What can I do to bring out my son's eyes?

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I've looked at the great tutorials on this site, and they are terrific, but my son's eyes almost black! Argh! I've tried to spot focus on them but of course that doesn't work. Any idea on how either through PP or through better technique i can get the darn kids big brown eyes to look perty???

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In this shot your sons eyes are in the shadows. The first step is to get light into his eyes and at angle would be best.
 
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What sort of lighting did you use? If it is natural lighting, then what Charles said will be the best way.

My first reaction though is to say that you used a flash angled forward bounced off the ceiling. The shadows is what leads me to think this. If this is the case, maybe try bouncing the flash off the side, so that his brow-ridge (Eyebrow bones) doesn't block the light.
 
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It was natural light.

Technique technique technique!

Of course he's not yet 2, so getting him to pose in proper light for me is not so easy ha ha ha!
 
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Try this

*Duplicate the background layer (ctrl/cmd-J)
*Set the blend mode to 'Screen'
*If the eyes still are not bright enough (don't worry about the rest of the picture yet, just the eyes) then duplicate the new layer (layer 1?)again and set the blend mode to 'Screen' for this layer too
*Merge the new layers together (if you had to lighten more then once)
*Create a black mask buy holding down the Alt/Option key while you click on the 'Create New Mask' button.
*Un-mask the eyes buy painting onto the mask (over the eyes) with white.

You might want to sharpen the eyes up too.
*Duplicate you background
*Select your new layer and go to Filter-> Other-> High pass.
*Set High Pass to 4ish. Hit OK, then blend that layer with your choice. Pick from a blend mode from Overlay to Vivid Light.
* Mask out everything but the eyes (see above)
 
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In PP, you can use a dodge/burn layer
Make a new layer, set type to overlay, check box to fill with 50% gray
Use a white brush set to medium hardness, opacity <10% and brush the areas you want to lighten.
If you make a mistake, correct with a black brush.

The best thing is to use a fill flash to lighten the face in the first place.

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so i have to get light to his eyes. There's no way the camera can spot meter them.

Thanks :)
 
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How's this.

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I've looked at the great tutorials on this site, and they are terrific, but my son's eyes almost black! Argh! I've tried to spot focus on them but of course that doesn't work. Any idea on how either through PP or through better technique i can get the darn kids big brown eyes to look perty???
Try and retake this image using a flash then come back and post it, and I'll give you before and after pictures. Too much shadow in this one to really see a difference.
 
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ok here are a few more, the last one does have flash.... the others are just show how dark his dang eyes are!

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Leo...
with that last picture
i found that increasing the color saturation a bit and some sharpening work can help

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I have no way of knowing what his true eye color is. (Do you?) That's why I'm offering a technique, not a particular result. Perhaps using this technique, the person who does know the true eye color can bring that out.
you technique is excellent
and the result is quite real

i just didn't know how "far" he wanted us to go to achieve a "brighter" eye.... that's all i meant
 
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Peano, that's beautiful! Thank you :)

His real eye color is basically black :smile:

I'm going to give that method a shot, thank you!
 
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I tend to be "minimalistic" as much as possible. I took your original into NX2, applied a Color Control Point to each eye, brought up the brightness, added a small amount of Saturation and Contrast. As noted, removing the color cast helps as well.

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This is a technique I use a lot when shooting Youth Football, to bring out a face inside a helmet. The toughest part is not bringing it up so far that makes it look as if someone modified the image. I can still see the catchlights quite nicely, which is what I look for, and when eyes are as dark as your son's eyes are, it is easy to make them look "phony". Working with a full sized image would, of course, make the results even nicer.

Just another technique, and as you can see from this thread, there are many ways to get there.
 
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I did a quick play on this one as well, using the eye pop technique in my siggy. I added a step however since his eyes are such a deep brown. During the dodge step where I say use the dodge tool set to highlights at 100%, I also did one with midtones set to 100 %. I kept both layers at 100% opacity and I think it looks natural. I hope this helps! ( I also did a bit of skin softening for his chapped cheeks)

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I did the same steps as above to this one.

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Thought I would try again.

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I did a quick play on this one as well, using the eye pop technique in my siggy. I added a step however since his eyes are such a deep brown. During the dodge step where I say use the dodge tool set to highlights at 100%, I also did one with midtones set to 100 %. I kept both layers at 100% opacity and I think it looks natural. I hope this helps! ( I also did a bit of skin softening for his chapped cheeks)

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I really like this one, thank you! NOt sure why i hadn't been buzzed about this reply, but i'm grateful for you taking the time to edit it!

It's wonderful!
 
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