This exercise explores the next level of intervention and allows you to make changes that many would say go beyond reality. Photograph a close-up, head and shoulders portrait, in available or natural lighting. The face should be in shade, not receiving direct light, should be towards the camera and with both eyes clearly visible.
Make two selections. The first should be of the entire face, which you should adjust by increasing the brightness and increasing the contrast. Your aim is for it to appear natural. I used Photoshop, and created a new adjustable layer; increasing the contrast by +20, and leaving the brightness the same. I think that by adjusting the contrast by a small amount- the photo still appears very natural. Therefore, I have no issue with doing so. Increasing the contrast merely makes the subject stand out a little more- it does not take away or add any false information into the image (removing or adding information is an area that I would have an issue with).
The second selection and adjustment should be of the eyes only. First exaggerate the colour of the iris by increasing saturation and brightness. Again I used Photoshop and made a selection of the eyes using the lasso tool. I then increased the saturation and brightness very slightly. Again, the fact that the adjustments were only very slight makes the image still appear natural. These adjustments are not something I would have issues with as they are mere enhancements, and not manipulation.
Next, try changing the hue. I used Photoshop to create a new layer, and used the lasso tool to select the eye’s once again. I then adjusted the hue to change the eye colour from brown to green. This is something I do not agree with. Personally, I feel that increasing the saturation of the NATURAL eye colour is acceptable, but changing the colour of the eye altogether is unacceptable. This again comes from my views that enhancement of information in the image is acceptable, but changing or adding false information in an image is unacceptable. Anything that was already a part of the original image can be enhanced to improve image quality, but merging, adding in or changing things is not legitimate. Especially something as personal as a person’s eyes or hair etc.
Again this was another insightful exercise which has further helped to cement my views on enhancement editing in images.