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Adjusting Overall Tone

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  #1  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:10 AM
Setcamper Setcamper is offline
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Adjusting Overall Tone

First post, I apologize if this is too basic of a question or if I've attached my sample incorrectly.

I'm wondering what is the proper/most ideal way to change the overall tone/color of an image. Very common technique that I see a lot in commercial photography and gaining a ton of momentum in the wedding/event world. I understand setting the contrast with curves/levels and making the images "pop" but it's holding those values and then changing the tone I struggle with.

I've attached some subtle before and after examples I pulled from a recent Fstoppers video to demonstrate what I'm talking about

I've tried gradient maps and photo filters but the effect usually seems too harsh and I end up crushing shadow detail. What's the correct way to make these small, but significant color tweaks?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Color01.jpg (77.8 KB, 113 views)
File Type: png Color02_2.png (84.7 KB, 87 views)
File Type: png Color03.png (88.6 KB, 75 views)
File Type: png Color04.png (82.1 KB, 77 views)
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:23 AM
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Greg Curran Greg Curran is offline
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Re: Adjusting Overall Tone

they don't look like a simple tweak to me, some retouching and isolation color work has been done there.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:26 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Adjusting Overall Tone

Setcamper, welcome to RetouchPro. I agree with Greg. These are not simple global adjustments. It looks like curves have been applied separately and selectively to different channels. For example if you Ctrl+Click on the R channel, then go back to the composite image and jump that selection to a new layer, you will have primarily the skin and hair to which you can apply curve adj to shift the tone. Repeat the same for the blue channel (and / or in some cases Green).
Regards, Murray
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:53 AM
Setcamper Setcamper is offline
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Re: Adjusting Overall Tone

Mistermonday, I think I understand what you mean, but want to double check. I'm on a Mac, so I want to use command+click on the red channel which will make a selection, correct? (Ctrl+click, as you directed, on my machine just gives me the option to duplicate the channel, which doesn't sound right).

I then duplicate that selection of the red channel, which sits over my original image layer, and apply a curve layer adjustment. Should I be playing with the entire RGB channel, or just the individual red channel?
I tried playing with one of the shots I posted above. I made a separate layer for each channel and tweaked each channel inside that layer. All those curves were starting to make my head spin.

http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/8930/testpv.png

Are there any tutorials or resources you could point me to that talk about curve adjustments in specific channels? I better go read up on curves in general.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:05 PM
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Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
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Re: Adjusting Overall Tone

Chris Orwig has an excellent section on curves at Lynda.com

section 14. is curves

Last edited by Nasturtium; 07-08-2010 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:14 PM
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Re: Adjusting Overall Tone

Setcamper, on a Mac it would be Command+Click. And yes that selection will sit in the layer above the orig image (background layer). Think about how you want to shift the color. If you want to make the skin less yellow you could just pull the Blue curve up or you could pull the R and G curves down. You will usually only need to move one or two curves. It's something you just need to play with and you will discover fairly quickly how the tones shift with the different channels. You can also have the curve affect the entire image or you could clip the curve only to that new layer.
Curves are just one way to reach your goal. You may find in some cases Hue/Sat adj layer or a Selective Color Adj layer will also do the job for you.
There are thousands of sites offering free PS tutorials if you google Photoshop Curve Tutorial. There is some very good training sites like Lynda.com which are very reasonably priced.
By the way, from your test image, it appears you are well on your way. You took that image in the right direction.
Regards, Murray
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