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Beginning Photoshop - Adding "Life" to Eyes

Picture of Beginning Photoshop - Adding
Adding "life" to the eyes of a model is a very popular technique that portrait, fashion, lifestyle and wedding photographers use.  Most of the time the catchlights do the job for you, but every once in a while you might want an extra boost, so to speak. 

You will need:
  • Photoshop (or similar editing program)

**Note: as with many other photoshop techniques, this look may differ from eye to eye, and usually the eyes with more contrast and detail in them will have the best result.  Unfortunately, I was unable to recruit such eyes for the images in this tutorial, so bear with me here.
 
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Step 1: Shape

Picture of Shape
tackett_kathy_elipse.jpg
The first step will give you your basic shape.  You'll need to make a new layer by hitting Shift+Cmd+N (if using a PC, Shift+Ctrl+N).  With the new layer selected, use the Elipse Tool to create a solid white circle that's a little smaller than the iris of the eye. 

*Note that I have "Fill Pixels" selected in the top menu bar, if you don't have this selected, there will be a border around the shape that will completely change how this process works.

Step 2: Shape - Continued

Picture of Shape - Continued
tackett_kathy_marquee2.jpg
Then you need to select the Marquee Tool from the toolbar menu and make a selection of the top half of the circle.  Once this is selected, hit delete.  This will cut the circle in half getting us one step closer to the shape we want, which is a crescent.

Step 3: Shape - Continued

Picture of Shape - Continued
tackett_kathy_elipticalmarquee2.jpg
tackett_kathy_elipticalmarquee3.jpg
Now that we have our half circle, we can shape it into a crescent.  In the Marquee Tool, select the Eliptical Marquee and make an oval that cuts partially into the half circle and meeting in the corners.  You want this to be a little deep, but if you'd like to make it shallower to make a thicker crescent, you can just make the oval a little less round.

Once the selection has been made, just with the Rectangular Marquee, hit delete.
I had no idea this was a common technique for portrait editing, but I really see the difference int he before/after shots. thanks for posting!
Well, there's really quite a few different techniques to do this. This is the "slow but steady wins the race" way. I think the result is much more controlled this way. :)
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