Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Defining the eyes

Eyes-Gateways to the soul as they say are one area that i see in many images that could do with some extra processing to bring some life into them, Many times eyes are just a little dark or in some cases very dark and with some selective processing can change an image dramatically by bringing out that extra detail that is missing. Take this image (again) of an eastern bluebird
I have done the basic processing but the eye is a tad dark, So i have used the quick selection tool and have clicked on the eye, Make the selection tool bigger or smaller by using the [ ] keys, If the selection goes over the area that you want simply hold down the ALT key and you see that the + sign in the selection circle turns into a - by holding down the ALT key you can 'push' the line back with the selection tool until you are happy, Let the ALT go and you will get the marching ants, Now go to image>adjustments>levels at the top of the screen and you will get this on your screen
Now grab the right hand cursor and drag it inwards, You will see the eye get lighter, Dont over do it as it will go grainy, You can also add some saturation at this point if you wish, As with all things in photoshop small touches are all that are needed to keep it looking 'normal'
Once you are happy click OK and then you are ready to resize the image, Here i am resizing for the web
I use this size as it covers most forums and is also the size i need for my website, You can use whatever size you are happy with, Once it has been resized right click on the image and click on actual pixels to bring it to full size that it will seen on the web, I then (and this is just my quick way of doing things) use the quick selection tool again and draw around the areas that i want to be sharpened, I dont want to sharpen the background as it will bring the grain out so just the bird and post
Once i have the marching ants where i want then i go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask and once i have clicked on this i get the screen above, You can see that for my web images i have it set to 125/0.2/0, These are settings that i am happy with, It will give a small amount of sharpening and i then do this 3 or 4 times or easier still hit CRTL F another 2 or 3 times until i am happy that the image is sharpened enough but not too much, If it is over done then go to the history panel (seen in the screen top right) and work backwards until you are happy, Once it is good right click over the bird and deselect the selection tool, The bird and perch are now finished, Just a last play with the eye by using the quick selection tool again but just on the eye, Again put the selection tool over the eye and tap on the [ key to make it smaller until its about the same size or just smaller than the eye then right click to get the marching ants

Once you have the 'ants' where you want them just hit CRTL F twice to slightly over sharpen the eye, This will make it 'shine' and really stand out, Once done right click over the eye and deselect then add your copyright and save for the web-Job done

As i said this is my quick way to get my images ready for web presentation, By adding some brightness to the eye and some slight over sharpening it will really add to your image
Hope this helps


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