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Color correcting skin tones and WB in Photoshop

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Old 08-13-2011, 01:31 PM
santoro80 santoro80 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 221
Re: Color correcting skin tones and WB in Photosho

I will be more specific in my query. My father gave a photo whith a weird colors and told me to do somehing with it. My monitor is not calibrated (I know I should have calibrateds monitor, but I dont), so I cant rely on my eyes. I need numbers. LAB mode sound interesting. I dont have any reference. I dont know what is good reference for this.
Since I dont have the mentioned picture anymore, I tried to open a random portrait and I tried to deliberately shift the color. Than I checked the values of the original picture in LAB and tried to replicate it on the color shifted picture. The values of the original skin were L:71/a:16/b:13. When I adjusted the color shifted image to this values (with curves), the color were not the same... So maybe I'm doing something wrong or problably I dont know what I am doing at all
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:40 PM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 583
Re: Color correcting skin tones and WB in Photosho

Originally Posted by santoro80 View Post
My father gave a photo whith a weird colors and told me to do somehing with it. My monitor is not calibrated
This is control tower alpha-beta calling flight santoro80. Did we understand you right that there is no pilot on board and we need to attempt an instrument landing? First order of business: Are you estate documents in order?

Hi Santoro80
Sounds like you are flying blind a bit. From your description you may not have just a white balance issue that will yield to the normal techniques. Also, depending on how you color shifted your test image, these techniques may not work either. Here are some suggestions

Take this is a two step process.

1) Fix the gross color issues by using setting the Black, Gray, and White points in the image with those samplers in a Curves Adjustment Layer. This of course assumes that you know where in the image there are neutral color points for highlights, midtones, and shadows.

2) After step 1, then use one of the techniques already described. The one I have had good luck with is documented in this thread:

That technique is done in RGB mode yet using the info panel with a sample point set to CMYK. Since the technique uses relative values of CMYK, it does pretty good without having to worry about absolute Lab color numbers.

Any technique will be a little rough flying since you do not have a color caliberated workflow yet you should be able to survive the landing. Good luck. Roger and out
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:59 AM
cspringer cspringer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 135
Digital Grey Card Action

Download here....

CSpringer's Digital Grey Card Action

This is a short tutorial that explains some of the steps I take
with this action but keep in mind that like ALL Photoshop
edits, it DOES NOT work on every picture. If a photo does not
have a color cast it will introduce one. I find the biggest problem
people are having is thinking that there is a color issue when
in fact a little PWL, Levels or Curves to brighten the picture does the trick.

Assign a shortcut "F" key.

***IMPORTANT*** Run this action on an "uncropped original" image. It needs all of the color info from the original and introducing colors or a new cast will not work. Also, I find that I usually reduce the layer's opacity to 50% to blend with the original cast.

Open a file and run the action. Click the Color Bar at the top
of your picture with the Neutral (middle) Eyedropper.

You will see a "Contrast" layer that is disabled. The Levels on
this layer is in "NORMAL" blend mode vs. the "NO CONTRAST"
default layer which is in "COLOR" mode (does not affect
luminosity). If you like the outcome...great. However,
you might find it introduces the opposite color cast. Simply lower
the opacity until you are happy with the skin tones, leaves, etc.
and use the mask for blending.

The Color Tweak Group are also in "Color" blend mode
so it doesn't affect luminosity. I often use the Selective Color
Adjustment Layer for skin tones. The CYAN slider will add or reduce
RED and I usually add a bit of YELLOW.

The Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer is used to adjust colors on
larger areas such as walls. A white/off white wall may still show
a color cast and by choosing EDITthe color...i.e, RED) and then
clicking with the eyedropper and adjusting the color bars at the
bottom, I can neutralize the RED or change colors. Use the mask
if needed.

If I don't like the outcome of the the "Contrast" or "No Contrast" layers
I disable both and use the COLOR TWEAK adjustment layers and
play with opacities and masks.

Here are examples supplied by fellow dpreviewers kennett, mrsbob, and Shaolin101
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