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Brightening and End Result

Brighten Teeth and Eyes
Although our model here doesn’t really need it, one good way of improving a portrait is to lighten the subjects teeth and the white of the eyes, and it’s very easy to do.


First, select the magic wand tool from the palette. This tool is used to select zones of similar colour and tone over an area. It’s quicker and easier than trying to select them manually. You can adjust the degree of similarity that is selected by altering the Tolerance. For this picture we’ll use a value of 50.


Click the Magic Wand tool on the teeth, and you’ll see that an area is selected. You can add more areas by holding down the Shift key and clicking on unselected areas. Continue until all of the teeth but none of the surrounding area is selected. If you go too far use the Ctrl-Z key to go back a step.


When you’re happy with your selection, go to the Enhance menu, roll down to Adjust Lighting, and select Brightness/Contrast. You’ll see a control panel with two sliders.


You won’t usually need to add much brightness to achieve a dramatic improvement. An increase of less than +20 will usually be sufficient. When you’ve finished, press Ctrl+D to cancel the area selection.

End Result

And after cloning out a couple of stray hairs, there we have it. Each effect on its own is very subtle, but the cumulative effect is a dramatic improvement. Next time someone complains that they never look good in photographs, maybe you can surprise them.

You can also use the techniques we’ve used here to adjust other images, altering colour and brightness, and removing unwanted elements. While it may be true that the camera never lies, image editing is a completely different story.

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