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Adventures in Photoshop - The Eyes have it

by Jake Redekop

Summary : Practical applications of selections.

Last month, we covered how to make and manipulate selections. This month we're going to get into some of the practical applications of selections. If you missed last month's article or need a refresher, it can be found here.

As you know, selections allow you to manipulate specific parts of an image. For instance, if you have a digital photograph marred by red eye, you can correct the imperfection using selections. You'll be amazed at how quickly and easily this can be done.

First, use the eliptical or lasso marquee and make a selection around the red portion of each eye. Don't worry if you include some of the parts of the eye that aren't red, just be sure you get all of the red part.

TIP: Use the magnifying glass (shortcut: "z") to zoom in on the eye.

Next, we need to turn that red color into a more natual hue. To do this we'll use the hue and satuaration tools, Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation (or just hit ctrl+u). Select "Reds" from the drop-down box at the top of this window. This allows you to adjust only the red hues of the image.

Also, since you have a selection open, only the reds found inside the selection are altered. Use the Hue slider to adjust the red to the correct color. Use the Saturation and Lightness to get the color as close as possible to the subject's eye color.

Most photos lack detail in the eyes so, typically, you'll want negative values of saturation and lightness to make the eye look natural. See you next month.