This tutorial will be spread over 2 posts due to 6 image limit.
Want to know how to add an extra kick to your portraits?
This tutorial will show you how to add a bit of oomph very quickly. You can use this technique in combination with all the regular stuff you use.
What I'm working with:
This is an old photo where I have already done all the post processing minus the next part which I will show you.
We will first darken the dark areas of the eyes.
Create a new layer and then press ctrl+backspace to fill the layer; it will bring up a dialog, set it as follows:
Your new layer will now be covering your whole picture in grey.
Next make sure the new layer is selected and change its blending mode to Overlay as shown:
Select the burn tool and use a smallish brush, I'm using a tablet for finer control while editing. Set roughly* as follows:
*Brush size depends on how large your picture is and how big the subject's eyes are in the picture. You may want to use a lower exposure value if you are using a mouse.
With the burn tool all set up, start burning dark areas of the eyes (eyelashes, pupil and edge of the iris)
This is what it looks like if you show only the burn layer:
Next step is to lighten the light areas of the eye.
Create a new layer and select the brush tool: