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CMYK skin tone recipe problems

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  #1  
Old 12-08-2009, 07:10 PM
kkamin kkamin is offline
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CMYK skin tone recipe problems

I've learned a good place to start for Caucasian skin tones is:
C: between 1/3 to 1/5 of Yellow
M: Magenta and Yellow are close, yet
Y: Yellow is higher than magenta
K: 0

questions:

1. I shoot a lot of low key portraits where I don't have a diffused highlight on the skin bright enough to give me a good reading. It seems like my Cyan number ends up being higher and that throws off the recipe. How do I deal with this?

2. Sometimes in normal key photographs I can't get the recipe to work. It tells me over many sampling points that I need more red, but when I add more red the skin looks way too red. Has anyone experienced things like this? Any strategies for dealing with it?
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:44 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

one tip.... assuming you're working on a calibrated monitor and all that, use your eye first, then numbers second.

sometimes we think too much and shy away from the overall look and aesthetic.

in low key, although i am not a shooter, i know the style and look, and normally there is a higher amount of cyan due to the shape and density of the image. my advice for any color correcting you do, is to do in moderation at first. let's say you make a mask of the skin and you pull a curve layer and add a little warmth into your skin...adjust it slightly, instead of forcing your numbers to always read "7/29/38/0"..etc...

hope this general advice helps.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:46 PM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

This only works when the lighting in the image is relatively neutral. What kind of picture ended up too red?
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:52 PM
kkamin kkamin is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

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Originally Posted by mikedimples View Post
This only works when the lighting in the image is relatively neutral. What kind of picture ended up too red?
Normal studio shot using strobes. White balance fairly close.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:55 PM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

Hmm... think you could post the shot? I'm curious.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:55 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

Forget about CMYK for a moment and try LAB or set the 2nd readout in the info palette to LAB. You need only look at the relationship between the A and B channels for color.
Regard, Murray
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:00 PM
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

Also, different parts of the face are different colors. The forehead, cheekbones, and other areas where the skin is over bone are more yellow. Fleshy areas like the nose and cheeks have more red. Areas around under the eyes tend to have cooler violets and purples. On men, the areas where the beard grows have more blue.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:47 PM
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csuebele csuebele is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

I would also say go with your eyes first. In a low key portrait, your tones should represent skin tones that are more in shadows, which are cooler. Everything is relative. As Dean Collins used to say: "Are the valleys low, or the mountains high?"
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:17 PM
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gene_spark gene_spark is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

I did a little Calculation with the colour Picker.
First type in the "normal" Skin Values say: 20 50 60 0 then look at the Lab values its translated on my system to 65 22 32, So your skin is to dark, that means that only the Luminence level has to change...so clik on an typical part in the Picture: the Lab numbers changed than type in the color for the "right" skin here 22 and 32 and now you see the right skincolors but darker ....hope that will help.
lg.
Gene
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:42 AM
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mikedimples mikedimples is offline
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Re: CMYK skin tone recipe problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by csuebele View Post
In a low key portrait, your tones should represent skin tones that are more in shadows, which are cooler.
Generally, cool shadows come with warm highlights. If it's a low key portrait with a cool light source, the shadows would be warm (unless other lighting factors come into play).
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