Clear Cloudy Eyes in Photos of Senior Dogs - dummies

Clear Cloudy Eyes in Photos of Senior Dogs

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

If you’ve ever met a senior dog with vision problems, you know the whitish cloud that can hang over the dog’s eyes. Sometimes caused by cataracts in an aging dog, this condition becomes even more apparent in photographs. To remedy this issue and add some spunk back into Lilly Belle’s eyes, use your Burn tool in Photoshop to do the following:

1With your image open in Photoshop, zoom in on the dog’s eye region using the Navigator palette.

If your Navigator palette isn’t already visible, choose it from the Window menu in the Photoshop toolbar that runs across the top of your program’s window. After your Navigator palette is open, look just below the “mini image” of your photo.

You’ll see a percentage next to a slider, which is your Zoom tool. Move it to the right to zoom in. If you need to adjust where the tool zooms, hover your mouse inside the red frame that appears in your mini image. Then you can drag the frame to the position you need.

2Choose the Lasso tool from the Tools palette and use it to trace the circumference of the dog’s eyeball.

Be careful to leave a small cushion of space between the outline and the dog’s eyelids.

3With your Lasso tool still selected and the eyeball outlined, go to the Photoshop toolbar and choose Select→Modify→Feather.

Enter “3” for the Feather Radius and click OK.

Use feathering to soften the edges of a selection so that whatever adjustments you make to the selected area smoothly transition into the surrounding area. If you don’t use feathering, you may end up with an obvious hard edge defining the selection area you used.

4Choose the Burn tool from the Tools palette and head up to the Brush Picker drop-down menu, which appears in the Options bar on the upper left-hand side of the screen.

Drag the Master Diameter slider to adjust the size of your Burn tool. Choose a diameter that’s slightly larger than your selection. Also, make sure that “Protect Tones” is checked in the Options bar.

5Adjacent to the Brush Picker drop-down menu are the Range and Exposure drop-down menus.

Choose Midtones for your Range and start with a low exposure percentage, like 12 percent. The Range options dictate which tones are actually affected by the Burn tool.

Choosing Midtones forces the Burn tool to darken only the middle ranges, leaving the highlighted and shadowed areas unaffected. Choosing Shadows forces the Burn Tool to darken only the darkest shadowed areas, and choosing Highlights forces the Burn tool to darken only the lightest areas. Because cloudy eyes are usually made up of mid-toned grays, start with Midtones as your range.

6Position the Burn tool over your selected eyeball, click, and move the Burn tool in a circular motion over your selected area.

The longer you hold down the mouse button, the more you’ll “burn in” the area, so make sure you constantly move the tool while you’re clicking to prevent any one area from becoming darker than the rest. You’ll see the cloudy area of the eyeball darken in real time.

7Release the mouse button to view your results.

If the eyes are still too light, simply take another pass to the selected area with your Burn tool.

After a few passes, if the effects of burning still aren’t satisfactory, try choosing Highlights instead of Midtones from the drop-down Range menu.

8When you’re finished, go to the Photoshop toolbar and choose Select→Deselect to release your selected area.

Your final result should look similar to the image on the right.