Enhance Eyes With Adjustment Layers and Blend in Photoshop

show more Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching show less
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Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending

This is a photograph of one of our good family friends, Maddy, and Maddy was dressed up for Halloween. She was going to this harvest festival, and I snapped this picture, and this is a photograph straight out of the camera. If we zoom in a little bit, you notice that she has these really bright and vibrant eyes, not to mention that she's wearing this really colorful Halloween costume. Well, let's take a look at how we can bring some more brightness and vibrance out of the color of her eyes, and let's explore how we can do that by using curves and masking.

All right. Well, here I'm going to zoom in even further, so I can focus in on those eyes. Next thing I want to do is I want to make a quick mask selection. Quick mask allows us to build a selection by painting on our image with black or white. To do that, press the Q key, then press the B key to select your Brush tool. With the Brush tool, we'll use a relatively high Opacity. We want to brush with nice softness there, and then we want a brush size that's a little bit bigger, so that we can then paint over the area of the eyes.

Next, what's going to happen is, as we start to paint, we'll see this red overlay on top of the eyes. Now, it will look a little bit strange, but that's okay. This is just showing us the area that we're selecting. That's how quick mask works, and in this case, we can just create this really nice soft edge selection, so that we can then modify this part of our picture. All right, well now that we have this nice selection, press the Q key again to exit quick mask. Now, the only problem with quick mask is that when you exit it, you actually have everything selected now, except for the eyes.

I'll show you what I mean here in a second. Well, here, we'll go ahead and click on our Curves adjustment layer icon, and if I make an adjustment to this layer, you can see I'm affecting everything but the eyes. Well, I want this adjustment to affect the eyes, so we need to invert the mask. You can do that by pressing Command+I on your keyboard, or you can click on the mask icon and then press the Invert button. What you want in the mask is a mask which is black, except for the area where it's white on the eyes. All right. Well now that we have built this mask out of our quick mask, what we want to do is we want to change the overall brightness of the eyes.

So I am going to go ahead and click and drag my curve up, and then bring in a little bit of contrast as well. This is an S-curve, which adds contrast, and color saturation, but it's a little bit high, so it's also brightening. In other words, I'm dragging this point up a bit higher than normal. So here, you can see how we're brightening, and how we're also adding some nice color saturation there. All right; well let's say that we also want to modify the color, but we want to do this on a separate layer. How can we do that? Well, one way that you can do that is you can reuse your mask.

You can reuse it by Command+clicking or Control+clicking the mask. That will reactivate that mask as a selection. Next, you can choose another adjustment. You could use any of these adjustment layers up here. Just to keep things simple, let's once again use a Curves adjustment. Well, here in Curves, I can go to the Red channel; the Red-cyan channel, where if I click and drag down, I can add more cyan, which makes the eyes appear more green. We could also go to the Green-magenta channel, and click and drag up to add some more green color there.

And then we could go to the Blue channel as well, and you can see how we can use these different channels to really modify the overall color of the eyes. Now, the color effect that I've dialed in is obviously over the top. If we look at our before and after, and if we zoom out a little bit, we can see how those eyes, they're way too green. Yet it's interesting to see how you have a lot of control when you're working with the mask in an adjustment. Next step would be, of course, to diminish or decrease the Opacity here, and I'll do that by just bringing that back, so the color isn't quite so surreal.

That would being said, I do want some nice bright, vivid colors, because that's what this photograph is about. If we click and drag across the eye icons, we can see there is our before, and then click and drag again; now here is our after.

Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
Video duration: 4m 7s 6h 4m Intermediate


Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

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