photokaboom.com

Photoshop Elements > Retouching >

Glare on Eyeglasses from Flash

Removing 100% of the glare of a flash on eyeglasses is often impossible.

Even subduing the glare can be tough.

If the glare is over the eye, retouching is even more difficult.

Start with an easy glare problem.

Are You a Beginner?

Eyeglass glare is a problem that many beginners want to fix.

If you're a beginner, realize that's it's difficult.

You may want to come back to this tutorial.

If you stay, you'll need to read about the tools.

The links to their tutorials are provided.

Again, start with an easy glare problem.

Understanding the Problem

Where We Look

The eyes are where we look, so retouching near the eyes must be done well.

The Glare

The glare itself is varied.

There's an overexposed central area that radiates out as a glow.

So, make a feathered selection, right?

Probably not, as the glare varies three ways.

Three Reflecting Surfaces

The glare varies depending on which of three surfaces is below the glare.

The glare is above or on:

1) The skin above the eyeglasses.

2) The frame of the eyeglasses.

3) The skin, eyebrows, and eye, seen through the lenses.

So, your retouching will be different for each of the above areas.

Individual v. Group

Retouching eyeglass glare on a head-and-shoulders photograph of an individual will be harder than retouching the same in a group.

Also, in a group, if all else fails, you can replace the entire head of the individual with one from a similar photograph with less glare.

Of course, if you have more than one person with glare, you got a bigger problem.

The entire grooms side (12 guys) had glasses and we were shooting in a small church. I have never had a real problem w/ eye glass glare, just tip the ear-piece up and the glare is usually gone.

If it still is noticeable, I can reposition my strobe a little and it's fixed.

NOT this situation.

No matter what I did, the glare was terrible.

I could not bounce light from any source, I could not ask them ALL to remove their glasses. (some could not function w/out)

And there was no way to shoot w/ available light.

Unfortunately, I think a majority of the shots are gonna be junk.

Anyone encountered this problem?

Steve Gibbs

Be sure to check off as you go along.

Preparation

1) Preserve your original file.

If you haven't already done so, go to Preserve Your Original File.

2) Create a Background copy layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to Create a Background Copy Layer.

3) Be sure to use the Zoom tool to enlarge the area to be retouched.

Here are several methods.

You'll probably have to use more than one method.

Burning In?

Burning in the glare won't work.

Go to Window > Info.

Place the cursor over the glare, and look at the R, G, and B values in the Info panel.

They're all at 255.

R: 255

G: 255

B: 255

That means there's nothing there to burn in.

You can't burn in an area that's totally overexposed.

Clone Stamp & Healing Brush Tools

1) Use the Clone Stamp tool.

Go to Clone Stamp Tool.

Clone on a blank layer, as described in the second section of the above tutorial.

You can sample near the glare, or sample near the other eye.

You must use the Clone Stamp tool to cover where the glare has caused overexposure (R: 255, G: 255, B: 255).

Then, continue using the Clone Stamp tool for any glow around the hotspot of the glare.

2) However, also try the Healing Brush tool for the area near the overexposed area.

Remember, the Clone Stamp tool covers the area like a paint roller.

The Healing Brush tool blends the sampled pixels with the glow pixels like sponging a wall with paint.

Go to Healing Brush Tool.

Graft a Non-glare Area

1) Make a selection of the glare.

You may want to expand the selection to encompass any surrounding glow.

Go to Select > Modify > Expand, and enter a pixel value.

Then, you may want to feather the selection.

Go to Select > Feather.

If you haven't already done so, go to Selection Tools.

2) Move the selection to where's there's no glare, such as the other side of the eye, or the other eye.

Go to Moving Selection borders below.

Or, move the selection to a similar photograph in which there's no glare.

Go to Moving a Selection Border to Another Photograph below.

Moving Selection Borders

Around a Photograph

You can move a selection by making sure any selection tool is selected except the Selection Brush tool, and New selection is selected in options bar/Tool Options.

Click inside the selection, hold, and drag.

You can fine-tune the position of the selection border with the arrow keys.

Each press moves the selection border by one pixel.

If you press and hold Shift, the selection border will move in 10-pixel increments.

Moving a Selection Border

To Another Photograph

a) Make sure a selection tool is selected, but not the Selection Brush tool.

b) In options bar/Tool Options, make sure New selection is selected.

c) Click inside the selection border, hold, and drag the selection border onto the thumbnail of the destination photograph located in the project bin/photo bin at the bottom of the screen.

If you haven't already done so, Moving Selections.

Copy to a New Layer

3) To copy the selected area to a new layer, go to Layer > New > Layer Via Copy, or press Ctrl + j.

You now have a "graft" of the selected area on a new layer.

4) Make sure the graft layer is active (highlighted).

5) If you made the selection of one side of an eye, and are placing the graft on the other side of an eye, you can flip the graft.

Go to Image > Rotate > Flip Layer Horizontal.

After flipping, what was on the right side of the graft is now on the left side.

If You're Working on Another Photograph

If you're making the graft on another photograph, drag the graft layer to the photograph with the glare.

a) Make sure the graft layer is active (highlighted).

b) Select the Move tool.

c) Click inside the selected area, hold, and drag the graft layer image to the thumbnail of the photograph with glare that's in the project bin/photo bin.

Position the Graft

6) Make sure the graft layer is active (highlighted).

7) Select the Move tool, and move the graft over the glare.

8) If needed, use Transform to rotate, resize, or skew, the graft.

Go to Transform.

9) If the graft is too light or dark, or has a slightly different color, use a Levels or a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to modify the graft.

a) Make sure the graft layer is active (highlighted).

b) Create a Levels adjustment layer, or a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

The Levels or Hue/Saturation window will open in the Adjustments panel.

c) Press Ctrl + g to group the adjustment layer with the graft layer.

Make sure the adjustment layer is active (highlighted).

If you haven't already done so, go to How to Group.

By grouping the two layers, the changes you make with the adjustment layer will only affect the graft layer.

Select the Other Lens

If the subject was facing the camera, and there's no glare in one of the lenses, do the following.

1) Select the lens with no glare.

If you haven't already done so, go to Selection Tools.

You probably need to feather the selection slightly.

Go to Select > Feather.

To refine the selection border, go to Select > Modify > Smooth.

Enter a low pixel value.

2) To copy the selected area to a new layer, go to Layer > New > Layer Via Copy, or press Ctrl + j.

You now have a copy of the non-glare lens selection on a new layer.

3) Make sure the non-glare lens layer is active (highlighted).

4) Go to Image > Rotate > Flip Layer Horizontal.

After flipping, what was on the right side of the non-glare lens selection is now on the left side.

If you're selecting the same lens from another photograph, omit this step.

5) Make sure the non-glare lens layer is active (highlighted).

If You're Working on Another Photograph

If you're selecting the non-glare lens from another photograph, drag the non-glare lens layer to the photograph with the glare.

a) Make sure the non-glare lens layer is active (highlighted).

b) Select the Move tool.

c) Click inside the selected area, hold, and drag the non-glare lens layer image to the thumbnail of the photograph with glare that's in the project bin/photo bin.

Position the Non-glare Lens

6) Select the Move tool, and move the non-glare lens selection over the lens with glare.

7) If needed, use Transform to rotate, resize, or skew, the non-glare lens selection.

Go to Transform.

8) If the non-glare lens selection is too light or dark, or has a slightly different color, use a Levels or a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to modify the graft.

a) Make sure the non-glare lens layer is active (highlighted).

b) Create a Levels adjustment layer, or a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

The Levels or Hue/Saturation panel window will open in the Adjustments panel.

c) Press Ctrl + g to group the adjustment layer with the non-glare lens layer.

Make sure the adjustment layer is active (highlighted).

By grouping the two layers, the changes you make with the adjustment layer will only affect the non-glare lens layer.

If you haven't already done so, go to How to Group.

Paint

You can paint with skin colors, especially over any glow, and around where you've cloned or added a graft.

1) Select the Color Picker tool.

2) Click on a skin color near the glow, or near the cloned or grafted area.

You'll probably want to change the color often.

3) Select the Brush tool.

You probably want a feathered brush.

If you haven't already done so, go to Feathered Brush.

Reduce the opacity of the brush in options bar/Tool Options to 20% or so.

By changing the opacity of the brush, the brush has less "paint" on it.

You can use less paint by brushing with fewer strokes.

For example, use one or only a few strokes where the glow is dimmest.

Where you need more coverage, use more strokes, such as nearer the hotspot of the glare.

Prevention

Individual

• If you're posing an individual, and they have the expectation that you're going to take several photographs, try the following.

a) Ask them to slightly raise the bows of their eyeglasses above their ears, to change the angle of the lenses.

b) Vary the angle you use.

Move yourself, or place your hand where you want the person to look, and ask them to move their head to look at your hand.

Then, ask them to keep their head in that position, but to look at the camera.

• If you have a separate flash, bounce the flash off the ceiling.

The subjects eyebrows may block the light coming from the ceiling.

You may need to raise the white kicker reflector on your flash, if it has this feature.

This may create some glare, but it will be much less than the glare from direct flash.

• The optimum solution is to remove the flash from your camera, connect it with a cord to the camera, and position the flash above and to one side of the subject.

Group

If you're photographing a group, especially one posed on steps or risers, you may have to stand on a chair to get the flash above everyone's heads, and may need a small boom as well.

Less Useful Solutions

Please don't use any of these solutions.

• Ask the subject to move their chin down.

This is unlikely to be the best pose for the subject.

• Ask the subject to remove their eyeglasses.

The resulting portrait won't look like the person.

The photographer who took my High School Grad photos saw the glare of my glasses, and rather than adjusting lighting he just asked me to remove them.

End result, nice photos with no glare that no-one wanted because they don't look like me because I've worn glasses every day of my life since I was seven years old.

(and yes I'm still mad about it over a decade later).

Simon Martin

• A 1950s Kodak publication suggests you remove the lenses.

Have an assistant perform this operation while you photograph the subject's reaction.

No, please don't do the above.

• Some portrait studios used to keep a selection of frames without lenses for subjects to wear.