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Okay, here are the tricks I use in photo editing, and eye enhancement. Please remember each picture is always going to be different.
The first thing I do is fix the levels for lighting. This can be done by going to Enhance>Adjust lighting>Levels. Before manually fixing I always try auto first. (Which is the first step I'm doing with this picture.) Then I go back and mess with the sliders until I am happy. Don't worry if the color seems to mess up, we'll cover that in a moment. Also, do not over brighten. You can tell when this happens because you start losing details. When I adjust the sliders I always move both the first and last sliders in towards the middle. I almost never adjust the middle one. That is your midtone contrast, by adjusting that one you adjust the overall lighting of the picture either making the whole thing darker or lighter - but it also tends to shadow or wash out your picture. By moving the right slider you make your highlights brighter, by moving the left slider in you make your shadows darker.
then adjusted sliders:
Next I adjust the color. I do not use the adjust for skin tone. What I do is go to Enhance>Adjust Color>Color Variations. I always click to lighten the midtones once first. Next I see if I need to either add or subtract to the midtones red, green, or blue levels. With this picture I'm lessening the red once. Next I go to shadows. I almost always click to darken the shadows twice and then check to see if I need to add or subtract from the red, green, or blue levels in the shadows. For this picture I darkened 3 times and increased the blue. Last I go to highlights. Depending on the picture I lighten them 1-3 times. Remember do not over brighten so that you lose detail. Then I go to see if I need to add or subtract any of the colors. Generally I have found that the color you decreased in midtones needs to be re-added to the highlights. In this picture I am adding once with red and green and lightening twice.
Lastly, I sharpen the picture. The amount to which you sharpen them is completely up to you, and for forms sake, I am not telling you the amounts I have on my sharpening. But what I do is go to Enhance>Unsharp Mask, then fiddle with the levels. Then I go to Enhance>Adjust Sharpness and fiddle with those levels. You can tell if you over sharpen because in the preview boxes your image will become very pixely.
with unsharp mask:
with adjusted sharpness:
Now for enhancing eyes...
Edited pic with unenhanced eyes:
The first thing I do is use the magnetic lasso, go around the eyes with it and then copy and paste the eyes so that I have a new copy in a new layer.
Next I go to Enhance>Unsharp Mask. (again not telling you my levels.)
Then I use the dodge tool (found under custom shapes, you made need to right click on what is there to get to dodge) set the size so that it is larger than the eye and then (making sure the eyes only layer is selected) click the eyes with it 1-2 times.
Next I go to Enhance>Adjust Color>Color Variations, go to highlights and decrease either the red, green, or blue so that the whites are whiter. In this picture I decreased blue twice, green once, and increased red once)
Lastly if needed I go to Enhance>Adjust Sharpness and adjust the sharpness of the eyes.
See the difference? The first picture is the unenhanced eyes second is enhanced.
mom of: Zach (10), Ryan (8), Bella (5), Mason (2), and pollywog #5 due 12/04/14