nezbitten's blog

Retouching eyes

posted by nezbitten, Apr 8, 2010 7:53 AM — 4 comments

Retouching eyes is a way to improve a portrait. This is a technique I picked up along the photo restoration and retouching road.

Above are some eyes from a portrait from Michael Herb at 204Studios. They have a round studio flash reelected in them. Some say this is attractive and softens the eyes but this is a matter of opinion. Maybe you want to add your own reflection in the eye that suits your style? I have included a layers snap shot of a process to change them.

The bottom layer has the reflection removed. The layer above "whites", is a soft white brush sprayed in the whites of the eye and then reduced in opacity and masked. this softens the whites.

The "reflection" layer is a single dab of white masked to make a triangular shaped reflection.

Above that is a small white dot, which simulates the main point of light.

Next up is a colour layer to add more of a warm hue to eyes with the centre pupil masked out.

Finally a splash of red also reduced on opacity in the corners of the eyes to remove the grey look and warm up the eyes some more.

The very top layer is just the original so we can refer back to it to see the changes we made.

You then set about retouching the face and skin in your usual way. I hope this retouching eyes article helped you.

Read more photo retouching posts on the blog.


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1. posted by MartaFrans, Apr 8, 2010 11:55 AM

Very interesting way of eye retouching.
Btw, if you want to get stunning result with eye brightness, color, clarity and so on you can play around with Camera Raw functions (if your picture is RAW).

2. posted by NY-Lawyer, Apr 24, 2010 3:03 PM

Thanks for the useful tips

3. posted by vtaylor100, Apr 27, 2010 9:39 AM

Fantastic! I have never seen such a great job done with such comprehensiveness to detail. I have never been able to accomplish this task well. Matter of fact, it ends up looking worse with the correction, when I have tried it in a manual or automated way with various tools. It often looks worse. My only wish would be able to see your full layers where you demonstrate your process; they are blocked by ads covering them. Is there any way I could get a view of the layers?

Amazing work, thanks!

4. posted by nezbitten, Apr 28, 2010 8:55 AM

I have changed the layers iamage so they are visible. sorry for that.

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