Looking to sharpen eyes and get them to pop in Photoshop Elements? There are many different ways to do this, so enjoy these five photo editing tips and actions and decide which version you like best!
Julie Rivera‘s Method
I don’t know if this is something Julie came up with, but I attribute it to her because she suggested it in a comment during a Constructive Feedback Friday. I LOVE this method for my daughter’s dark brown eyes. It really gives them a natural, but sharper look.
Select the eyes with the magnetic lasso and paste them into a new layer. (To select the second eye, just press shift while starting the next selection. You can let go of shift once you have started selecting.) Make sure you have the new layer selected. Go to Filter – Other – High Pass. I stick with the default that comes up (Radius – 20 pixels). After hitting okay, the eyes will look very strange. Now go and change the layer to soft light. The eyes will look really great! (Or, you can watch the video tutorial below to see exactly how to try this method.)
This is a free action that has several layers that can be edited. It is important to note that you usually don’t want to use the layers at full strength. I usually reduce the opacity on most of the layers.
I got this method from this wonderful book. It was a very great purchase. Scott gives very simple, easy-to-follow instructions for many different photo editing techniques.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share his instructions, so I’ll just show you the image after following his instruction and link to someone else’s directions. This results in eyes that have a sparkly (somewhat glittery) effect.
Pioneer Woman has a great tutorial here giving her method for making eyes pop. Her tutorial is written for the full version of Photoshop, so you will want to make one change. When she says to go to Filter – Unsharp Mask, instead go to Enhance – Unsharp Mask. Everything else should be the same.
Photoblast EZ Eye Care from Polkadot Potato
This is an action that actually costs money, but it provides some nice results. As the site says: “Brighten the whites, work on your catchlights, lighten the iris and give it some ‘moon’, darken the areas you want dark, add some sharpening… This action makes it EZ (easy)!”
There are several layers that can be adjusted, making the changes you can make endless!
Here are the different results side-by-side again:
It is important to note that all of these effects could look totally different for you, depending on how drastically you change the eyes. It really helps to adjust all of the layers to find a natural look that will work well with your particular photo.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Tutorials section of our site yet, be sure to head on over there today to learn more about how you can improve your photography and photo editing skills!
Andrea Riley is a photographer and teacher from Ohio and a proud member of the I Heart Faces Creative Team. She and her sister Angie currently specialize in fusion high school senior photography with their company The Picture Show. When not in the role of photographer or teacher, Andrea enjoy spending time with her husband and three children and their dog. Follow her on her blog Happy Chaos or on Twitter at @the.picture.show.