134. Remove Glare from Eyeglasses
Before You Begin
70 About Making Selections
91 About Layers and the Layers Palette
123 Remove Scratches
125 Repair Minor Tears, Scratches, Spots, and Stains
133 Awaken Tired Eyes
140 Lighten or Darken a Portion of an Image
Probably the most difficult photographic repair you will ever attempt is to remove glare from a person's eyeglasses. What makes this repair so difficult is that no one method works every time. In this task, you'll learn a variety of techniques, one or two of which should work on your photograph.
Because glare is difficult to remove, it's best to try to eliminate it while taking the photograph. One way to remove glare is to use a polarizing filtera special filter that you twist to bend the light so that the glare is not picked up by the camera lens. If you don't happen to have a polarizing filter with you, try moving your subject so that the light is coming at him or her from a different angle, moving your own position in relation to the subject, or simply having your subject remove his or her eyeglasses or look off to one side or slightly downward.
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format.
If you wear eyeglasses, you can keep an old pair of frames (minus the lenses) on hand for picture-taking time. Without the lenses, you obviously won't get the glare, and the empty frames will help your face look more natural.
Because each eyeglass lens typically needs a slightly different adjustment, it's best to work on one eye at a time. It's also best to isolate what you're doing on another layer so that you can easily start over (by deleting the layer) if need be. Zoom in and then, using either the Lasso or Magic Wand tool, select the area of glare on the first lens.
Copy Glare to New Layer
To copy the selected area, choose Edit, Copy from the menu. To place the copy on a new layer, choose Layer, New, Layer via Copy. Name the new layer Glare.
Select Burn Tool
Click the Burn tool on the Toolbox. On the Options bar, choose a soft round brush. Adjust the Size of the Burn tool so that the brush tip is about the size of the area you want to lighten. Set the Range to Highlights so that you affect only the lightest areas of the image, and set the Exposure to a small value such as 10% so that each stroke over the area darkens the pixels only slightly. These settings enable you to work slowly to remove the glare.
If only one eyeglass lens is affected with glare, you can try another method to remove the glare. Try copying the good eye to another layer, flipping it, and skewing it to conform to the other eye space. Then flatten the layers and use the Clone Stamp tool to blend the eye into its new surroundings. You can also try copying an eye from a similar photograph that does not have any glare.
Make sure that the Glare layer is selected on the Layers palette. Brush the Burn tool over the glare to darken it so that it better matches the surrounding area. If necessary, darken the midtones as well by setting the Range to Midtones in the Options bar. You might not be able to remove the glare entirely; your goal here is to bring out the detail of the eye behind the glare.
When you're satisfied that you've done all you can with the Burn tool, choose Layer, Flatten Image to merge the layers together.
Before you merge the layers, you might want to increase the saturation in the glare area because it might have been desaturated by the Burn tool. Select the Sponge tool from the Toolbox, set the Mode to Saturate, adjust the Size and Flow settings, and drag over the area to bring its colors back.
Remove Glare Spots
After merging the layers, if there are any sharp points of glare (as opposed to larger glare patches), you can remove them with the Spot Healing Brush. Click the Spot Healing Brush on the Toolbox. Set the Type to Proximity Match and adjust the Size so that the brush is slightly larger than the glare spot you want to remove. Then click the spot to remove it. Repeat this process as needed to remove any other glare spots.
Clone Over Remaining Faults
To fix the remaining problem areas, click the Clone Stamp tool on the Toolbox. On the Options bar, select a soft round brush, adjust the Size, and set the Mode to Normal. You might want to lower the Opacity as well to help disguise what you're doing. Press Alt and click the area you want to clone, and then drag the brush over the glare area to transfer the Alt-selected pixels to the new area. Repeat to repair any other flaws.
To clone a skin color from another portion of the face, you might want to turn off the Aligned option for the Clone Stamp tool in the Options bar so that you don't clone anything but that small area, and not the objects in that same vicinity.
Repeat to Fix Other Lens
After you're satisfied with the way in which the first eyeglass lens looks, repeat steps 1 to 7 to remove the glare from the second lens (if any).
View the Result
After you're satisfied with your changes, save the PSD image. Then 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.
Even though this portrait of my daughter was taken under the shade of a large maple tree, the glare of the sunlight still caught her eyeglasses. After removing the glare, her wonderful eyes are now much more apparent. Look for this image in the Color Gallery.