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Here is the side by side of the photo before I did anything to Lola's eyes and after I made the eyes "pop" (with some added texture and an action applied). This isn't a very interesting or creative shot but I wanted to use a new photo for this tutorial instead of one I had already edited and neither Lola or Lillie were very cooperative the other day.

I do all my photo-editing in Photoshop CS5 and for this tutorial I am strictly going to use
The Pioneer Woman's actions for the eyes because that is what I use most often
and they are FREE! Yes, free
You can click here to download them from her site.
I am going to go through this step by step. Some of the steps may seem obvious but I know I like to know every little detail when I am learning something new. Also, I know I have given this disclaimer in the past but I am not a photographer. As much as I enjoy photography most of what I do in Photoshop is from lots of trial and error so if any real photographers out there are reading this please forgive me if I am doing this completely wrong. This is just how I do it - there may be a much easier and better way.

Here we go:
Tip: If you click on any of these picture below they will open larger 
so you can read the numbers and words better.

1) First I open the photo I am going to use and zoom in on the eyes.

2) I open my "Actions" window.

3) Now I click on Pioneer Woman's "Bring on the Eyes" and then click the "Play" button. 
(I don't know if that is what it is really called but it is a little arrow that looks like a play button.)

4). Now make sure you are on the "Bring on the Eyes" layer.

5). Now I choose my brush size.

6). And next I choose my opacity. Then I paint over the white of the eyes and iris.
I highly recommend using less than 50% for this or the eyes will look very fake. I generally use between 20 and 40% depending on the photo. I definitely look back at some of my pictures and cringe at some of the ones that I over processed the eyes!

7). Now I zoom back out and see how it looks.
Here is actually where you can stop. 
This makes the eyes pop and is all you need to do to get that look. 
I sometimes like to add a second action though to sharpen the eyes a bit. 
If you would like to do that then continue reading.

8). Click on the opacity level on the layer for "Bring out the Eyes" and tone it down a bit.
Because when you sharpen the eyes is makes them a little whiter I don't want it to look overdone so I do this before running the next action.

9).  Next I run The Pioneer Woman's "Sharpen This" action.

10). Now I choose my brush and opacity like I did for the 
previous action and paint over the whole eye area.
This will make lashes a bit darker as well as brighten the eyes some more.

11). Now I click on the eraser and lower the opacity and 
erase a few spots that don't quite look right.

12) Now I click on the brush again and check my opacity and 
sharpen her lips and nose area a bit to accent her little features.

Then I ran one of Paint the Moon's actions over the whole photo and added a 
texture from Flora Bella and there you have it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!


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