How to Enhance Eyes in Lightroom

If eyes are the windows to the soul, you want those windows to be as bright and open as possible. In Adobe Lightroom, there’s a quick and easy way to enhance a subject’s eyes using just the brush tool and a bit of tinkering with saturation, brightness, and clarity. See how in this video:

Host Adam Lerner, a commercial and portrait photographer, starts with a basic image: a model whose eyes are beautiful but come off a little dull on-screen.

portrait photography retouching

To adjust the color, Lerner uses the brush tool to draw circles over the eyes—it doesn’t affect the image yet, but it affects where he’ll be adjusting brightness, saturation and clarity, so that the whole image isn’t manipulated.

brighter eyes in photos

After that, he makes very subtle tweaks. With eyes it’s easy to make post-production look too obvious, so the key is to make the edits seamless and quiet.

lighter eyes in post

Lerner not only brightens the irises, he also traces over the blood vessels around her eyes to whiten them out, further enhancing the eye colors. It’s not very noticeable, and still totally natural, but a difference that subjects appreciate every time.

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One Comment

  1. Danell Sorensen says:

    Very cool tutorial on eyes. I did not know these things! :)

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