Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Improving the eyes, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 04 Develop Module Advanced Techniques.
In this movie, we'll be working on two different photographs and I want to highlight two different techniques that we can use in order to enhance eyes. We'll begin with this photograph of my daughter, Anika. Go ahead and click on the image, so that we can focus in on the eyes. Now, in order to change the values that we have there in the eyes or change the way that that area looks, we'll use the adjustment brush. So press the k key in order to select that tool. Next, we need to change our brush size, and feather and flow amount. And because hopefully, you're getting a bit more comfortable with this tool, what I want to recommend you do is you change those values by way of shortcuts.
Let's tap the left bracket key in order to make our brush size much smaller. Typically, we want a really small brush size, so that we can just be working on this area of the eye. Then press shift+left bracket key in order to decrease the overall feather. Then let's change the flow amount by tapping the 5 key. That will give us a flow value of 50. If you forget the shortcut, you can always just use the sliders as well. Now, the first thing that I want to do, is I want to brighten up the eyes a little bit. So, here we'll increase our exposure. And then we'll also add a little bit of clarity.
This will add some mid tone contrast. We'll increase some sharpness there, decrease the noise. And then we'll change the color just a touch by dragging the temperature slider to the left. After we've modified those settings, we can go ahead and start to paint over the eyes. As we paint multiple times over this area, what we'll see is we'll be painting in a bit of a brightening effect, which will also add some contrast and clarity to this portion of the photograph. want to make sure that you work on both eyes. And you want to be consistent. Also, if you're in a bit of a hurry, you can always increase your flow value up, so that this effect takes place a little bit more quickly or perhaps a bit more dramatically.
As you make this adjustment, it's going to be really tempting to go over the top with how you're affecting the eyes. And I think I've gone a little bit too far here, yet not to worry, we'll talk about how we can scale this back in just a minute. Well, after having dialed in all of those settings, what I'm going to do is tap the backslash key, that will show me the before, and then tap it again and here we can see the after. And you can see that we've really brightened this up quite significantly. And in this case I think that's the problem. So, here I'll decrease my exposure, and you can see how we can change the brightness of that area of the photograph. And another thing that we can do is maybe bring in a little bit of saturation, as well.
And then, last but not least, collapse all of these panels. This will then bring us back to our amount slider. And here, what I like to do is to bring the amount all the way back to the default setting. And then slowly, bring it up until we have just the right look, so it looks natural, so that the eyes are enhanced but not overdone. Because as you work with eyes, again, it's so easy to really go over the top with how you adjust that area of your photograph. And now that being said, of course, you can bring this up to whatever amount really fits your own style or vision for your photographs. I just wanted to highlight this last step here, because I think it's an important one, because it allows us to scale back all of the adjustments that we've made. All right, well that's technique number one.
It's all about using a brush and then increasing exposure, and contrast, and clarity, saturation and sharpness, and also reducing some noise. And then last, but not least modifying the color if we want to, by using our color sliders here, which allow us to really change the overall color characteristics that we have there in the eyes. Well, next I want to look at another technique, and to do so, we'll click onto another photograph here. We'll look at how we can change the characteristics of an eye or of the eyes in this picture. To do so, we'll go to our effects pull down menu here with the adjustment tool selected.
And let's choose an option which is called Iris Enhance. This will give us some presets which will allow us to begin the paint some adjustment into the iris of the eye. Notice that we have increased clarity, and saturation, and a little bit of increased exposure. Here I'll increase the flow amount, and also subtly bring up my brush size just a touch there. And then I'll paint over this part of the image. And what this will allow us to do is to really make this part of the eye much more interesting. There I'll go ahead and paint back and forth a few times.
And then I'll tap the backslash key. Here's the before and then now here's the after. We want a more dramatic effect, we'll add some more brightening. And maybe a little bit of contrast here. And in doing that, we can dial up these values. And I'm going to do that just, so you can see the before and after difference a little bit better. Here now is the before and then here's the after. If ever you work on one eye, you always want to work on the other. So, press the Space bar key to access the hand tool. That will allow you to click and drag the photograph. And then make your way over to the other eye, and just make sure you're painting in the exact same effect, so that the two eyes are consistent.
And then, last but not least, what I like to do is, I like to zoom out. And to click on one of these options, which will show me the entire photograph. Because again, I want to make sure that the adjustments that I'm making really fit into the overall picture, so here we'll tap the backslash key. There's a before, and then the after. It may be a little bit difficult to see, so I'll zoom in a little bit better so you can see that. Here we have that before, and then once again the after. In this case, I think I went a little bit too far with my saturation, so I'll bring that back here. I want the eyes to look natural, not overdone.
And I also just wanted to highlight another preset that we have here, which was the Iris Enhance. Which gives us yet another way to be able to quickly enhance the eyes in a photograph when working with the Adjustment Brush.
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
- Enhancing the sky with the Graduated Filter tool
- Improving exposure and color with the Adjustment Brush
- Modifying tone with the Tone Curve controls
- Creating better black-and-white photos
- Reducing noise with sharpening
- Split toning to create a sepia tone
- Correcting distortion
- Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom