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Suggestion on informative text for color consistency?

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Old 11-28-2004, 07:15 PM
vanrogers vanrogers is offline
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Suggestion on informative text for color consistency?

Hi guys. Just joined and had a question about finding a good text to read that might help me with color consistency and management. I do a lot of editorial work and I find more than anything I'm having problems with skin tones, some too warm, some too cool, green, etc. What's worse is I find myself thinking the skin tones look normal until i see it published and then i look at my original file and see an obvious color cast that I hadn't seen while retouching. Even when doing white balance while shooting I still have these problems.

The only other major issue i'm running into is time management as it pertains to digital post production and workflow. I am spending as much time editing and doing minor color corrections to the images in a shoot before submitting to a client than the actual shoot itself and I'm starting to think I need to find some information on helping me speed things up while maintaining the best quality.

any help would be much appreciated.

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Old 11-29-2004, 05:49 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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From your description, it sounds as though your montior is not calibrated. I would frist suggest looking into the Spyder or Monaco systems for this.
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:09 PM
cisco cisco is offline
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"Color Confidence" by Tim Grey is a book I'd recommend. And I agree with Vikki re: monitor calibration (although my personal pick is the Eye-One Match system).
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:17 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Dan Margulis' book is written for people in your exact position. There are also new books out by Bruce Frasier and Andrew Rodney. I haven't read either, but I respect both of them as masters of color management.
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:29 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Another one to consider is Photoshop Color Correction by Michael Kieran. Actually the technical editor is also Bruce Frasier.

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Old 12-06-2004, 12:45 AM
bluhighway bluhighway is offline
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Skin Tones


Ah, the age old problem of getting skin tones to look right. As a portrait photographer and retoucher I'm faced with similar issues.

Here are some things I've learned.

1: Get yourself a Gretag Macbeth Color chart, and shoot your model with the chart held close to the face (once you have your lighting set up, exposure set, etc). Get this shot early on - I find taking it while my model is loosening up insures that I don't have the chart in the photo when I finally get that "magic" shot. (This is part of the method I learned from the book I mention in #3)

2: Though you don't mention your camera/ lighting/ meter, etc - it sounds as though you might have White Balance issues, too. Using Custom White Balance for every session will at least get you in the ball park.

3: I've read several of the books mentioned above, but recently stumbled on one that had the perfect solution. It's called "Adobe Photoshop CS - the Art Of Photographing Women" by Kevin Ames and Scott Kelby. The second chapter, titled "Color Balance By the Numbers" gives a solution that will immediately fix your problem. I picked my copy up used on Amazon for $15 bucks.

4: Shoot RAW, and use the RAW converter built into CS. RAW is the ONLY way to go. It allows you to change your white balance after the shot. And to maximize your RAW shots, buy a book called "Real World Camera RAW" By Bruce Fraser. There's quite a bit of info on color balancing in it as well, and it's by FAR the best way to get the most from your camera.

5: And last, I recently bought a plug in called "Skin Tune" that is REALLY cool. Next to Neat Image, it's about the best $50 I've spent on software.

Good luck to you. I look forward to seeing your work!

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