|Version 1 (unedited)|
|Version 2 (face dodged)|
Each stage of adjustments I carried out produced results that at the time I thought looked better than the last stage and in the end I decided to combine two stages of adjustment for what I felt was a striking yet realistic compromise between obvious alteration of the eyes/face and an improvement in directing the viewer's eye towards for me the more important areas of the image (the eyes).
|Version 3 (eyes enhanced)|
I started by just dodging the model's face (and incidentally eyes) by using a high exposure/low flow adjustment brush in Adobe Lightroom until I felt the face 'stood out' enough from the head and shoulders/background but remained realistic. I increased the overall exposure and the overall contrast of the face with two separate adjustment brushes so I could change if needed the different parameters easily. The result (Version 2) was in my opinion a vast improvement compared to the unprocessed version (Version 1) in that it achieved it's main purpose of drawing the eye toward's the face of the model.
I was a bit skeptical about what impact the enhancing of the eyes alone would make to making the image overall. I was confident it would draw the viewer's eye to the eyes but might look out of place with that being the only edit to the photograph. However, I was pleasantly surprised that by enhancing the eyes subtly enough (increasing saturation and brightness after making a selection of just the iris and pupil of the eyes using Adobe Lightroom's adjustment brush) so they didn't look 'over the top', the photo benefited as a whole (Version 3). In fact, I would say I was equally if not slightly more satisfied with the result compared to dodging the whole face (Version 2) mainly because the effect was more natural. This was further strengthened by the model purposefully wearing light blue clothing, which was the same colour as her eyes.
|Version 4 (eyes hue changed)|
Finally I decided it would be a good idea to combine two of these processing techniques: the dodging of the whole face with the enhancing of the eyes (increasing saturation and brightness only) and this produced the best result of all for me (Version 5). This was because it drew my eye firstly towards the face and then further to the eyes.
|Version 5 (final)|
Altogether, I learnt a lot about dodging/enhancing and would most probably use those techniques (in tandem or by themselves) if I felt it would help draw the viewer's eye to a part of the image I felt was most important. I would also try to be wary of when I felt I was over-processing an image too much and in what context the image was likely to be used.