Monday, July 2, 2012
Eliminate Eyeglass Reflections in Photoshop—07/02/12
Photoshop post-production tips for improved portraits of people wearing glasses
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
I first start by duplicating my image onto a new layer. This way I can eventually go back and temper my results as needed, and I can easily toggle between before and after views.
Next I select a paintbrush and set it to approximately 30% opacity and 30% flow. By control-clicking on an adjacent area of tone I’d like to emulate I can select that color, and I can then begin painting with a soft brush to build up colors and tones similar to eyelashes, eyebrows and skin—depending on exactly what’s hiding behind that highlight. This method won’t completely cover a reflection, but it lays an ideal foundation on which to build.
Next I select the clone stamp tool, and with a stronger brush (approximately 50% opacity and flow) I click and paint again cloning from nearby areas to slowly build up tones and textures to match what would otherwise show where the highlight is obstructing. A little patience and a lot of clicks will eventually build up a pretty convincing replacement for the highlight.
Bear in mind that the area behind eyeglasses and close to the frames will tend to look a little bit darker than normal skin, so you can’t get sloppy with your selections and choose foreheads or cheeks. You’ll likely need to make more precise color selections and defined cloning points from the immediate vicinity of the eye.
In the end, subtle burning can help add realism where the highlight once lived, as can a color-based clone stamp to help blend the correction more realistically. You can also adjust the repaired layer’s opacity, or use a layer mask to selectively alter the opacity, and bring some of the highlight back into the glasses. It’s really a matter of taste, because sometimes a hint of reflection looks better than no reflection at all. Remember that even though we want the fix to look perfect, it’s probably not going to. And that’s okay; it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is, after all, just a little reflection in eyeglasses. Reflection cover-ups, even imperfect ones, usually blend seamlessly into the finished portrait.