I still have not cracked making manual selections and adjusting just the area that I want to adjust in Photoshop Elements, I just don’t seem to have a steady enough hand to make the selections accurately enough and then struggle to adjust just the bit I want. I was able to adjust the following image in Lightroom though and was reasonably happy with the results, I might even go as far as say that the final outcome is better than the image I started with!
I’m not sure that the adjustments I have made are obvious enough to be seen here, they are still fairly safe and subtle I think. I started with an image taken at the Dart Music Festival of Debbie Issacs, the lead singer with a jazz group called Winelight. It was quite a dull day and the group were playing under a covered area in the market square with no additional lighting. The original image is quite dull and flat so this was an easy choice for this exercise.
As suggested I started by increasing the brightness and contrast on the face only. This is fairly easy in Lightroom by clicking on the area to be adjusting and dragging either up or down. Saturation, hue, Luminance or all three can be increased or decreased. I increased luminance. You can see the colour sliders move as in the black and white adjustments and I had to be a little bit careful not to give the subject too much of an orange sun tanned look.
There isn’t a selection tool in Lightroom other than the adjustment brush and I used this to enhance the eyes. I started by lightning and brightening the whites of the eyes and then reduced the exposure in the irises whilst at the same time increasing saturation. I also darkened the pupils. This gave the eyes a lighter, brighter appearance than in the original image. I felt that the adjustments are subtle enough and not too far removed from reality. In fact I would say that under better lighting conditions this is more like what we would have seen. I’m not sure about changing the colour of the eyes, for me that is a step too far, however I will attempt to do this in Elements and record the outcome here.