How to change eye color in GIMP 2

Changing eye color is one of my favorite things to do when I edit pictures. The eyes are the first thing people look at when they meet you. Eyes draw you in, express emotion, and tell secrets (even if we don’t want them to).

A little tweaking to the eyes in an editing program can dramatically change the feel of it. And with a little work you can make that happen!

 I get asked often how I accomplish such a magical feat. Well fear not! I am here to tell you that you too can create magic. There are several methods, but this one is by far the easiest and the one I use most often. If you follow these instructions you will see how easy is can be.

before

STEP 1: (I’m assuming you’ve already found an unknowing eye model and molested their face with your lens) The first thing you’ll need to do it add a new layer. The Layer button is located on the top menu bar between IMAGE and COLOR. Did you find it? Great! You’re a regular Sherlock Holmes.

When you click the layer tab a drop-down menu will appear with several options. Click the first that reads NEW LAYER. An annoying pop-up will magically appear on your screen. It’s not a demon. Just make sure the TRANSPARENCY bobble is pushed and click OK.

layer

Still with me? Good!

STEP 2:  This step is so fun it makes me pee a little. Time to pick a color! I chose purple (Blame is on a lifelong obsession with Barney the Dinosaur).

Next you’re gonna find the little paintbrush icon that looks like this:

brush

And you’re gonna go ahead and Bob Ross that son of a bitch. (“Let’s go ahead and add a happy little tree”) Ok Mr. Ross, let’s calm down now. We’re just painting a circular glob today.

Like so:

eye

Not so pretty right? Well don’t give up on your painting career just yet. It’s supposed to look like shit right now. Trust the professional ne?

STEP 3: Drag your mouse over to the right where you are gonna click on that little arrow next to MODE. This will open yet another drop-down menu of fun options for your little painting.

mode

Grab a twinkie and play around with these options for a bit. Each mode changes the color blob you lovingly drew. OVERLAY is a favorite of mine for eyes if I want a natural look. GRAIN MERGE I use for portraits. And MULTIPLY is good for a funky, not-so-real, effect.

When you have settled on one, head on over to step 4.

STEP 4: (Hi, nice to see you again) This is optional, but if you feel like the look is maybe too much, head on back over to that MODE button and play around with the OPACITY  (Which is right above it). You can lower the percentage, or leave it if you swing that way, and it will lower the effect of your beautiful paint glob.

STEP 5: Once you are happy with your eyeball (Maybe ready to settle down, start a family, get a dog), you’re gonna have to seal the deal. As in, merge that bitch down! Right click on the layer and yet another drop down menu will appear.

merge

Click on MERGE DOWN. You may now kiss the bride.

Here is what mine looks like, all said and done:

eyeex3

Here is a list for those of you with the memory span of a goldfish with ADD.

  • New layer
  • Pick a color and paint the eye
  • Choose a mode
  • Play with opacity
  • Merge down aka seal the deal aka marry that bitch! (Be smart, choose a dog over a cat)

So how did your eye turn out? Feel free to ask any questions, and please send me your finished product! Happy Editing!

 

Four Elements Series Continued. Water.

Welcome to the last installment of the Four Elements series. Shot, on location, in front of my closet doors (are you surprised?). Brought to you by I’m a cheap ass Productions. Directed by A seamless would be nice. 

As far as photo shoots go, this one was pretty straightforward.

I asked my friend/co-worker to be the  face of water because she is Asian. And I wanted that exotic look for Water. Water has secrets. Water has seen some shit. And I wanted Water’s eyes to tell a story.

Tara came to my farm, makeup bag in hand and we went to work. It went surprisingly quick. Shooting the other elements insured that I knew lighting and settings off the bat.

This shoot only took about 58 pictures to get the right one, which is a miracle because I can easily shoot upwards of 300 in thirty minutes. The hectic mom gods were smiling on me that day and we only got interrupted twice by my three year old. Can I get a hallelujah?!

I settled on this shot:

Water.JPG

Sexy right?! Her skin needed very little editing. A few taps with the heal tool and blurring of the rest of her face completed skin retouching.

I did eyes next and they were a doozy! Took me a few tries to get that “fish” look. *sniffs* I’m quite proud of the outcome. Very fishy.

eyes1

Speaking of fish, I’d like to introduce Mars.

dsc_3254

He belongs to my Mom. He is kind of a diva and insisted I only shoot his “good side”. Whatever that means. (You can’t see me, but I’m shrugging my shoulders).

I shopped Mars into Tara’s magical Water hands next. It took me a few tries to successfully create an orb of water. But it’s magicalness is full of magical magic!

This picture was hard for me to pull off for the main reason being that I HATE the beach. It sounds irrelevant but I assure you it’s not! With the Air picture I already had cloud photos to add as beautiful floaty layers. With Fire I had smoke and fire shots and with Earth I boast a whole folder of flower and nature shots. I don’t have any wave, water, droplets, bubbles etc in my plethora of texture and layer shots.

Having your own texture and layer shots is important to any photographer. When you pull “free” images off of google you run the risk of copyright infringement and other such devices. I guess I need to drag my ass to the beach and take some wave pictures….GAG!

So I improvised. Guess what I used for bubbles:

dsc_0293

If you guessed a glass of soda then go play the lottery right now. I used this bubbly goodness as the background. There are no rules with photo editing. That’s why I love it. With any other facet in life I might have balked at the idea of using something other than it’s means. But not here! Here I can make soda bubbles represent Water’s magical aura. Because I’m cool like that.

All in all I love this picture! And I’m happy to finally be done with the series (Because now I can start a new one!).

water4-1-of-1

 

You can read about Fire and Earth here: The Four Elements. And seeing my vision.

You can read about Air here: The Four Elements Continued. Air.

So what do you think of the Four Elements Series? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments. Happy Shooting!

 

The reasons why. Welcome to my brain.

*Stands up*

“Hi, My name is Jake and I was wrong”

I was that person, stubborn and uninformed, stuck on film photography like I was holding a piece of the past in my fingers. I’d scoff at those “Digitals” walking around like zombies, eyes glued to the screen of their bulky camera’s, missing great shots left and right. Because with a film camera, (in my case, a Nikon Fm3a 35mm beauty) you aren’t stuck scrolling through your shots. It’s a simpler life with film; spot, focus, press shutter, thumb lever, done! I thought, then, that I was holding myself to a higher standard. Dare I say, I thought i was better than them. Ha!
Until one day……
I was introduced to the world of photo editing through a friend. A magical thing. A new toy. A new way to look at pictures. A whole other side to photography I had never even touched! I was enamored with the idea. I could put horns on someones head? Give them purple eyes? I could take ideas from my head and make them real? Shareable even? Sign me up!

Off to the camera store I went and bee-lined for the Nikon section and settled on a D5000. I was amazed at just how many pictures you could take on a digital camera and how fast it was! No more waiting for film to develop!

Want to see the very first picture I ever took with film?

Japanese Lantern Tree.jpg

Not bad huh? When you eliminate all the graininess from the scan it’s actually quite beautiful.

And my first picture ever taken on a digital camera:

DSC_0036 (2).JPG

Beautiful! I was sold.

Besides the quickness and versatility of digital there was the concept of editing. Once I mastered just how to take good quality pictures with the D5000 (which took a whopping day and a half) I was off to learn editing. I downloaded Gimp and spent hours and hours learning the craft (It did not take me a day and a half). And five years later I’m still learning things with every photo I edit. Now I rock a Nikon D7100 and three editing programs! Iv’e come a long way but I still have so much to learn. I will never set limits by calling myself a master.

Editing pictures for me is a safe way to express myself. I am a mother of three daughters. I live a safe, stable and dare I say, boring life. I don’t have the time or inclination to do drugs or engage in illegal activities. I like the safe life. But with it comes the proverbial Inner-teenage-rebel. We all have one. Don’t lie. When you see a girl (or boy) with the same outfit as you, don’t you just want to go buy one that stands out more? When your boss (or other superior) barks out an order it’s your inner-teenage-rebel that forces thoughts of mutiny into your head.

I live with this ITR a lot, simply because I am always following rules and doing things the safe way. For my family. Creating beautiful works of art that speak, provoke anger, make people think, is my way of expressing the rebel that lives inside me. I create these photo transformations for myself (Mostly because no one will pay me for photoshop madness. They only pay me for boring pictures *gag*) and because nothing feels better than looking at a side-by-side before and after of a photo creation.

Here is one of my very first edits. It’s crude and full of mistakes. Kinda like myself!

Leftheart.JPG

Oh how far Iv’e come! Thank you for joining me on this journey as I learn more techniques into photo editing and making new art. I hope you enjoy the view from inside my head (I heard it’s very squishy in there and painted with pastels)