Leading The Viewers Eye

Leading the viewers eye in our images is a very important consideration during the editing of our images. We need to ensure we understand what it is we what are viewers to see. We then need to find a way of making those things stand out.

This tutorial uses a previous version of our photoshop plugin, the techniques are still relevant with our current plugin.

Sahajpal Rai was interested in learning more about the process of editing and workflow. He has a particular interest in how to draw a viewers eye into the area of interest in an image. In this two part video, I do a complete edit, first working out what it is in the image that we want to stand out. Taking that information we breakdown the image and work through all of the elements to create the final product. Using luminosity masks selections and many other tools in Photoshop I show how I create a final product, including resizing and sharpening for the web.

This is an extensive tutorial, with any techniques used. Below is a list of some of the key techniques used.

Camera Raw

When completing a single image edit, I often do more work on the image in Camera Raw prior to Photoshop. We use multiple exposures to bring balance to our highlights and shadows. As a result we want to blend exposures first. Single images don’t have that same requirement, so I complete more editing in Camera Raw in these cases. In the case of this image I work on the white balance, exposure and clarity (contrast in midtones). Ensuring that I’m only affecting the areas I want affected using the brush tool. 

Create a Vision

Before we start editing an image, we need to review the image and determine what the image is about and it’s key features. By doing this we’re better able to understand what we need to do to complete an edit. Sliding the sliders, and crossing our fingers is rarely a recipe for success. I discuss the aspects of the image that stand out and find the distractions throughout. I also crop the image to remove a large area of the bottom of the image which doesn’t add to the story.

Nik Collection

I quite often use Pro Contrast in Nik Collection to give an image an initial boost of contrast. It’s a very good tool if used sparingly and selectively, be careful not to push it to far. If you find there are areas that are not to your liking, wait until you exit Nik, then mask them out. Masking within Nik is painful and slow, and is no different to doing it yourself afterwards.

Leading The Viewers Eye

The final stage of the edit is to start working on selective areas throughout the image to emphasize and de-emphasize. Through a series of adjustment layers and dodging and burning layers I slowly work towards leading the viewers eye. Luminosity masks are used extensively to control the areas affected by adjustments. I use many different techniques and tools to achieve the results in this edit.