How to Reanimate a Dead Eye in Your Photo

by Barrett

Sometimes a perfectly good-looking eye won’t reflect a camera’s flash like its twin.  That can really ruin a picture.  But with a little photo-editing voodoo, you can bring it back to life in seven easy steps!

Sometimes a perfectly good-looking eye won’t reflect a camera’s flash like its twin. That can really ruin a picture. But with a little photo-editing voodoo, you can bring it back to life in seven easy steps!

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul.
So you’ve got a lot riding on how they look when you’re trying to snap a great shot of somebody.

We all know how ‘red eye’ is a common problem with flash photography.
And how that devilish defect tends to occur in low-light situations when someone’s pupils are wide open.
(Blue-eyed people have a greater problem with this than brown-eyed folks.)

But barring this complication, eyes normally tend to simply reflect the flash in the form of a glint or sparkle.
Totally normal…

In certain circumstances though, one eye may reflect the flash less than the other one. Or sometimes not at all….
Now that can look really weird!

And the otherwise best photo you’ve taken in years can make somebody look like Frankenstein’s monster.

This ‘Dead Eye’ Syndrome is definitely going to ruin your photo…

Time for an Eye Job
Red eye is so easy to fix these days; both cameras and computers have simple tools to magically turn all that red to black.

But what are you supposed to do with a dead eye?!

Well, to bring it back to life, you’ve got to give it the similar glint of its partner.

And that’s going to take a little tech voodoo…
The good news is you don’t have to have access to a serious photo-editing program to do the surgery…

Eye Surgery in Seven Steps
The basic task is to clone the glint from one eye and place it on top of the sickly-looking pupil in the other eye.
Effectively, it’s a copy-and-paste maneuver.

Here’s how you do it using Apple’s Aperture software:

  1. Click on the ‘Add Adjustment’ drop down
  2. Select ‘Retouch’
  3. Choose ‘Clone’ (not Repair)
  4. Reduce the size of the selection circle to just larger than the reflection in the good eye
  5. Option/Click on the good reflection
    (The circle turns into a cross momentarily)
  6. Now move your mouse and hover the small circle over the bad eye’s smaller reflection
  7. Click to replace the bad reflection with the good reflection

Voila! Both your eyes now have matching reflections.
Normality has been restored in your picture.

Take a look at this example:

Original photo - I think Barrett’s been replaced by a pod person.

Original photo – I think Barrett’s been replaced by a pod person.

After surgery - No more Frankenstein creature…

After a little surgery on my left eye – No more Frankenstein creature…

Illuminating the Darkness
I know there’s lots of debate about the appropriateness of touching up a face in a photo.

I don’t think this falls under the same category of concern.
You don’t really have a dead eye.
(Right?)
There is no darkness in your soul.
(I hope.)

The ‘darkness’ is more of an aberration created by technology.
(Unless your evil eye always photographs that way…
if so run to your ophthalmologist…!)

We’re just reversing a little tech error and
letting your true beauty shine through…

You’re welcome.

Advertisements