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How to Use Strike a Pose: All About Eyes

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Liz Kaneda
  By Liz Kaneda
How to Use Strike a Pose: All About Eyes www.sleeklens.com

Welcome back! Today we have another tutorial from our “Strike a Pose Workflow”, this time it’s all about the eyes. We are going to cover how to use the “Strike a Pose” brush to add color, contrast and light to the eyes in your portrait, to really make your subject pop!

To start out with, we have a photograph open of a little girl, which has already had some “Strike a Pose” presets applied to it. Now, we will work with the brushes to really enhance her eyes.

Let’s zoom into the eyes a bit and get started. There are several brushes that are included with our “Strike a Pose” workflow, that are meant specifically for the eyes. To begin, let’s go into the “Strike a Pose” brushes and select the FACE – Enhance Brown Eyes brush since our subject has brown eyes.

Basically, this brush is used around the iris of the eyes to enhance the color and clarity. Remember that while you apply the brushes, you can also make adjustments to your applied area with the sliders on the panel to the right.

Let’s turn up the exposure a little bit, to add some more light to her eyes.

Now, we will use this brush again, by clicking New. We are still going to use the same FACE – Enhance Brown Eyes brush, but this time we are going to add color to it.

Go for the colors and for now, I’m going to go into the orangey zone.

Then, I’ll turn the Exposure down a lot.

We will apply the brush right into the iris of her eyes, to add some more brown color.

Next, I will click New to start a fresh brush, this time we’ll go with the “Strike a Pose” FACE – Whiten Eyes brush. With this brush, You’ll just apply to the whites of your subject’s eyes.

Sometimes, you’ll notice that if a preset is applied to your photograph that may have a yellow or orange tone to it, that color will be reflected in the white of the eyes. If that is the case, you can use this brush to change it to the white color that it should be. With this photo, I am also going to use the Exposure Slider to help brighten the whites of the eyes as well. To get into the smaller areas in the eyes, you can also reduce the size of your brush.

Some other brushes that come with this workflow, which is really great for almost everything, not just for working with the eyes, include the Light – Darken and Light – Brighten brushes. Right now, we’ll click New, start a fresh brush and go to the Light – Brighten brush.

We’re going to take this brush, make it a little bigger and go over the iris. This will really help make the color pop.

Now, we’ll go to the Light – Darken brush

For this, we will make the brush really small and run it around the edge of the iris, this will make it stand out more from the white of the eye. You could also run this brush along the eyelash, to help darken the lashes and give some more separation if needed.

So, when you look at the before and after of this photo, what we have done is added some color, light and a little more contrast to her eyes.

Now moving on to the next photograph, which already has some matte presets attached to it.

We will start out by doing some things similar to what we did with the previous photo, first selecting Whiten Eyes in the “Strike a Pose” brushes.

Apply this brush just like we did before with the previous photograph, for this one I will turn the Exposure up a little bit.

As mentioned before, when we used the Enhance – Brown Eyes brush, there is also a brush for enhancing green eyes. As our subject has green eyes, we will go ahead and click on Enhance – Green Eyes brush.

We’re going to run that in the iris of her eyes, adding a little bit of light. If you decide that you wanted more green, to stand out more, we can go into the colors and adjust. We’ll go up into the yellow/green range, then turn the Exposure down a little, so we don’t end up with a bright lime green color.

Another brush that comes with this workflow is a brush for use under the eyes, called FACE – Fix Under Eye Circles.

Run this brush under the subject’s eyes, to help lighten the dark circles under the eyes.

As shown in the before and after photos, We have whitened the whites of her eyes, added a little more of a green color and softened underneath her eyes some.

Alright, now we’ll move on to a third photograph.

The first thing that we are going to do, is using the Whiten Eyes brush again. Like before, we are going to apply this brush to the whites of the eyes, in order to bring back some of that white tone. In this photo, we’ll turn up the Exposure.

It looks like the girl in this photograph has a mix between a green and bluish color of her eyes, depending on the way the light hits them. So, for that, we will go with the Enhance Blue Eyes 2 brush.

As you can see it sets a kind of blue color.

For this, I will move the color up a little.

And, I will go ahead and use that in the iris of each of her eyes, turning the Exposure up a bit.

Then the next thing that we will do, is starting a new brush by clicking on New and choosing the “Strike a Pose” Light – Brighten brush.

With this brush, we will just make an overall sweeping motion across the eyes, to add a little more light all over.

Then click New select the Light – Darken brush, this time making the brush really small. We will use this run this brush right around the edge of each iris, to add some definition.

You can see in the before and after of this Strike a Pose photo, we’re not making drastic changes to the eyes, but it does make a difference in the photograph, making them pop out and really bringing them to life.

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial, and get to try it out for yourself soon! – Needing some extra help? Don’t miss these tutorials on how to edit hair and enhancing facial features with Strike a Pose Workflow!

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Liz Kaneda
Liz Kaneda is a professional photographer originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Film and Photography from Temple University of Philadelphia, and has spent the last few years working as a freelance portrait, food, and product photographer. Taking a hiatus from freelance work, she currently resides in Leeds, England while working on her masters in Photography and Media Culture at the University of Leeds. Her main area of research is in the representation of mental illness in the media and the associated stigma. Her university research and photography practice aim to change the representation of mental illness, shed a positive light on mental health, and help erase the stigma. She spends her free time blogging on all things media culture, and taking portraits of her dog, friends, and any interesting people she meets along the way.

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