpening to the eyes. So we are going to go ahead and use the shortcut, which is really handy. You hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, and you think of that shortcut key as the renegade shortcut key. It's a shortcut key that says Hey! I want to do something my own way. If you hold that key down and then click on the Mask icon, it creates a mask filled with black rather than the default, a mask filled with white.
Next, we are going to grab our Brush tool. We are going to get a nice small brush here. We are going to go ahead and paint with white, and we are going to just begin to bring in a little bit of that sharpening into these eyes here. Now, it doesn't have to be perfect, but what we do want to do is just to begin to bring in a little bit of that. It's going to make those eyes sparkle a bit more. I'll go ahead and work on maybe one more over here. We could make our way throughout the entirety of this photograph in order to add a little bit more to these other images as well. Now, the nice thing about this is because it's a mask, we can then take advantage of what we have here in a number of different ways.
Well, for starters, let's look at our before and after. Here is before and here is after. That's going to be tough to see. So I'm going to zoom way in on one of the sets of eyes here, the bride. There is our before and after, and you should be able to see that there is just a little bit more detail there in the eyes. Nice. Well, what else can we do to make these eyes even brighter? Well, I'm going to copy this layer again, Command+J, and I'm copying the Eyes layer. So it's just a masked-in area of those eyes. Now, in this case, it's not doing too much because I have already brought in the sharpening. But I'm going to take my blend mode to one of the blend modes that brightens, like Screen.
Now, that's a little bit over the top. Those eyes are too bright, but that's not that big of a deal, because we can lower the opacity here. So I'm going to go ahead and lower the Opacity. Also, lower the opacity of that Sharpening layer. It's a little bit too strong, and now let's take a look at it. There is our before and after. If we zoom out a little bit, so we can see it in regards the whole picture. Here is our before and our after, just brightening those eyes. Again, we will just move around a little bit in the frame, so you can try to see some of the other eyes as well down here in this corner. How it deals with the brown eyes is kind of interesting. We can see the sharpening and then that brightening effect.
What you can do with this technique is you can dial in different amounts or different intensities by changing your opacity. Also, for that matter, let's say that you don't want to sharpen at all. You can simply add a little bit of brightness to those eyes, and that Screen blend mode does a great job, and I'll zoom in a little bit further, so you can see what I'm talking about. Here is our before and after. Well, that was just an initial look at how we can begin to brighten and sharpen, and add a little bit of sparkle to eyes. In this particular image, we are pulled back. The eyes are pretty small in this photograph. So it might just be a little subtle enhancement that we add here that isn't even necessarily noticeable, to add just a little bit of a snap, a little bit of life to this photograph.
Well, what about a photograph with a little bit closer, where we are really focused-in on the eyes? We will take a look at how we can begin to work on situations like that in the next movie.
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