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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Skin tone color correction

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  #11  
Old 08-31-2005, 08:26 AM
leuallen leuallen is offline
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I don't follow what you mean by blow out the windows. In this case the windows are blown out, nothing you can do about it.

I would prefer if I were shooting the picture in the studio and had control of the lights, to place the window exposure so that it would print at about 248. I dislike white backgrounds that are printed at 255. It is too stark. There should be a touch of tonality there. Maybe it is my background. I used to work with an internally known wedding portrait photographer, know for his hi key full length brides. He used 4x5, tungsten light, daylight film with balancing filter, and about 12 lights. His backgrounds had tonality, a creamy look, that was absolutely beautiful.

Try printing a white background hi key with large white borders. At 255 you cannot tell where the image stops and border begins. At 245-48, there is a slight demarcation. It looks much better.

The windows in this image fall into this category.

Now back to color balancing. In this case, it is unimportant the exact shade of the curtains and their shadows, as long as the color is not too far off. My color balance as a magenta bias in the curtains. If it were important to have accurate background colors, I would first balance for the skin tones. Then place an adjustment layer above the image and balance for the background. This would throw the skintones off, right. So use the adjustment layer mask, and a soft, large, black brush, and paint in the skintone areas. The black will hide the background color adjustment and let the original skintone balance show through. This is really fairly simple as the mask does not have to be very accurate.

I recently did a similar technique, but with saturation. A family group outdoors in shade with full sun behind. These were farm people, so the mens complextion was very red, the women much less so, and the children lily white. Some of the women has on bright red outfits. My camera tends to oversaturate reds, so a color balanced image had too much saturation in the mens faces and red outfits, while the childred looked good. I reduce saturation by about 6% using the channel mixer method. Then applied a mask and painted in the childrens skin tones and any other areas that needed more saturation. Took maybe 5 min. and the picture was much improved. There was much more balance between the men and children.

Point is that you have to sometimes consider saturation as well as color balance.

Larry
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2005, 06:56 PM
mdavis mdavis is offline
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I have gotten away from reliance on the droppers unless I "know" I have a "pure white" or "pure black". Neutral grays are also often scarce in photos outside of concrete and tires.

The main subject of this image is the skin tone and hair. If that looks "right" then the picture is "good". Don't force an off color cast by assuming curtains are neutral (unless you know them to be) or by picking some other object that will adversely influence an accurate color balance.

Fleshtones vary, of course, but a dark skin will be somewhere around 15C/50M/65Y. Lighter skin Caucasians around 6C/30M/35Y. Hispanic or Asian skin runs around the same as Caucasian with maybe a touch more yellow. African-American skin varies all over the place, with lighter skin comparable to Hispanics and yellow higher than magenta. As the skin darkens, magenta and yellow come closer together with no limit for cyan and black.

One of the neatest tools for working with skintones is a Photoshp plug in called Curvemeister that I've found to be quick and easy. The new version 2 has "pins" of varying skintone colors that can be used like the black/white/neutral droppers in PS to adjust skintones as you would neutralize concrete to gray. By having accurate pins for several common objects (skin, blue sky, etc.) you can avoid hunting in vain for that true neutral gray that never seems to be there when you need it.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2009, 08:29 AM
lynnns lynnns is offline
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Re: Skin tone color correction

I just signed up here hoping someone can help me. Every time I get a pic of my husband his skin is too red. He has very red skin, and even the tan looks red. How would I go about giving him "normal" skin colour? Also, how do you get rid of tan lines? I'm attaching a pic that I have been working on.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2009, 10:26 AM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Skin tone color correction

Lynnns,

What you have to do is correct each part separately by masking. Once you get the color right, you can deal with the un-even tan with dodge and burn. I used a new layer filled with 50% grey set to softlight blending mode. Then painted with a 8% opacity brush, white to lighten and black to darken. You should be able to do a better job with the larger picture.

The number 1 is to create a mask if its not already there.
Number 2 is to make adjustments (like the hue/sat) in a new layer.

In the mask, Black for hide, white to show. Just click on it to activate the mask then paint. If a spot needs only a little correction, then paint with a low opacity brush.

Good luck,
-Keven
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Last edited by igot2pman; 01-22-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2009, 10:30 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Skin tone color correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnns View Post
I just signed up here hoping someone can help me. Every time I get a pic of my husband his skin is too red. He has very red skin, and even the tan looks red. How would I go about giving him "normal" skin colour? Also, how do you get rid of tan lines? I'm attaching a pic that I have been working on.
Lynnns, welcome to RetouchPro. Have a look around and enjoy. Nice to have you onboard.

You might want to start your own "New Thread" in the Image Help area located HERE.

Posting a larger image would be helpful along with what type of retouching software you have available to use, will help focus the tips to the programs you have available to work with.

Just to whet your appetite... a very quick sample, using PS7, of what you can do...
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2009, 10:51 AM
lynnns lynnns is offline
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Re: Skin tone color correction

Thanks so much. I will play around with this and see what I can do.
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