How to edit under the eye


TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Jun 8, 2010
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So I did a shoot over the weekend that was fun (Its always fun to shoot) despite the model not giving much in terms of movement or emotion so I had to just roll with it. Any who, I noticed under her right eye a grey area where she has bags under her eye. I tried a couple things with cloning and all that to get rid of it but I couldn't get it to look natural.

Anyone care to give some insight on how to properly edit this area?

Untitled by Shutter_Inc., on Flickr

Untitled by Shutter_Inc., on Flickr

I work with both lightroom and photoshopCC
repeated careful applications of patch tool will give you a good start but a bit of makeup before would have helped a lot.

I **always** tell every single woman that I will be photographing that the single most-important makeup fundamental is plenty of under-eye concealer. Under-eye concealer really,really is a big help, and if they use something like Mabelline Fit Me, or Revlon Photo Ready, or some other under-eye concealer your work will be hugely reduced and they will look much better. I got that tip from an old glamour photo book back in the 1980's titled How To Photograph Women Beautifully, by J. Barry O'Rourke, and it has been very helpful to mention that to every woman who is going to be photographed. The thing is--most women, unless they are models and very good at makeup, will psychologically overlook dark under-eye areas and not "see" what the camera will see when studio flash hits a face. The camera eye is very unflinching, and reveals a lot of detail now that we're in the 24 to 36 megapixel range.

Patch tool can work pretty fast on this, so can the dodge tool set at fairly low density and low flow and sort of "painting on" the darker areas and lightening them up.

I sometimes go into PS and use a soft-edged brush and use the clone tool at low flow and about 85% density to clone over the under-eye area, sampling from the area right below; you need to keep the density (opacity) below 100% or it looks faked.
Yep. I also use the Patch & Dodge tools under the eyes.
Yep. Pre-shoot makeup properly done.
That's what a lot of portrait photographers have a makeup artist on staff and sell a pre-shoot makeup session as an addition to the photography session.

Add during the shoot makeup touch ups too.
See the shiny highlights above her eye and down the length of her nose in the second shot? The shine could have been mitigated with makeup.
I don't know if this tutorial is what you're looking for but I've found it useful
I use frequency separation to put the texture on it's own layer, then sample and paint color below it to taste. It retains the exact texture from the original that way.

Thank you all for all the information!

Ive never tried frequency separation before which I should apparently look into.

I look forward to shooting again with all of this new help :D
Gave frequency separation a try and it either comes out really fake or not enough. I think its due to the girls skin texture or lack of? So I went my normal route: (different lady)

Untitled by Shutter_Inc., on Flickr

Ill post up the FS ones this evening
Which image did it not work well for you on? I'd like to give it a try, and perhaps see what you're seeing.
Which image did it not work well for you on? I'd like to give it a try, and perhaps see what you're seeing.

the one I just posted. Ill send you the RAW when I get off of work
Last edited:
Aaron Nace and his Phearn site are awesome! I love the way he teaches his methods, and there's really no quibbling with the results, even if I'm not big on his final touches to images, where he can sometimes get kinda heavy with the lens flares and false coloring to simulate light leaks and so on.

Anyway, the action he's put out there for free to do FS works great too. Makes it quick and easy.

That's a good tutorial on FS, though I'm not really keen on the method he uses for the re-coloring in that particular video. I prefer to sample and paint more selectively with a VERY soft brush at a VERY low Flow, using the Wacom pen, which is his usual method as well.

We'll see how it works out with your file. Maybe I'll even do a video of it. Been a while since I did that. :)
Here's my attempt:

Hope it's helpful. :)

Oh yeah... Pardon the memory loss on the eyedropper tool, and the mouth fumbles. That's what happens if I don't practice first. Did it in one 'take'. lol ;)

ETA: Just noticed that it doesn't show the changes in brush size either. I'll have to work that out here. Shouldn't matter too much for this one though.

ETA #2: I should also have mentioned that when I worked on the detail layer with the clone stamp tool, the Sample area for it was "Current Layer" as opposed to All Layers or This Layer and Below. That's pretty important. If you try it and it's throwing color on it and looking weird, check to be sure of that setting. :)
Last edited:

Most reactions