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5 Advanced Techniques for Making Eyes Sparkle

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The eyes in a portrait often make or break the whole image, so when you’re retouching them, it’s worth going the extra mile. Here are some advanced techniques for making sure the eyes in your images pop.

I remember my first portraits when I bought my very first DSLR were a little lackluster. Well, that’s not strictly true, they were completely lackluster. There were a lot of reasons for this, from pose and angle, to light and settings. But over time, I gradually edged closer to a nice portrait. However, there was something that always bothered me: people’s faces didn’t seem overly engaging. This was again due to lighting primarily, but a large part of what would end up improving my images were how I handled the eyes.

A lot of flattering lighting techniques, as well as more natural lighting scenarios, don’t brighten the eyes much. Given they’re usually set back into the head slightly, a lot of light won’t hit them. You may still get catch lights, but they’ll be dim and the eyes will lack color. By the right post production, however, you can bring the eyes out to look much more appealing. With a brightening of the iris and catch lights, you gain that far more engaging appearance typical of many great portraits.

How do you edit eyes in your images?

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