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  1. Method 1: Handling Overall Glare?
  2. Method 2: Dealing with Random Glare
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Method 2: Dealing with Random Glare

Use this method if you’re not so lucky, and the glare or reflection is spread randomly across the glasses, as in Figure 8.

Figure 8

Figure 8 Photo © ISTOCKPHOTO/JASON STITT.

After you open the photo with glare, you need to come up with a game plan. Fixing random glare like this can be tricky, so I pick the eye that looks better and fix it first. If you’re lucky, you can use one eye to help with the other eye.

How do you decide which eye is better? Look for areas that are easy to replace. For example, the eye on the right side in Figure 8 has some serious glare below the eyeball itself. However, the area surrounding it is all skin. Skin is fairly easy to replace, since you can use clean skin area to replace skin with glare on it. The eye on the left side in this example has a lot more glare over the color and white part of the eye. Because there really isn’t any area around it that’s smooth and easy to sample, that eye would be more difficult to replace. So I’ll work with the eye on the right side first in this example.

  1. Click the Create a New Layer icon at the top of the Layers palette to create a new blank layer (see Figure 9). This technique will separate your work so you can use it later to help with the other eye.
  2. Select the Healing Brush tool (press J until you have it) and turn on the Sample All Layers checkbox in the Options bar at the top. Make sure that the blank layer is selected in the Layers palette, so all of your changes happen there (see Figure 10). Now press and hold down the Alt (Mac: Option) key and sample toward the area without glare, near the nose in this example (see Figure 11).
  3. Start painting, working from the inside toward the outside of the glasses to smooth the area below the eye (see Figure 12). For this example, I used a 15-pixel brush. Use a few quick, small brush strokes.
  4. Select the Clone Stamp tool (S) from the Toolbox. Again, make sure that the Sample All Layers checkbox is turned on in the Options bar. Press and hold down the Alt (Mac: Option) key to sample an area near the glare at the upper-right corner of the eye, to start removing the glare (a large white area in Figure 13).
  5. Using the Zoom tool (Z), zoom in closer on the eye (see Figure 14). Paint with the Clone Stamp tool, using a soft-edged brush, to start removing the white glare right below the top of the eyeglass frames. Try not to go into the eyelashes too much at this point. Don’t forget to resize your brush as you get closer to the point where the eyelashes meet the frames.
  6. Press and hold down the Alt (Mac: Option) key and sample an area in the eyelashes of the same eye (see Figure 15).
  7. Start painting with quick, short strokes again to paint away the glare over the eyelashes. Start on the inside, near the white part of the eye, and paint outward to the eyeglass frames (see Figure 16). Again, be sure to use several brush strokes, and resample by press and holding down the Alt (Mac: Option) key often to avoid noticeable patterns.
  8. Use the same method described in steps 6–7 to remove the glare from the eyelashes at the bottom of the eye (see Figure 17). When using the Clone Stamp tool, be sure to sample an area that’s under the eye, because the eyelashes are now going in a different direction.
  9. Use the Clone Stamp tool to remove the glare over the white area of the eye (see Figure 18). Again, sample a nearby area to make sure that the tone matches. Be careful not to flow into the colored area or the eyelashes, though.
  10. Continue using the Clone Stamp tool to remove the white glare from the colored parts of the eye (see Figure 19). Some of the white parts are part of the catch lights (twinkle areas) in the eye, so don’t feel the need to get rid of every last speck of white.
  11. Whew! I know that was a lot of work, but we’ve actually finished the hard part at this point. The rest is pretty easy (well, maybe). In this photo, I’m going to duplicate the eye we just fixed and use it to replace the eye on the other side (see Figure 20). It works great here because of the way the woman is facing in the image. If you’re not so lucky with your own photo, you’ll probably have to work on the other eye just as you did with the first one in the earlier steps. It’s a little more work, I know, but getting rid of this much glare just ain’t simple.

    To duplicate the fixed eye, start by double-clicking the Zoom tool in the Toolbox to zoom out so you can see the whole photo again. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool from the Toolbox (or press M until you have it) and draw an ellipse over the eye that you just fixed (see Figure 21).

    Figure 20

    Figure 20 We’re going to duplicate the right eye and move it over the left one to make the repair much easier.

  12. Choose Edit > Copy Merged or press Ctrl-Shift-C (Mac: Command-Shift-C), to use a fancy command that you may never have noticed (see Figure 22). Copy Merged copies not only the contents of the layer you’ve selected in the Layers palette, but everything within the selection—regardless of what layer it’s on.
  13. Choose Edit > Paste or press Ctrl-V (Mac: Command-V) to paste the copied eye onto its own layer (see Figure 23). You may want to double-click the name of this layer in the Layers palette and rename it something like "Left Eye" to help yourself keep track of it.
  14. Choose Image > Rotate > Flip Layer Horizontal so the eye will fit on the other side of the face. Then select the Move tool (V) and move the duplicate eye to the left, over the original (see Figure 24).
  15. Decrease the Opacity setting of the Left Eye layer to 50% so you can see what’s under it (see Figure 25). Then press Ctrl-T (Mac: Command-T) to enter Free Transform mode.
  16. Position the cursor outside the bounding box. When it turns into a rounded, two-headed arrow, click-and-drag to rotate the eye so that it matches up as closely as possible with the original one below it (see Figure 26). Keep an eye on the pupil as a good reference. Match that area up first with the one below it, and then try to get the angle correct. You can always put your cursor inside the box and click-and-drag to move the eye in a straight line for a better fit. Once you’re happy with the match, press Enter (Mac: Return) to commit the transformation.
  17. We’re almost there. You’ve got the eye in place and the glare is gone. The only thing left to do is get rid of the areas around the eye that don’t belong. Return the opacity of the Left Eye layer to 100%. Then select the Eraser tool (E) from the Toolbox and set your brush size to a smaller soft-edged brush. (I used a 50-pixel brush.) Start erasing everything around the frame that doesn’t belong, so only the glare-free area inside the frame is left (see Figure 27).

    You’re done! This seems like a long process, but the results are pretty staggering when you think about where we started. Don’t believe me? Check out Figure 28 (the original shot) versus Figure 29 (the edited version).

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