You take the perfect photo of your friend or family member but something isn’t quite right…you look closer and you notice the glare on their eyeglasses. Being able to see someone’s eyes in a portrait is important.
Not only does it capture their essence better, but it also gives the viewer a focal point to radiate their attention.
Luckily, they are several ways to reduce this glare in Lightroom.
If you are also struggling with shadows in your images, check out my guide to removing shadows in Lightroom.
Using the Spot Removal Tool
So here I have this photo of a woman wearing eyeglasses. As you can see, the glare in her glasses is reflecting light from her surroundings.
Since the glare is colored, the parts which cover her skin can be removed using the spot removal tool. By cloning another part of her face to match her eyeglasses, I can start to reduce the effects of the glare. The spot removal tool can be found by looking for the circle with an arrow in the top right corner, underneath the histogram.
First, zoom in on the area you want to work on. You can do this either by clicking command+/- or holding your mouse over the photograph. A small magnifying glass with a plus sign should appear, and you can click your mouse on the area you want to zoom in on.
After you zoom in, you’ll want to adjust the size of the brush to match the area you want to correct. You’ll then want to adjust feather to around 75 (which means how the soft the edges of the brush will be), and the opacity to around 90 (which means how much of your adjustments will show on the photograph).
These are all important adjustments to make so that the clone stamp won’t create harsh lines that are obvious to the viewer. Once you have adjusted the brush settings, you are ready to start using the brush.
Start by clicking on part of the photo you want to adjust, and watch it adjust to a similar color on nearby skin. Although this sometimes works on its own, sometimes the Lightroom algorithm does a bad job.
If this happens to be the case, you can move the circle corresponding to the area you’re adjusting so that it lays over a part of the photograph more similar to the one you are trying to correct.
Once you’re satisfied with this, and the blending looks natural, click ‘done’ on the bottom right of the screen, underneath the photograph.
Keep in mind, however, that this might not be the last tool you use in adjusting lens glare.
Using the Adjustment Brush
In this case, the spot removal tool was not going to fix everything.
There was still some glare that was blocking the viewer from clearly seeing the eyes of the subject, but it was not able to be corrected by using the spot removal tool, as there was not another eye to clone from.
The adjustment brush is another handy tool you can use to target a specific area of a photograph. Using the tool, we can minimize the glare to allow more focus on the eyes of the subject. You can find the adjustment brush near the spot removal tool.
It’s on the very far right and looks like a paintbrush or makeup brush. When you click on it, white dots will appear around it showing you that you have selected it.
First, I changed the brush size to a larger area, making sure the flow and feather is at 100. I then applied a mask over the area I wanted to adjust. In this case, the size of my brush as at 29, which makes the inner brush circle roughly the size of her pupil. (You can see this mask in red to get an idea of how much area I covered.)
Then I adjusted the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks to minimize the effect of the glare. I also decreased saturation and increased clarity so the blue of the glare would be less obvious and the viewer can see the woman’s eyes more clearly.
I also increased dehaze for even more clarity. The dehaze tool is handy in order to get rid of fuzzy areas on a photograph. For all the adjustments, you can see exactly what numbers, in this case, I changed, but it will be different for your own photograph.
I also will adjust to the most drastic level and then work backward from there so I can see more dramatically, minor impacts on the photograph.
If you are having bigger troubles with too bright areas, check out How To Fix An Overexposed Photo In Lightroom.
Keep in mind, however, that minor adjustments combined together can have a greater effect on protecting the subtleties of the photograph than large adjustments while also improving the areas you are working on, so be gentle with your adjustment sliders. Subtlety is an underrated force in photo editing!
The subtleties of the perfect adjustment is achieved after much practice. Feel free to play around with the settings as much as you want, until you get an effect you’re satisfied with. Just remember, small adjustments before big ones!