133. Awaken Tired Eyes
Before You Begin
70 About Making Selections
111 About Tool Options
130 Correct Red Eye
131 Remove Wrinkles, Freckles, and Minor Blemishes
132 Whiten Teeth
140 Lighten or Darken a Portion of an Image
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. It must be true because if a woman has dark circles under her eyes, we think she looks tired (even if the dark circles are a natural skin condition). By slightly lightening the skin under the eyes, you can take years off a face and brighten a person's outlook. And it's simple to do, using the Dodge tool.
Redness in the whites of the eyes caused by chlorine in swimming pools or lack of sleep can also make your subject look tired. To whiten the eyes, you'll remove the redness gradually and lighten them a little using the Color Variations command. One final thing that can make eyes look tired is a lack of sharpness. Eyes that are in sharp focus have a distinctive twinkle that makes their owner look alert, interesting, and beautiful. Eyes such as these invite a viewer to look a moment longer at the subject. To fix a problem with slightly out-of-focus eyes, you'll over-sharpen a copy of the image on a new layer and use the Eraser to reveal only the sharpened eyes.
Select the Dodge Tool
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. Zoom in on the eyes so that you can see them clearly, and then select the Dodge tool in the Toolbox.
On the Options bar, choose a soft round brush. Adjust the Size of the Dodge tool so that the brush tip is about the size of the area you want to lighten. In this case, I adjusted the size so that the brush was the same size as the crease under one eye.
Set the Range to Shadows, and Exposure to about 20% so that you don't lighten the under-eye area too fast and accidentally burn out the color.
If you'd like more control over the Dodge tool, try duplicating the image layer and performing your lightening on the copy layer. You can then adjust the Opacity of the copy layer to lower the effect of the lightening if you accidentally apply too much.
Lighten Under Eye
Drag the brush over the area you want to lighten. In my case, I drug the brush carefully over the under-eye crease. Repeat this step for the second eye.
Choose Enhance, Adjust Color, Color Variations
If your subject's eyes are red or tired looking, select the white area of both eyes using your favorite selection tool. (I used the Magic Wand tool to select the whites of each eye, and the Lasso to snag any parts that didn't get selected.)
Choose Enhance, Adjust Color, Color Variations. The Color Variations dialog box appears.
Lighten Whites of Eyes
Select the Midtones option in the lower-left corner of the dialog box so that you affect only the midtones in the image, and then click the Decrease Red button to remove the redness from the eye area. Click the Lighten button to make the whites a little whiter. The After image at the top of the dialog box reflects the changes you're making. When you're through, click OK.
You can click the buttons in the Color Variations dialog box more than once to apply the same change multiple times. For example, you could click the Decrease Red button twice if your subject's eyes are particularly reddish.
Copy Image Layer
To sharpen the eyes of your subject, drag the image layer onto the Create a new layer button on the Layers palette (to create a copy of it), or select Layer, Duplicate Layer. Name the new layer Oversharp.
Choose Filter, Sharp, Unsharp Mask
With the Oversharp layer selected, choose Filter, Sharpen, Unsharp Mask from the menu or double-click the Unsharp Mask icon on the Filters list of the Styles and Effects palette. The Unsharp Mask dialog box appears.
My original image is on a layer called Portrait; the Blurred layer at the bottom was added so that I could remove some wrinkles, blemishes, and the like. See 131 Remove Wrinkles, Freckles, and Minor Blemishes.
Sharpen the Layer
In the Unsharp Mask dialog box, zoom in on one of the eyes and then adjust the settings for the filter until the eye is sharp and crisp. I typically leave the Threshold at a low value, set the Radius to somewhere between 1 and 2, and then play with the Amount until I get the effect I want. See 149 Sharpen an Image for more help. Check the other eye in the preview window of the dialog box (by dragging the image in the preview), and when you're satisfied with the look, click OK.
To make the eyes really sharp, reapply the Unsharp Mask settings one or two more times by choosing Filter, Unsharp Mask.
Because the Oversharp layer is below the image layer, you won't see the effects of the sharpening on your actual image at first. To view the sharpening, on the Layers palette, click off the eye icon on the image layer to hide that layer temporarily.
Limit Sharpening to Eyes Only
The effect right now is a too-sharp image, and we wanted to limit the effect to just the eyes. On the Layers palette, drag the Oversharp layer below your image layer. The sharpness will appear to go away, but really it's just hidden by the image layer above it.
To reveal the sharpened eyes, click the Eraser tool on the Toolbox. On the Options bar, select a small, soft brush. On the Layers palette, select the image layer. Then erase just the eyes, revealing the over-sharpened layer below.
View the Result
After you're satisfied with the result, make any other changes you want and save the PSD file. Resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image with its layers (if any) intact so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
Although I had brightened our teeth and done some other minor retouching to this portrait of my husband and me, the circles under my husband's eyes and the tired look in both our eyes still bothered me. So I lightened the creases under his eyes and whitened both of our eyes just a bit, and then sharpened the eyes. Finally, I used the Spot Healing Brush to remove some shininess on our faces, ending up with a very special portrait. Look for this final result in the Color Gallery.
If your image is on the Background layer, you'll have to convert it to a regular layer before you can drag the Oversharp layer underneath it in the layer stack. To do that, select the Background layer on the Layers palette and choose Layer, New, Layer From Background.