In this series of posts, I will show you how to:
- Enhance eyes, making them look bright and beautiful using Photoshop
- Whiten eyes using blending modes and layer masks
- Brighten eyes using curves adjustment layers
- Colour eyes with Colour Balance Adjustment Layers
- Enhance catchlights and;
- Selectively sharpen eyes
Before we just blindly dive in to adjust sliders, colours and start making adjustments willy-nilly. I encourage you to spend 60 seconds understanding a little of the reasoning behind why we should adjust these things.
That Awkward Moment
How many times have you been on a bus or train, made awkward eye contact with the person opposite, and quickly looked away hoping they didn’t notice?
It’s funny that. We all experience it.
It’s interesting how we tend to hide our eyes from making direct contact. It’s like a natural defence mechanism that kicks in to prevent the revealing of our weak spot. It’s that split second of eye contact just prior to the rapid diverting of our gaze that harnesses so much power. That sense of vulnerability, insight and rawness. It’s precisely this that makes portraiture so appealing.
Never Is it more appropriate to stare deep into a strangers’ beautiful eyes than it is whilst admiring their portrait. When we take a moment to hold eye contact, even with a photograph, we obtain a sense of connection, it evokes emotion. It’s as if we immediately teleport into their shoes and feel what they feel.
So, what makes us feel this connection?
No idea! 🙂 I’m just a guy that spends all his time with photographs! I’m sure a scientist or psychologist will be able to shed a little light.
I can add however, that when looking at an image our own eyes go on a little journey of discovery. They set off working their way around the image following lines, shapes and contours in search of a place to rest. A base, from which they can further explore the story and soak in all the emotion. This resting place will typically be the area of your image that holds the most amount of contrast, brightness and sharpness.
With the eyes being the windows to the soul and this sea of emotion. It’s a good idea to spend a little time enhancing your subject’s eyes to ensure they have depth, presence and, perhaps more importantly, entice the viewer to make eye contact and hold their focus so they can absorb all the emotional goodness going on inside the photo.
PS. Click the button to learn more about editing in Lightroom & Photoshop and see how you can master editing basics.