Just what you've all been waiting for! Another Photoshop tutorial. Again, I use Photoshop Elements 5.0, but this particular trick works pretty much the same in all versions...you'll just have to figure out where everything is.
I love sparkly, catchlit eyes in my photographs. To me, that's the best part of a photo. So, this little trick is to help enhance those gorgeous peepers. I don't do this to every photo, by the way, just to the ones that I really love.
First, you have to have a photo that already has nice catchlights. You can't do this trick on eyes that do not have any reflection in them, or on the eyes that just have pinlights from a flash.
If you need help on getting the catchlights in your eyes in the first place, click here.
Open up said photo in photoshop, and zoom in on one of the eyes.
Choose the Magnetic Lasso Tool. The Lasso tools are on the side tool bar, and look like a lasso (shockingly enough). The magnetic one is more triangular shaped and has a red square on it.
Start tracing around the iris of the eye with the magnetic lasso tool. You can click your mouse to make sure the "magnetic" points are right where you want them, or you can let the tool pick those points (not always accurately) for itself.
Once you have traced around the entire iris, double click to stop tracing. If you don't double click the magnetic tool just keeps doing it's thing.
Go up to Enhance>Adjust Sharpness
A dialog box will pop open. Play with the sliders to find what you like. My go to numbers are 49% for amount and 10.4 pixels for radius. Sometimes that's too much, sometimes it isn't enough, but usually it's just perfect. You will be able to see the sharpness of the eye change as you change the numbers.
Here is what can happen if you use the wrong numbers. Remember, the goal is to enhance, not look like an alien.
Anyway, after you find numbers you're happy with, click OK.
Repeat steps 2-7 on the other eye.
Save your photo.
Here is the difference:
Chloe's eyes before enhancing. They're fine. They're beautiful.
Chloe's eyes after enhancing. They're more than fine and they are enhanced beautifully.
Pioneer Woman has a slightly different way of doing this, which you can find here.
Scott Kelby also has a different way of doing this in his Photoshop books. It is extremely complicated and involves oversharpening the entire picture and then doing a mask layer and painting out the eyes. I don't even remember all the steps. I suggest you don't try it, although he has other wonderful things that are not so difficult.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed!