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Skin color problem (nikon D80, CNX2, Photoshop)

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:08 AM
manta1900 manta1900 is offline
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Re: Skin color problem (nikon D80, CNX2, Photoshop

I suggest to download Auto White Balance from AphtoPhoto:

And do a batch in PhotoShop. In 99.9% of the times will find the sweet spot for you (and it's free).
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:51 AM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Posts: 320
Re: Skin color problem (nikon D80, CNX2, Photoshop


I hear you!

Color balance and color space choices are deeply held...almost a religious kind of belief (depending on where you are in your professional development... and your unique needs). So Yes...go with your Own Well Reasoned Flow. Im just mentioning the s-rgb route for those newcomers that want a thought process thats easy to understand... and easy to work with...and who dont want any hard to understand surprises.

On the other hand... If you "FORGET" to "Color Space Convert" from Adobe RGB or ProPhoto into s-RGB at the "very last step"... just before going out to the web... or some commercial printers...then... there is a good chance that your images will look "Darker and Muddier" than you expected.

I agree that some of the newer 6+ color ink printers are recently trying to expand their color gamuts by printing with so many different colors of ink. Printers that have several different shades of gray, or several magenta inks, or cyan or pure color ink... does improve the visual image over older machines with fewer colors of ink in it. But... these machines are quite expensive for the amateur hobbyist... and buying a new replacement set of special inks could cost you 100+ dollars for 25 to 40 images.

One more idea that I use all the time with the D80... to get skin colors that please me to no end. This is almost a closely held professionals secret if youre not into high end shooting.

I use a special color balancing device called the "ExpoDisk". You use this disk all the time for consistent skin tones across different sessions. It is a filter disk that goes over your lens. You use it to set a custom white balance for your camera. It produces a consistent gray image that you use to set your cameras own internal white balance with. Since each temperature of light causes a different cast in the images...this white balance filter equalizes "all color temperatures" or any mix of temperatures... into one consistent gray card image. This way, every lighting problem you have... gets "Balanced Out" at the lens...regardless of the light contamination in the scene. And now... ALL of your images will be Consistently and Accurately white balanced to begin with.

I especially use the "Warming Version" of this white balance filter to give me totally consistent, absolutely gorgeous, playboy looking skin tones from my Nikon D80. For gives me consistent flesh tones that blows my socks off...compared to fiddling with my internal tone controls and by using a generic "flash" or "daylight" or "tungsten" color balance setting. (Auto color balance is the Worst). Who's to say that my mixed lighting on location... is really at that pre-set temperature anyway? Good-by Surprises. Hello Playboy.

Here is a video link that shows you Exactly HOW TO use the expo disk for professional white balances.

For Nikons: Step by step guide to use.

For Canons: Good Before and after showing muddy tone problem.



Last edited by ray12; 12-03-2009 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:36 AM
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holgaman holgaman is offline
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Location: St. Paul, MN
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Re: Skin color problem (nikon D80, CNX2, Photoshop

I think a good apart of your skin tone problems are a result of your using CNX to convert the RAW files. Normally (on all RAW converters except CNX) the camera tone and saturation settings would be ignored when converting a RAW file, but CNX uses those camera settings when displaying it's initial view of the file. Personally, I've never liked CNX for conversion, even with camera settings at default, but that's a personal preference. Also, I've never seen the flash white balance setting look good in any RAW converter.

If you want good, accurate skin tones (or any tones for that matter), follow these steps -
-Use ACR instead of CNX to convert RAW files
-Do a custom white balance in your camera with a gray card (or, better yet, Xrite Passport)
-Take a photo of the model holding the gray card or the Passport near their face, and use that to set white balance again during the conversion. Theoretically, there shouldn't be much change, it's just a stab at further refinement.

The reason the Passport is so nice is that it not only has a gray surface to set a custom white balance, it also has a range of colors to compare with what your screen is showing. And- the really good part- is that it comes with software to make a custom camera profile that can be used with ACR or Lightroom. This little thing costs around $100.00, but just think of the time you've already spent trying to correct those red skin tones. It takes about 30 seconds to set the custom white balance and do a test with the model holding the target. If you want to also make a camera profile, that's probably another 5 minutes, still a much better investment of your time.
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