Eery-Eye Photo Manipulation


In this Photoshop tutorial I will be walking you through the making of an interesting art piece, “The Eye, the Key of the Soul.”

In this tutorial we will use the burn tool, dodge tool, brushes, layer modes and more to add an interesting effect to an otherwise regular stock photo.

Eery-Eye Photo Manipulation (Photoshop Tutorial)


Before we get started I would like you to know that this tutorial was written by Krinos, and the stock photo used is by xerolime, you can download it from here.


Open up the stock photo you’ve chosen to be working with for this tutorial. Duplicate it once (just in case!) Find and get out the Burn Tool, change the range/mode for it to ‘midtones’ and set the opacity to something light-medium.

Using the burn tool now, pass in turn of the pupil of the eye and in turn of the eye. Now get out the Dodge Tool and set the mode to midtones again. Use the dodge tool to lighten up the pupil and also among where you used the burn tool to darken.

Doding & Burning Added (1)


Again using the dodge tool, make some ‘rays’ just outside of the iris, and lighten up any other areas you think may need it.

Rays Added to Iris


Now use Lighting Effects (filter > render > lighting effects) to add an interesting lighting effect to the overall photo, you may want to mess around with the colors for the lighting effects filter. Try not to over-saturate the photo though on this step, if your lighting effects affect it too much, go to edit > fade lighting effects and put it at around 50%.

Lghting Effects Added


Now it’s time to recolor the center of the eye. Do this by making a new layer (layer > new > layer) and brush a little bit inside of the eye with a soft brush, using the color of your choice (orange). After you’ve made your little bit of brushing inside of the eye, change the layer mode to Color and lower the opacity to around 50-60%.

Eye Color Changed


Using the dodge and burn tools again, add more light/darkness to the pupil to give it a stronger effect.

Dodging & Burning Eyes / Skin


To add more feeling to the photo, go to layer > new adjustment layer > gradient map and made a black & white gradient map. Change the layer mode for this layer to Luminosity and leave the opacity in tact. Repeat step 4 with the eye color part, you may want to use a lower opacity though, and a different color for the brush.

Stronger Color (Gradient Map)


A little more dodge & burn tool here, remember to mess with the ‘range’ and opacities for the brushes as well, get creative.

I also create another pupil-color layer, brushed inside of it it with a yellow-orange, changed the layer mode to Linear Dodge and lowered the fill to 10%.

Finishing Touches with Dodge & Burn


To finish off, apply a Selective Color adjustment layer (layer > new adjustment layer > selection color) and use the settings that you find look best. Again, in finishing, apply lighting effects again, but this time lower the opacity afterwards to around 35%.

Eery-Eye Photo Manipulation (Photoshop Tutorial)


Thank you for reading this tutorial, I hope you enjoyed it! I’m sorry, but the PSD file was too large to be downloaded, so you won’t be able to download the PSD file from this tutorial.

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  • Jafar

    Great tut dude.
    Update more.

  • Helpfull hand

    There’s a typo in the title ;)
    And further it’s a really nice effect ;)

  • T9 David

    Kudos to Krinos for the awesome tutorial. I really enjoy the end result he achieved (That photo certainly helps, as it’s a really crisp, vibrant shot). One thing I would suggest is: rather than using a soft brush (which may be a quick solution) to color the eye, create a new Color Balance Adjustment layer (with a mask so that it only effects the eyes), and then adjust the colors through that.

    Using this technique instead would allow for easy experimentation with other colors, or further adjustments later on (so you could get a nice emerald color, a frost look, or a fiery look as shown in this article).

  • Dejan Cancarevic

    wow, this is really cool thanks a lot!

  • BlackShade

    Simple but effective, well done!

  • zeux’s like a HULK.. nice..

  • ming_chet

    so nice!!! I LIKE it!

  • Helpfull hand

    After some e-mailing with Eli, there seems to be no typo, i thought it was cause i didn’t knew the word, so i thought eery should have been fiery, but it was a real word ;-)

  • Joe Vains

    Excellent… Like a Sith Lord in Star Wars ! ;)

  • caTcode

    its cool! i will create a new gravatar using this tips. thanks for sharing..

  • Syed Zeeshan Ali


  • Stremel

    Excellent tutorial, Krinos.

  • Reem

    that was really amazing
    I liked your strong sight for these lot of details that u have done

    actullay I saved the lesson
    Thank U VeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRY MUCH

  • k-lilovsky

    excuse me, but i didn’t understood how can i use noise or mess to my image with using dodge brush??
    please tell me more. thanks for tuto.
    don’t care for my english, i know is too baaaaaad.

  • Prabigya

    Cool Man Thanx

  • larathemartin23

    okay, i’m lost. this is kewl, but what do i do this on?

  • katann56024

    What do you mean by pass in turn?

    “change the range/mode for it to ‘midtones’ and set the opacity to something light-medium.” Is the opacity of the layer the one to change?

  • Superfly

    Actually, there /is/ a typeo. It’s “eerie” as opposed to “eery” which doesn’t exist.
    And I’m pretty sure that the saying is that the eye is the key to the soul, not of the soul.


    How would you do something like this on a more basic photo? I realize it wouldn’t be as high quality but would this process work on photos that don’t have such a high quality?