On this extensive video tutorial photographer Nathaniel Dodson (from the website tutvid) demonstrates a powerful technique for advanced eyes retouching using Photoshop CC.
It is worth mentioning that this particular technique will work better with images where there is some good lighting on the eyes (a nice catchlight is very useful). The first step is to clean redness and tiny veins in the eye. The first useful tool for doing that is the healing brush (Dodson uses the diffusion at 7 with lighten blend mode on a blank layer) next he uses the clone stamp (again do this on a new layer and sample current and below and use the lighten blend mode and about 40% opacity).
After the first cleaning part Dodson he suggests to add just a tiny bit of noise (1-1.5% should be O.K.). You can also use the blend if (this will give you just a tiny difference). You can also add a vibrance layer mask (invert it to black and only paint white on the white part), this will remove the reds from the white but you can also remove some unwanted colors from the iris as well.
Next, you can add a burn and dodge – Dodson shows a few interesting techniques here including a really cool way to select just the iris here – there are quite a few steps here but the idea is adding darkness to the dark areas and brightness to the whiter areas.
There are a few other minor steps but maybe the most important tip here is not to overdo the retouch – Dodson suggests (and we do this ourselves all the time) to take a look at the result and reduce the opacity of the different layers to get a more realistic result (if this is what you are after of course).
Over the years we have looked at correcting and improving eyes in images on many videos including “How To Brighten, Color and Sharpen Eyes in Photoshop” with photographer Craig Beckta, a Quick Tip: How to Change Eye Color in 1 Minute in Photoshop! by Howard Pinsky, “Retouching Eyes in Photoshop: Color, Brighten and Sharpen” and Creating Realistic Eye Makeup in Photoshop by Aaron Nace, photographer’s Michael Woloszynowicz “How To Brighten Eyes in Photoshop” and Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes video on “How to Brighten Eyes in B&W Photos Using Photoshop“.