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Thread: 'Steel eye' reduction

  1. #1
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    Default 'Steel eye' reduction

    Hi Guys,

    I'm not sure if Steel eye removal has been been covered in the forum before.

    Just a couple of days ago I was expounding to everyone how I thought steel-eye looked natural. Well that was until last night when I took some pics of a baby Owlett nightjar sitting on a fallen branch.

    The pic below was taken with two flashes mounted 500mm above the lens and only 2m away from the bird so the eyes should have been absolute perfection

    I tried the red-eye tool in Photoshop but it does red-eye (as you would expect) and not blue eye.

    I would be very grateful for some advice on a simple method that gives consistent and pleasing results.

    Feel free to do whatever you like to the image.

    Attachment 14927

    Cheers
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

  2. #2
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    Hi Richard, I used a levels adjustment layer, moving the central slider to the right to darken the pupil, then a B&W adjustment layer to remove the colour. with both these layers I blacked out the mask to hide all then used a white brush to only reveal the result on the pupil. I didn't spend too long on this and you could tweak the setting more to your taste. I thought of this technique while fixing some issues with frogmouth pupils. I'd be interested to see what other techniques people use, simply painting on the pupil hides the detail that makes it an eye.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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    Firstly Richard I adore your photograph; what a lovely opportunity and a great snapshot really. Trevor, I think you did a wonderful job on this. As you say 'painting' would' hide the detail; your adjustments have left the characteristic reflections in the eyes; well done!

  4. The following user says thank you to Carole M. for their reply:

    Richard Jackson (02-01-2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorM View Post
    Hi Richard, I used a levels adjustment layer, moving the central slider to the right to darken the pupil, then a B&W adjustment layer to remove the colour. with both these layers I blacked out the mask to hide all then used a white brush to only reveal the result on the pupil. I didn't spend too long on this and you could tweak the setting more to your taste. I thought of this technique while fixing some issues with frogmouth pupils. I'd be interested to see what other techniques people use, simply painting on the pupil hides the detail that makes it an eye.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Untitled-1.jpg 
Views:	78 
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ID:	14930
    Trevor that is perfect. You made it look just like as expected it to look in the first place with just a tinge of blue. I'll now try that and if I have any problems I hope you dont mind me getting back to you. Many thanks
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    I am happy to just have the catchlight in the eye, that to me is sufficient to show a true eye. At night, especially, there are no reflections, so using a flash should only reveal the pupil and the flash catchlight IMO. I generally select the pupil with either a hard edge quick mask or a circular marquee tool (if it is rounded enough) and copy to a new layer, which I then desaturate with CTRL+U then use the burn tool to just darken the pupil.

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    If you are doing any sort of adjustment I find it preferable to avoid making selections it's a another step and can lead to artefacts. In this Case I would suggest a hue/saturation layer, fully desaturate the blues and cyans and move the lightness slider left all the way for blues and for cyans I went to -51. Adjusting that slider allows leaving a varying amount of reflection on the eye surface, looking more natural IMO than a completely black eyeball surface. In this case I made no selections as there were no blues elsewhere in the image, if there were blues in the image (or reds in the case of red eye) only a rough selection of the pupil would be required. Here's the result:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ChrisRoss; 04-01-2012 at 05:08 PM.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    I personally don't play with the color sliders too much, hence why I recommend my method. It took me less than one minute to retouch the pupils. You may think it's not natural, but at night, pupils are black and the only reason there was reflection is because of the spotlights that hit it, so that to me makes the black pupil look "wrong". I also just added a touch of white to the catchlight along the edge selections. Even if you pixel peep at 400%, see tight crop, you will struggle to find imperfections. At the end of the day for me a quick fix is far more useful as well, since pupils are generally the most insignificant parts of the image (except when glowing coal red). In any case, there are way more ways than one to skin the cats, or pupils. Hope you can use one of these Richard.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _AGL300percent.jpg   _AGL.000000001.jpg  

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    Takes about the same time with my method Akos, horses for courses or something like that , but I generally recommend to avoid isolating changes using selections to avoid edge effects, it's Ok in this case but not always.

    BTW this is not classic steel eye as it's confined to the pupil, as I recall owlet nightjars have no eye shine, but the retina does appear to reflect some blue light. Steel eye is generally a reflection off the eye's surfaces and doesn't always occur on the pupil.
    Last edited by ChrisRoss; 04-01-2012 at 07:56 PM.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
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    No worries Chris. I think using a full sized image will enable you to carefully make those selections. I reckon the eye shine is different depending on a number of factors, such as angle of flash to eye direction, distance to photographer and not sure what else. Here is a red-eyed one SOOC. I have never had any with blue or steely eyes yet; only red or normal. Go figure.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _MG_5252.jpg  

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    Yeah but why make them if you don't have to? This shot (nice BTW, why can't I ever find these even at spots where I regularly hear them) is a little different with the red tones throughout the image leaving you open to problems without a selection.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Hey Akos,pardon my ignorance,but what sort of bird is this....Nightjar?

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    Chris
    Would you mind explaining your method with some screenshots? I hope you can find some time. I am always open to new stuff and while it intrigues, not knowing too much with color management I am a bit hesitant. I think most folks would appreciate some more detail. Chris, if you hear them call, generally they are not too far and all three I got so far were within 40-50m of me. As long as you can navigate back to a track you should be able to find one relatively easy. The ones I have managed to observe and photograph have been on rather low perches. Two at around 2 meters and one less than half a meter off the ground. They do respond to call playback, and while I had success in arousing interest using this technique (though not find where they landed), I have been able to find them without using calls by listening and searching.

    James
    It's an Australian Owlet-nightjar, a ripper of a little nightbird that is way cool and very easy to get close to. Once you can actually find one. It's about Noisy Miner size.

  14. The following user says thank you to Ákos Lumnitzer for their reply:

    James Doyle (05-01-2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ákos Lumnitzer View Post
    James
    It's an Australian Owlet-nightjar, a ripper of a little nightbird that is way cool and very easy to get close to. Once you can actually find one. It's about Noisy Miner size.
    Thanks Akos Hmm maybe I'm not as dumb as I feel lately! It reminds me of a little gremlin from the movie LOL

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    Thanks Chris for taking the time to do this, Your method also produces a great result
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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    The original image was taken only 2 m away from the bird and the flashes and light were mounted 0.5m above the camera which gives and angle of appro 15 degrees. I think that excludes any possibility of red-eye ie light reflected back from the retina parallel to the lens axis. I believe the blue is most probably light scattered from material contained inside the eye. This bird did have dull red eye-shine from my headlamp similar to Akos's image, which is how I found it originally.
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

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