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Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

Posted July 20, 2009 12:00 AM by Mello

Don't blink, or you'll miss this week's Photoshop tip-- how to fix a group photo where somebody has blinked.

With the popularity and relative ease of digital photography, more and more people are turning to image editing programs to enhance their photos. But if you're new to the Photoshop game, or don't really know where to start, photo editing can be a rather daunting task.

This blog series is going to explore a few typical problems you might come across in your photos and how to fix them in Photoshop.

This week's photo problem? Say you've taken a couple photos of a group of people, then you get them onto your computer only to find out that in one photo, Uncle Tim is blinking and the other photo, little cousin Suzie is blinking.



















Guess you're stuck choosing which picture is "better" even though someone is blinking in it? Not true! Just follow along and you'll be able to transplant a person's eyes from one photo to another (no messy surgery required).

Getting Started
Before you start, it's a good idea to make duplicate files of the photos you're working with. Working with the duplicates means that if you make a mistake, you're not destroying the last living photo anyone has of Great Aunt Selma.

Open both photos in Photoshop and choose which photo you're using as your main picture-- for this example, we're going to fix Sharkles' eyes, because as a whole, I like the photo where she's blinking better.

Two Photos Become One
From the secondary photo where you'll be taking the eyes from, zoom in (use the Zoom Tool or Ctrl + if you like keyboard shortcuts) so you can see better. Click the Lasso Tool and you'll see at the top of the screen are the tool options - for my example, I'm going to set the "Feather" value to 8 px. Depending on the resolution of your photo and how small the eyes are, you may need to tweak the value higher or lower here. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Now we're going to select around the eyes with the lasso tool-- you'll want to grab a larger selection than just the eyeballs; this will give you a better feathered edge to blend in with the face on the other photo.





Copy this selection with Edit: Copy (Ctrl+c). Move it to your main photo and paste the selection with Edit: Paste (Ctrl+v). You'll see that it's a new layer on top of the main background of the photo.

Move the selection to where it's supposed to be on the photo with the Move Tool-- to help in getting exact positioning here, you can set the layer's Opacity to around 65% to see a little below the layer. This allows you to use the eyebrows/eyelids as a guide for where the open eyes should go.






Finishing Touches

Depending on the photo, you might have to rotate and/or resize those eyes a little to fit properly. First, make sure the "Show Transform Controls" option is checked in the tool's options. Hold down Shift and click and drag one of the corners of the selection to resize without distorting the image. Hit enter when you're done to confirm the change and don't forget to set the opacity for your eyes layer back to 100%.

Once you're satisfied with the modifications, right click on the layer in the layers panel and "Merge Down" to merge that layer to the one below it-- this helps if you're doing a lot of changes so you don't lose track of a ton of layers.



That's it, save the image and now you've got that perfect group photo to email to Grandma!


(Disclaimer: There are multiple ways of doing tasks in photo editing software; I just try to keep things simple without using too many tools and options.)

Special thanks to members of our blogging crew who were nice enough to pose for our example photos!

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#1

Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/20/2009 10:04 AM

Excellent entry. For some reason my family has a squinting issue and this will probably do wonders! I will definitely have to try my hand at this 'Photoshop'.

Also, your examples seem to smile more when their eyes are closed (both Sharkles and the Funky-Guy-At-The-Right are beaming while their eyes are closed!). I loved the end result regardless!

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#2
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Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/20/2009 12:58 PM

Thanks, Jaxy! I have a tendency to blink in photos, too-- I love that with digital cameras you can take multiple photos without worrying about wasting film. And even if you haven't managed to capture that "perfect" photo, photo editting software can help you get a little closer.

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#7
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Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/28/2009 10:15 AM

"Funky-Guy-At-The-Right", LOL. I should make that my handle.

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#8
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Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/28/2009 10:20 AM

I did that for your laughing pleasure.

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Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/28/2009 12:57 PM

I certainly got a laugh out of it! ^_^

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#3

Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/21/2009 1:13 PM

Thanks for the tip! Now I can go back over those family photos and fix the blinks. If I was ambitious, I could even scan in the older pictures and work on them. It probably won't happen, but I could put it on my list of rainy day projects.

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#5
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Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/21/2009 1:21 PM

Yes, Zoomer, those rainy day project lists get longer and longer, don't they? But hey, it's raining here today... ^_^

It's surprising how versatile the lasso tool is for fixing things like this --stay tuned for subsequent blog entries!

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#4

Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/21/2009 1:18 PM

Mello - I'm so happy for this blog! Nothing is more of a bummer than having to deal with less-than-awesome photos - especially if they're taken on vacation, with people you don't see often, etc.

I went through the directions and found them to be very easy to follow and resulted in success. I can't wait for the next installment

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#6
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Re: Confessions of a Photoshopaholic: Part 1

07/21/2009 1:47 PM

I'm really glad you enjoyed it Sharkles-- Enhancing photos that you're not quite happy with can be pretty rewarding. Hope you find my next entry just as helpful!

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