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Color Palette + Skin

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:11 AM
matricularse matricularse is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Color Palette + Skin

Long time lurker, first post. That said :

I'm trying to figure out how to achieve a similar color palette & skintone in-camera (oh great, not another!)

Guesses about photo on the left (tonality&color.jpg) :
- nikon vivid camera profile or similar
- lit with direct, soft light for highlights on the skin

My photos(myattempts.jpg) usually end up being "drab," like the photo on the right or end up looking over saturated.

I've tried hue/sat, but with little success....

What can I do to maximize getting close to the final look in-camera?
If it's not possible or is easier to do it in post, can you point me in the right direction?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tonality&color.jpg (97.7 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg myattempts.jpg (96.5 KB, 96 views)
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:01 AM
artofretouching's Avatar
artofretouching artofretouching is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Haven, Ct
Posts: 67
Re: Color Palette + Skin

Woman on left is fine. Girl on right needs a little more light drama (she is too flat). How about selecting the skin and adjusting the curves for contrast. Maybe a warming adjustment layer. Personally, I would do it all in Camera Raw.

For the woman, I would suggest another frame without glasses that you can copy/paste inside the frames, so that they would not be so dark, or with shadow from the frame.

Lastly, a light bit of dodge and burn could help. You are not far off at all though.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:02 AM
edgework edgework is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 494
Re: Color Palette + Skin

I'm not a photographer, but I do a lot of 3d renders and so lighting is an issue that I constantly grapple with. You said it yourself: your shots are dead. I would say shapeless, and I'd look at the way you're lighting your shots.

Someone else can be far more precise than me about equipment specifics but you'll go far just by paying attention to how you position your lights. In your first goal shot, note the highlight on his arm, his upper back and neck, and the edges of her face, around her eye and cheek. That light is coming from above, behind and to your right. Another light, seemingly not as bright, is positioned in front and to the left, emphasizing the back region of her hair, her back and his face. Voila! Shape. If we see highlight and shadow, the brain fills in the 3d contours all on its own. There is no variation along the surface of your models. You're lighting to see, not to sculpt.

The second shot: if you can't see the difference in how your goal image is lit, compared to your own, you're in the wrong business. In your shot there is no difference in lighting from one side of your model's face to the other. There are, in fact, no highlights or shadows, just one, bland uniform lighting intensity, as though she got hit with identical flashes from all directions at once.

Rule of thumb: shadows are your friend. They are how we know something has shape. Highlights are what will add drama and character to your image.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:46 AM
Pics2 Pics2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 75
Re: Color Palette + Skin

Corbis pictures you refer to are lit by natural light (window light) with white reflectors added to light up shadows a bit (or there are large white walls all around) - my guess. Like Artofretouching said, probably Raw not jpg, and a bit of warming added. Also, good quality optics can do wonders by the way they are handling natural light.
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