An Eye for Contrast

with 8 Comments

An Eye for Contrast
by Jen White

I love my Fiona Jeanne.

I love the way she fusses with her curly blonde hair. I love the big smile she gets when she runs to give me a hug. I love the hilarious things she says.

But most of all, I love the big round eyes she flashes at me when she gets excited about something I’ve said or done.

In this tutorial I’ll show you one quick and easy way to add stunning contrast to the eyes of your subject without altering the rest of the photo.


Step One: Open a Photo

  • Open a photo (File > Open).
  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate. (Photoshop: Choose Image > Duplicate.)
  • Click OK.
  • Close the original photo (File > Close).

Step Two: Create a Soft Light Layer

  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the photo layer.
  • In the Layers panel, change the Blend Mode of the new layer to Soft Light.

An Eye for Contrast

Step Three: Add a Black Layer Mask

  • In the Layers panel, click on the Add Layer Mask icon.

Note: If you have Photoshop Elements 8 or earlier, your version of Photoshop Elements doesn’t have a layer mask. Download the Layer Mask Workaround.

  • Press the letter X to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the white layer mask to make sure it’s still active.
  • Press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) to fill the layer mask with black. This will completely hide the Soft Light layer.

An Eye for Contrast

Step Four: Reveal the Eyes

  • Get the Brush tool.
  • In the Tool Options, set the Mode to Normal and the Opacity to 100%. (Photoshop: Also set the Flow to 100%.)
  • Open the Brush Preset Picker and choose a Soft Round brush. If you don’t see a Soft Round brush, open the drop-down menu and choose Default Brushes. (Photoshop: Open the fly-out menu, choose Reset Brushes, and click OK.)
  • Press the letter X to make the Foreground Color Chip white.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the black layer mask to make sure it’s still active.
  • On the photo, click on the irises of the eyes to reveal them. To change the size of the brush, press the Right and Left Bracket keys.

An Eye for Contrast

Here is my completed scrapbook page using this tip. I’d love to see your before and after photos in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery.

An Eye for Contrast

Tutorial: An Eye for Contrast by Jen White
Software: Photoshop Elements 11, Adobe Photoshop CC
Scrapbook page: Perfect Me by Jen White
Papers  and embellishments: Perfect Harmony by Studio Digilicious

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial


jenwhite-48x48Author: Jen White |
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8 Responses

  1. Eileen
    | Reply

    Love your tutorials. Thanks. I look forward to trying this one.

  2. […] An Eye for Contrast – 1 freebie(s)? […]

  3. Woodie Sprague
    | Reply

    I think she gets her beautiful blue eyes from her aunt Jen! love the tutorial…ty for sharing

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      😀 You’re so sweet.

  4. Vivian
    | Reply

    Oh my goodness. She is the cutest thing ever! Thank you for the tutorial. Can’t wait to try it out.

  5. Sharronn
    | Reply

    Thank you. This cutie is a younger you.

  6. Glorie
    | Reply

    OH MY GOODNESS, LOVE this tip!!! THANK YOU!!

  7. Tammy Graf
    | Reply

    I really like what a difference this makes to the adorable photo. I have a granddaughter with big blue eyes (that look like her Dad’s) that I’m going to try this on. Thanks for sharing.

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