I learned this trick a couple of months ago and I have been using it all the fraggin time since. The effect is very subtle but makes a huge difference! Frany20 on Instagram once asked my what my secret was…

All it takes is the DODGE TOOL.

Photoshop Dodge Tool

Keyboard shortcut: O

Let’s start with this photo…

Photoshop Dodge Tool

Get rid of that light switch…

Photoshop Dodge Tool

Take your dodge tool…

and set it to midtones, keeping your exposure within the 10-20% range. I usually use 14-17%, personally. Then, sweep (or tap-tap-tap) it over the parts highlighted in gray…

Photoshop Dodge Tool

You can stop here…

Photoshop Dodge Tool

But sometimes, I switch the exposure to shadow

and go over some parts that I think need a bit more lightening! In this example— a bit between my eyes, over my right eye, parts of my hair, and the wall.

Photoshop Dodge Tool

Before and after, gif-style!

Photoshop Dodge Tool

Hope you learned something new and helpful!

PS: Don’t forget to sharpen (unsharp mask) your eyes.