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Head Games: retouching portraits > Removing Dark Circles Under Eyes

Removing Dark Circles Under Eyes

Here are two different techniques for removing the dark circles that sometimes appear under a person’s eyes. Especially after a hard night of drinking. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.

Technique #1

Step One.
Open the photo that has the dark circles you want to lessen. Select the Clone Stamp tool in the Toolbox. Then (from the Brush Picker in the Options bar), choose a soft-edged brush that’s half as wide as the area you want to repair.


Step Two.
Go up to the Options bar and lower the Opacity of the Clone Stamp tool to 50%. Then, change the Blend Mode to Lighten (so you’ll only affect areas that are darker than your sample).

Step Three.
Hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click once in an area near the eye that isn’t affected by the dark circles. If the cheeks aren’t too rosy, you can click there, but more likely, you’ll click on (sample) an area just below the dark circles under the eyes (as shown here).

Step Four.
Now, take the Clone Stamp tool and paint over the dark circles to lessen or remove them (the result is shown here). It may take two or more strokes for the dark circles to pretty much disappear, so don’t be afraid to go back over the same spot if the first stroke didn’t work. The photos below show the original photo (on the left), then the retouched version with both eyes retouched on the right.





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