If you’re still a beginner at Photoshop, but wanting to give your images a little more oomph...this one is for you!
This is by far the easiest technique for making those eyes pop, and it’s fast, too! Be careful with it though, you don’t want any glowing Alien eyes…it’s easy to do with this quick technique. I chose this picture since the focus was on the eyes. This was a few lenses and a camera or two ago, so…I apologize for the lower quality image.
You can use the healing brush or clone tool to remove any red capillaries in the eyes or other blemishes. Just use a super small brush! Create a duplicate layer of your background. Right click your background layer and choose ‘duplicate’.
So, in your tool bar, we want to dodge and burn. You can see these tools below.
On the image below, I’ve ‘mapped out’ where you will dodge and where you will burn. The black is burning (to make darker), and the white is to dodge (make brighter).
Double check that these settings are set to these for both Dodge and Burn. Selecting one, check that you had midtones and 50%, and then select the other, check again. As you get more experience, you can absolutely play around with these options. These are just a solid starting place.
There is no set size for the brush (definitely use a soft brush, though!) to you, you will need to use your best judgment based on your image. You can make multiple strokes to get a good shade of shadow and highlight. I strongly encourage that. Small subtle changes instead of one drastic one is always recommended! The result should be something like this.
Now, from here, you want to play with the opacity of your layer. Remember, you want just above barely noticeable. For my image, it seems like 40% works best. The completed version looks like this.
…and that’s it! You can use this super easy and quick technique on ANY eye. You are essentially darkening the natural shadows of the eye and brightening up the natural highlights.
Here’s a few more eyes to see the difference: