There’s a simple way to make your subject’s eyes pop in a portrait, and it doesn’t involve touching vibrance, saturation, luminosity, or any other color-based edit. In fact, you can make the full edit in 30 seconds.
This quick Photoshop tip comes to us from photographer Mathieu Stern, who uses a simple sharpening technique to make his subjects’ eyes stand out. Here’s the step by step:
1. Duplicate your background layer (your portrait).
2. Go to Filter > Other > High Pass and apply a High Pass filter with a radius of 10 pixels.
3. Set the layer blend mode to Soft Light
4. Alt+Click on the layer mask icon to create a black layer mask
5. Use a soft brush to pain white over just your subject’s eyes.
That’s it. Done right, the filter will take your subject’s eyes from this:
Helping them to stand out without that “nuclear eyes” look that so many saturation-obsessed shooters have accidentally created before. Check out the full demo in the video above, and if you like this video, head over to Mathieu’s YouTube channel for more.
While Photoshop does have the “Dodge” and “Burn” tools, using them destructively on your original image is definitely not the best way to edit your photos. Check out this tutorial to discover two dodge and burn techniques that are more effective, cleaner, and smarter.
The tutorial was created by photographer and Photoshop master Jimmy McIntyre, who spends a lot of time offering useful Photoshop tips for novice and even advanced photographers. This time he’s taking on dodge and burn, showing you two ways you can darken and lighten parts of your image without affecting the wrong tones or messing with your colors in the process.
“The traditional Dodge and Burn tools found in Photoshop require us to use destructive workflow,” writes McIntyre, “while over-saturating the colours in our image.” The techniques McIntyre shows you get around these issues, while offering you more precise control at the same time. Win win.
(via ISO 1200)
Cropping a photo to exact dimensions in Photoshop can be a real pain, but there’s actually an easy one-step solution built right into the program.
This quick tip comes from photographer and educator Phil Steele of Steele Training, a master whose more basic photography tips have been popular on PetaPixel in the past. In this short video, he’ll show you how to change your crop tool settings so you can crop and resize a photo to the exact dimensions you need in one easy step.
You can watch the video above to actually see how it’s done, but all you have to do is select “W x H x Resolution” in the Crop Tool Dropdown:
Then, insert the dimensions you need into the first two boxes, making sure to specify that you want “px” or pixels. So if you want to use one of your photos as a Facebook cover photo, for example, you’ll want a photo that’s 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall.
Once you’ve inserted those values, the crop tool will keep your ratio consistent, and resize to those values once you actually pick the frame you want and press enter.
Of course, the downside of this is that, if you start out with too low res of a photo or select too small of an area, Photoshop will have to upsample a lot to get your crop to the specified dimensions. But as long as you’re careful about the resolution you start with and how tightly you crop, this simple tip makes creating exact dimension crops an easy, one-step process.
Listen up, because this is a really neat trick. Using a little-known and almost never-used blend mode in Photoshop, Scott Kelby shows you how to align two things perfectly in PS every single time without fail.
Usually, aligning two overlapping images in Photoshop involves lowering the opacity and playing around with it until you think it’s perfect. But, to quote those old infomercials from the 90s, “there’s got to be a better way!”
And there is! In the video above, Scott shows you how to use the “Difference” blend mode to get perfect alignment every single time. No fuss, no fiddling. Check it out for yourself up top, and then let us know if you have any other little “tricks” you use that you don’t think other people have heard of.