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The addition of localized contrast definitely improves a picture, but on the other side there's the risk of damaging it and the doubt that you could have better calibrate the correction is always there. There're many way to add contrast to an image avoiding the lost of the source, first of all making a copy on a new layer, but I do like using smart filters because this way I can take a look at my final result ad adjust it many times.

Here I will describe how to use High Pass and smart filter to enphatize the details in a picture.



Step 01. First thing to do is convert the layer into a smart object: from main menu choose Filter/Convert for smart filters. Your original image will be preserved and it will be possible to keep the source intact: this will allow you to rework the file as many times you want in a nondestructively way.


Step 02. Once the layer is converted into a smart object you can add the filters in a smart way: there are many filters to increase the contrast, but personally I do like using the High Pass to better see the edges I'd like to let more evident.

From main menu choose Filter/Other/High Pass: the areas with low contrastated will be gray, whilst the edges will look enlightened. Shifting the Radius amount will increase or decrease the thickness of the edges: when you want to let more readable small details keep this value low, or increase it for a more aggressive effect. Press OK to apply the filter.




Step 03. This grey image obtained with the High Pass filter will be superimposed to the original to have the right color and contrast. To do that will be used the blending modes: in the Layers panel, double clic on the lines you see on the right of the "High Pass" text to edit the blending mode options.

In the Blending Options window, from the drop down menu Mode choose one of the fourth group modes to increase the contrast: take a look to the final result in the document window to choose the best one. If the effect is too strong decrease the Opacity. Press OK.


Step 04. Now you can adjust again the High Pass value to better refine the result. In the panel Layers, double clic on the “High Pass” text, the High Pass window will pop up again. Now you can adjust the Radius having a preview of the final result. When you're satisfied press OK.


Having some of the eyes in your photos show bright red is caused by the emitting flash being too in line with your subjects eyes and bouncing off of the retina show bright red. There are two ways to fix this.

  1. Before the issue comes up by making sure the flash is a far away from the lens as possible
  2. After the fact by using the tools in Photoshop (PS), Lightroom (LR), or Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

Item #1 implies you have a Single Lens Reflex camera with a "shoe" to fit an attached flash unit. This is a great idea IF you have a SLR but if you have a Point & Shoot camera of any kind (including a camera phone) that's not an option.

In PS, LR, or ACR, there is a tool that you can select, drag across a "red eye" eye and the problem goes away.

In Photoshop it can be accessed from either the Brush drop-down menu, or with more recent version of PS-CC, it will be found in the Edit Tools icon as shown below.


In Adobe Camera Raw it can be found in the top tool menu.


and in Lightroom it can be found amoungts the standard tools in the Develop module.


the good and/or bad thing about each of these tools is that they are looking for a uniform red color. If your subject's red eye is not uniform, than it will not work all that well. For example, below is a classic red eye along with the results of using any of the red eye corrections (I tried all, none of them made a difference). On the top is the original image, below that is the best correction I could do and on the bottom you can see the problem: there are many shades and hues of red in those eyes. [Hint: sometimes you can get past this by doing multiple repeats of the process as each will do as much as it can and then you try again (and again and again)].

Photoshop CCScreenSnapz001.png

Nonetheless, if your subject's red eye is equally shaded, than any of these tools do an amazing job.

But, as stated, each of these tools are looking for "red." One of the big complaints after these tools were introduced was that they did nothing for animal eyes. As an example below is a photo of my two corgis at the head of the stairs using the flash on my phone.


Now these are unique as they are white, animal eyes can also be red but also light green, light yellow, and a host of other colors. Keep in mind though that white eyes are more likely to occur with phone cameras. Since you've seen the problems with human eyes, getting any kind of success when the eye's color are nowhere near red. And with that in mind, what do you do with humans when their eyes are white, not red as shown below?


Like the two corgis with white eyes, the image above was also taken with an iPhone 6S. [Note: the specific camera is not the cause of these kinds of problems, any phone camera and/or Point & Shoot camera can cause this. Typically the further away the subjects are from the camera, the greater the likelihood that the above image will be the result.]

The good news is that the cure is the same for both types of image: When using ACR or LR, use the "Pet Eye" option. Below is the ACR option found on the right hand side of the ACR window.


In Lightroom the Red Eye/Pet Eye option is right below the Red Eye tool:


There is no Pet Eye option in Photoshop.

Working on the two corgis is just a manner of opening a JPEG, TIFF, or raw image into ACR or Lightroom, select the Pet Eye Tool and do a marquee around the errant eye (but admittedly this isn't half as fun as the original). Because of the image noise and a host of other issues, the results in THIS image are kind of creepy from the other direction.


So, ironically enough, using Pet Eye is very good for fixing "human white eye!" However, if any of the eyes are not sufficiently bright enough, even the Pet Eye will not work. The resolution for this is found in Photoshop. Below is from the the 2nd boy to the left. As you can see, his right eye is not as bright as his left eye. His left eye was fixed just fine.


To fix this, go into Photoshop and zoom way into the eye that needs to be fixed. To fix this use the Quick Selection Tool


and click on the light region in the eye.


At this point, either press the Shift key to add the medium intensity pixels or click on the "Always Add" option in the Tool "Options" region at the top of the screen (below the menus)


and fill in the rest of the lighter region. Then, once everything is selected, press Option + Delete keys to fill with your foreground color (which should be black). Note: if you do not add these "lighter" pixels, there will be a lighter ring around the black region and that will look very creepy.


[Note: if your foreground color is not black as below, simply press the "d" key (as in "default") and that will return the foreground and background colors to black and white.]

foreground-color.pngthen press the "d" key to get: foreground-color2.png

Anyhow, the results show that the combination of the two approaches work just fine.


So, after repairing all of the eyes (and doing a few other adjustments), we end up with


Now before I leave this subject, there is one health warning I must make: if you take a photo of a child and their eye (or eyes) are always white and never red, you may consider having their eyes examined by an eye doctor. White eyes are typically caused by the distance of the flash to the subject and/or a camera phone (a shorter distance at the right angle is likely to cause red eye). Cancer on the retina (retinoblastoma) can be the cause to constant white eye in kids under 5 (while very rare with adults, it can occur) but white eye with adults can indicate a cataract. The family above need not be worried by this one photo as it is extremely unlikely that an entire family is having a such a problem at the same time. The good news is that camera-caused white eye is extremely more likely than a health-caused problem.

I am creating a series of infographics, with design tips to help my fellow eLearning developers. Here is the first one ... I hope you find it useful!
Created with Adobe Illustrator CC 2017.



Editor's Note: This is one of a continuing series of interviews with notables in the creative industry. This week, we speak with Kevin Siegel, who runs a very successful eLearning training firm called IconLogic and the new International Council for Certified Online Training Professionals.


Your Name

Kevin Siegel



#1 What is your primary job title?

CEO for IconLogic ( and the International Council for Certified Online Training Professionals (



#2 Who or what inspires you?

Attending an online class where I was engaged and motivated… there’s so much bad training out there that this is a very rare occurrence.



#3 What do you think about when alone in your car?

I shouldn’t have eaten that candy because now I just want to sleep.



#4 Share a life lesson you learned?

Never insult/gesture to a person on the highway… they could end up in your class that same day.



#5 Favorite period of history?

The Revolutionary War. I simply cannot believe the colonials pulled it off. Nothing even close has ever happened in history.


Revolutionary War


#6 What projects are you working on right now?

I’m building ICCOTP into a certification powerhouse.



#7 Describe your personal style.

Fun with a hint of gruff.




#8 What tech tools do you use in your work?

You name it I’ve got it!



#9 When did you know you'd found your calling?

The first time I taught a difficult/challenged person to do something on the computer and did not feel an urge to strangle him (as I was warned I would have to do). I then became a business-to-business trainer.



#10 What's your super power?

I can make you laugh, even on your death bed.



#11 Peanut Butter: Creamy or Chunky?

Creamy of course… who wants chunks?



#12 What makes you happy?

Seeing my girls laugh



#13 What do you do to relax?




#14 Your place of birth?

Greenbelt, MD



#15 Favorite artist or art movement?

Andy Warhol


warhol.jpg Andy-Warhol-Sitting-Bull-FS-II.376-600x600.jpg

Andy Warhol and two of his works



#16 Share a funny moment from your career?

In an attempt to draw an emoji on a white board, I drew something that looked like private parts (I won’t go into more detail). I was mortified but that class thought it was the funniest thing ever. The drawing was confiscated by a colleague and makes an appearance on Facebook whenever I get full of myself.



#17 Color of the car you drive?




#18 Any new skills you'd like to learn?

Play the guitar (it’s on the list for 2017)



#19 How do you get your news?

The News app on my phone



#20 Advice to other creatives?

Never, ever let someone tell you not to do what you love because they don’t think you can do it. Screw them and do it. (I had a school “counselor” tell me I should give up the dream of being a published author because I had no skill for that. This person suggested I become a forest ranger instead because I said I liked being outdoors. 200+ books later (many of which are international best-sellers) and, well, you get the picture.

Happy New Year, everyone! Here are some of my best tips to start the New Year out right ... created in Adobe Illustrator CC 2017. Hope you find them useful!



Retouching to clean a photo can give some headache, but it gets even more difficult when the picture has some tiling texture and is in perspective, as an example a wall. To solve this kind of problem the Varnishing Point filter is a perfect helper.



Before starting make a copy of the image you want to fix on a new layer: you can easly do that by pressing Ctrl+J or Cmd+J. Then from main menu choose Filter/Varnishing point and get into the filter's window.



Step 01. On the left of the Varnishing Point window, choose the Create Plane tool, then make 4 clic on the picture to draw the 4 angles of the plane. Please take care that the plane you create should correspond to the plane of the area to fix: if the grid of the plane in displayed in blue it means that you did a good job, if it's in yellow or in red it means that the perspective is not correct. To fix the plane just drag and drop the angles.





Step 02. Once the plane is displayed in blue you'd need to enlarge it: to do that just drag and drop the points you find at the half of each side.




Step 03. When the working plane is defined you can start with the retouch. Choose from the tools the Stamp tool. To display the brush shape you need to define a source to clone, to do that keep pressed the Alt key and do one clic on the image. Once you define the source you will have the brush preview: this way it's easier to adjust the size of it with the Diameter value. Keep the Hardness around 60/70 for a soft but precise result and from dhe Heal drop down menu choose OF when you have to fix a really dirty area as in the sample. Switch on the option Aligned.


Step 04. To retouch the dirty parts you need to clone a clean area and overlap it on them. Because you're going to "rebuild" the area to fix, you need to have a cloned part that have the same design: for example don't use as a source the border of the tile if you need to fix the center of it.

Keep pressed Alt and choose a source area, then drag the mouse to patch the dirty part. During the job, you can set diverse sources.


Finish. Because we turned off the option "Heal", probably some of the cleaned parts will look strange and not perfectly in line with the area around. To fix them from the top bar choose ON in the drop down menu Heal and retouch them again: they will be recoloured and better integrated with surroundings.