Photo Editing: How To Edit Out Reflections on Glasses

Photo editing subjects that are wearing glasses can be a challenge. Depending on the natural lighting as well as the camera flash, glare and reflection can be produced. These can distract the viewer's attention away from the subject of a photo and more towards the reflection or glare. An experienced photographer will be able to skillfully avoid producing these factors. There are instances where tweaking may be necessary to remove any remaining reflections or glare. Here are a few steps in editing the reflections on glasses.

Step 1: Zoom into the Image

When editing photos, it is important to work up close. This makes the editing process easier, as the user will be able to clearly see the exact area that requires correcting. Open one at 100% or a size which can fill 1/3 of the screen at most and another image at a larger magnification. This allows the editor to see and make changes to the magnified area and automatically see its effects with a normal sized image. To open a duplicate, go to the View menu and select New Window. Move the duplicate to a spot which allows seeing both the original and the duplicate.  

Step 2: Create a New Layer

Make the revisions on a separate layer. This will allow the editor to make multiple revisions while retaining the original file. It also allows the editor to see and compare if the changes will make the image look better and not worse. There are several options of creating a new layer. Through the main menu, click Layer > New > Layer. On the Layers Palette, click the icon named Create a new layer or simply press Shift + Ctrl + N for Windows or Shift + Command + N for computers running on Mac.

Step 3: Paint over the Reflection

The most powerful photo editing software programs have a number of tools available for editors to use in order to remove the reflection or glare. Some of the more common and popular tools involve the Clone Stamp and the Healing Brush. Each has its own set of advantages. The main difference between these two tools is that the Clone Stamp replaces the area with the reference sample while the Healing Stamp blends in the texture within the original area. Selecting which one to use depends on the situation. For removing glass reflections on the skin, the Healing Brush is more efficient. As the sample is taken from areas near the original, the skin tone is similar. The Clone Stamp is handy when removing reflections on the eyes. The sample color can be copied from the other eye from the image.

Step 4: Experiment with the Effects


Regardless of the tool being used, the editor will need to try to find the correct sample to get the color and effect right. As the changes are made on a new layer, the editor will be able to undo a number of changes if unsatisfied with the effect or create an entirely new layer to try new effects. Adjust the size of the brush whenever necessary to achieve a more natural effect.