Photoshop Tip: How to Make Eyes Sparkle in Photos

Even the most gorgeous pair of eyes can use a little help in Photoshop to bring out their “sparkle.”

Take a look at these baby blues, before and after about 5 minutes in Photoshop:

Before Photoshop (already gorgeous):

After Photoshop (Ooooooh, stormy!):

I did this simply using the Dodge and Burn tools at around 25% or lower.  You can also do this in Lightroom using the Adjustment Brush to add or subtract exposure.

Areas to Dodge (make lighter): whites of eyes, “starburst” pattern inside irises, reflection on eyes

Areas to Burn (make darker): rims of irises, pupils, line along upper and lower eyelids (optional)

If you try this, you want to do it with a light touch and make sure that the end result looks natural, not “cartoonish.”

Here’s the before and after when you zoom out:



The effect is subtle... but it does make a difference in the end.

And keep in mind that subtle is good. Here’s what it looks like if you go too far:

When your photo subject starts to look like she has superpowers, it’s time to dial it back.

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