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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.
Let's continue to talk about how we can enhance and improve eyes. Eyes are so important, because really in a photograph those are one of the first things that you look at. You are drawn to the eyes, and that's especially the case in this portrait of my daughter Annika. Well, let's go ahead and zoom in on this photo. We will do that by double- clicking the Zoom tool, so that we can get nice and close to the eyes there. One of the things that we are noticing for starters is that she has big beautiful blue eyes. I love those eyes. And let's say what we want to do is really bring out some of those qualities in the eyes. So we want to enhance them a little bit and bring out some more sharpness, some more detail, some more color and tone. Well, there are a couple of different things that we can do here.
One of the things that we have seen so far is that we can use blend modes. We can use blend modes in some pretty interesting way. So we can also sharpen eyes in some pretty interesting ways as well. So let's go ahead and experiment with some other techniques in order to accomplish similar things that we accomplished in the previous movie. Well for starters, let's copy that Background layer. Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC. We can go ahead and name this layer, high pass. We are going to take a look at how we can use high pass sharpening in order to increase the detail on eyes. We are going to navigate to our Filter pull-down menu and choose Other and then High Pass.
Now what High Pass gives us the ability to do is to dial in sharpness especially to areas. So I'm just going to bring up the Radius until I see nice detail in the eyes there. I'll go ahead and click OK. Then what you need to do is go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/ Saturation and desaturate all the way. We want to remove any color from this layer. Click OK. Then we are going to try one of two blend modes. We are either use Overlay or Soft Light. Let's go ahead and try Overlay for starters and then turn this layer on and off. Again, we just want to focus in on the eyes, because the face is too sharp, but those eyes look really good. Let's compare that to Soft Light. Okay well, that's a little bit more subdued. So I'll go ahead and zoom in a little bit further. So we can actually see what's happening here. Here is our before and then after. All right, great.
Well, this time what we are going to do is hold down the Option key on a Mac; Alt key on a PC, remember that's that renegade shortcut key and click on the Add Layer Mask icon. So that we have added a layer mask filled with Black. Well, in this image, because we are really focused in on the eyes, what we want to do is when we add our sharpening, we want to try to add our sharpening that follows the way that the eye actually work. So I'm going to go ahead and paint from the middle out and I'm going to try to bring in the sharpening along those lines, just really accentuating, or bringing out some of the detail of the eyes that we are seeing there and so I'm trying to follow this.
Remember, before because we are so zoomed out, we just did a real brush stroke that went kind of around the eye and in this case, I'm going from the middle out, and it's a pretty subtle improvement here and that depends on how far I actually paint this and how much color I bring in. So I'll click back in the mask there. I'm just going to go ahead and add a little bit more and a little bit more over here, looking for a little subtle improvement there, sharpening the eyes. If I press Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC, that will double the intensity of it. So here is our before and then our after. That little subtle improvement. If we zoom out a bit can really bring a lot of the detail out in the eyes. Here is our before and then after, just slowly starting to bring some sharpness to that area of the eye.
Now one of the things that you want to be careful of when you are sharpening eyes is you want to pay real close attention to your highlights, because sometimes when you have highlights like this and like this, they can become too sharp. If I look at my before and after, I brought in too much sharpening on that particular highlight, and it's a dead giveaway that this image was sharpened. It looks a little bit unnatural. So I need to go back to that mask, grab my brush, I'm going to paint with black and I'm going to hide or conceal by painting with black, the sharpening in that particular area. And sometimes what you can do is just go up to the edges of a highlight and just get rid of the edges and by taking those edges off your sharpening will look so much better.
All right, well stage one with this photograph is complete. There is more that I want to share with you in regards to enhancing eyes and with using this image. So we will continue to work on this photograph in the next movie.
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