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How to get better skin color in this photo ?

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2010, 06:13 PM
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buso23 buso23 is offline
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How to get better skin color in this photo ?

I've tried different techniques but I'm not satisfied with the results. Am I asking too much ? Can the skin color be improved in this photo ?

Also, as the model was wearing make-up on the face and not on the hands, what's the best way to equalize the skin tone ?

Thanks.

The full size can be downloaded from here:

http://www.ljsphotographyonline.com/...89746839_ZnA7E

pasword is :

retouching
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File Type: jpg IMG_3539 copy.jpg (69.9 KB, 155 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2010, 10:19 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

I find one of the most effective and intuitive ways to assess and change skin color is to temporarily convert the image to LAB Color. There is a consistent, reliable, numerical relationship between the A and B channels the whole range of skin colors.
If you look at a point on the gentleman's forehead, the A value is around 19, the B value is 27. The B value is too high (too yellow) and normally the B value would be closer to the A value.
A simple Curve Adj layer moved the values of A to 15 and B to 19 (sample 1) and for sample 2, I moved both A and B to a value of 12. However, his real color may have been more yellow or more pink, and by shifting the numbers or making the A slightly higher than B you will shift the color toward pink. As you move both numbers toward 0,0 the skin will be paler. Values of A and B never go negative. Increasing or decreasing the L channel value will keep the same hue but will make it darker or lighter.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Buso23 img_3539 MM 80-15-19.jpg (163.7 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg Buso23 img_3539 MM 80-12-12.jpg (131.1 KB, 84 views)
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2010, 02:08 AM
ShadowLight ShadowLight is offline
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

imho - the problem is with the set-lighting

in post, lower the exposure (key),
I used skin-gradient to recover/replace the skin tones
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2010, 08:39 AM
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buso23 buso23 is offline
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

Thanks guys. Shadowlight is right, the photo was overexposed, I had to dial-0.5 back of exposure in the RAW conversion and even then the skin color wasn't good and that's why I wanted to ask you about making it better.

I have questions for both of you - Murray, the LAB technique sounds interesting and I'd like to try it, but are there any general settings in regards to A and B channel as there are in CMYK mode where yellow is slightly higher than magenta and cyan is 1/3 to 1/4 the amount of yellow ?

ShadowLight, how many colors did you use in the skin gradient ? Three or two ? I like the color of the skin in the photo but the general image is way too contrasty for my taste.

Again, thanks for the help guys. Regards, Ljupco
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:43 AM
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

Ljupco, color experts will tell you that those ratios in CMYK are only rough guidelines and there are no fixed ratios. If you download one of the free Skin Color Charts on the net you will see there are about 40 primary skin tone groups. The same is true for LAB but you may find it much more intuitive as you play with the numbers.
- You only need to worry about 2 values, the A and the B for Color
- Both values are always positive with A driving toward red/magenta and B driving toward yellow
- For most skin which is in the yellow to brown tones, the value of B is a little to moderate amount higher than A.
- As A begins to be greater than B the color shifts more toward pink, like the skin of a baby.
- After playing with the numbers a little and you begin to work on real images you get an instant intuitive feel of what you need to do to correct the color or shift it to where it looks right to you.
- Usually you only need to shift the values a small amount to get your color right in the range you want. Often by adusting only a single channel. I find this faster in LAB than in RGB
- You will not incur any visible degradation going into LAB and back, which is not the case in CMYK.
Regards, Murray
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2010, 09:56 AM
robmac robmac is offline
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/...0a1e094e_z.jpg

If you are working in camera raw you could go in to the orange slider and raise the luminesance

and open as smart object copy via layer and try and match hands and mask rest of subject.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:59 AM
ShadowLight ShadowLight is offline
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buso23 View Post
ShadowLight, how many colors did you use in the skin gradient ? Three or two ? I like the color of the skin in the photo but the general image is way too contrasty for my taste.
it is probably more than 6-7
some time ago I had a shoot where I end up with very nice skin-colours (and the model had very nice complexion ) so I made a gradient to match the skin for her from the shoot.
since then I made 3-4, for different skin types
usually if I have to use them, 30-40% are enough to get me where I like to be
but here it was I think about 80%
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:26 PM
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

Hi Buso23,

There are 7 different ways to do anything in Photoshop.

I tend to like the Non-Destructive approach because the underlying skin detail is never lost... and the skins integrity is always maintained.

I also like to use advanced curves for skin color corrections. Curves are great because you can make ANY kind of skin correction live, real time and interactive...and it is non-destructive so you know the original skin detail will not be lost. Advanced use of curves is not discussed or shown often. I also like to use curves selectively...that is...I like to make the correction on just the parts of the image that I am concerned about and not everywhere else. Using selective curves allows me to "Paint on the correction" exactly where I want it, and however strong I want it.

The technique I would use in this image would be to create a new layer, do a curves layer and take down the brightness of the hand...and then color correct its color at the same time...and do it selectively with a layer mask and a soft white brush.

Sometimes its easier to show what im doing rather than telling it in words...so im going to make up a short video clip of the process. Its easier to see the method and process live so you can grasp the details better.

Here is a link to a 5 minute video clip showing how I would Fix this hand skin tone problem :

http://screencast.com/t/ZTZkMmFjNDYt

This is just one way to fix the image obviously. Using LAB or CYMK is fine also... but sometimes it is a bit mysterious because everybody likes "widely different numbers" for their favorite looking skin tones..

This skin correction technique is visual and interactive...so once you get the look YOU want...then you stop. You can always go back and continue to make adjustments with this technique even after you have saved and re-opened the image.

Cheers,

Last edited by ray12; 09-22-2010 at 08:53 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2010, 08:56 PM
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

Ljupco, it was not clear to me if you wanted the face to match the hands or the hands to match the face. If it is the latter, the you can follow Ray's great video, but you should also try the Adj curve in LAB to compare.
The quick select tool can select the hands in a few seconds. You will notice that the avg luminosity of the face and hand are pretty much equal so you should be able to adjust the color without needing to change the lightness.
In LAB I moved the A up from 10 to 15 (input / output) and moved the B input 19 to output 24. The whole process took about 1 minute. You can get to the same destination using RGB, CMYK, or LAB. Each person finds their own comfort zone after some experimentation, so I would encourage you to explore all 3 and see what feels comfortable for you.
Regards, Murray
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2010, 10:27 PM
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Juergen D Juergen D is offline
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Re: How to get better skin color in this photo ?

Here is my take... (if it passes inspection I'll say what I did )

Thanks,
Juergen
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