Before we go further, let's recap. First we resize and then SAVE AS. Then, we fix the levels and get out histogram to a happy place. Next, we find a good contrast and tone with CURVES. Now your photo looks amazing! But let's clean up a couple little things.
STEP FIVE: BRIGHTEN
This step is to be used with caution. Or perhaps minimalism. Or care. Mostly, just know you can easily overdo it. So try not to.
Here is the photo we are starting out with. It is the same that we ended with yesterday.
We are going to brighten the eyes. For those of you who like to play with makeup, you know that we try to highlight the eye area with a brighter foundation. We want this area lighter and brighter so that the light reflects and draws our attention. I like to use Pioneer Woman's action, Bring on the Eyes, found in set 2. (Here are her directions on how to use the action. I do it a bit differently. Good thing there are no scrapbooking police! :) )
Once you select the action, change the brush size to be a bit larger than the eye area.
Here is how it looks with the other eye done.
Holy crazy eyes! So now we have to take down the opacity of the layer.
Here is the final product!
STEP SIX: SHARPEN THE EYES
Finally, let's sharpen up the eyes a little. And I mean a little. This is another place where I went a little crazy at first. Happens to the best of us, right?
When I first learned how to do this, it was a super detailed and multistep process. Then I decided I wanted it to be faster. So now I am a renegade. Those who do this differently, I bow to you. Here is my quick and dirty process.
Here is our starting photo.
Use you lasso tool to draw around the eye, just inside the lash line. Be sure that you have a feathered edge on your lasso.
Then use the unsharp mask to sharpen it.
Set the first number (amount) to 150, the third (Threshold) to 10, and the middle one (Radius) is the one you move up and down. I wouldn't go higher than 2.5. It will begin to look fake. (If you move the picture in the preview box to focus on an eye, you can tell when it is enough.)
Here is the sharpened eye image.
And a side by side.