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Post Production Tips

Photoshop Tips: Whiten the Eyes Quickly and Naturally

By Hanssie on November 5th 2014

The sclera is the part of your eye that is white and surrounds your eyeball. Whenever I am under a deadline or spend more than one day in Vegas, that white part of my eye turns a lovely shade of bright red. Those are the times I rely on my eye drops, which bleaches the sclera until they look almost too white. (And though that is a bit scary to me, I’m also more vain than scared, so eye drops it is).

Sometimes, your clients or models will have eyes that aren’t quite as white as you’d like whether from tired eyes or a reflection from something nearby. Instead of forcing Visine on them, here is a quick technique to whiten those scleras in Photoshop. In the 7.5 minute video below, Michael Woloszynowicz of Vibrant Shot shows us how to make the eye look more pleasing and natural. He says that typically photographers use hue saturation adjustment which renders a desaturated look, which is unnatural. Wolosynowicz’s method allows you to keep some of the little veins and spots, retaining a more realistic look.




In his image, the white of the model’s eye is picking up the dramatic blue makeup, which causes a slight discoloration. Wolosynowicz treats the sclera like a color cast and then offsets it. He uses the Select Color adjustment and the info panel to see the distribution of colors and then makes the changes accordingly. Watch the video below to see how he does it.

While this video is a Photoshop tutorial, Wolosynowicz has also released the same tutorial if you are using Phase One or Capture One Pro. You can check that out here.

To see more of Michael Wolosynowicz’s work, check out his website and for more tutorials, check out his YouTube.

[Via iso1200/Image via screencap]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aaron Cheney

    I have always used Light Rooms teeth whitening brush to make subtle adjustments to the whites in the eyes but I will give this a try

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  2. Matthew Riley

    I really need to up my post production skills. This will be helpful…thanks

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  3. Nick Viton

    “do not shoot until you see the whites of their eyes”

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