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Attention to COLOR for Fashion

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  • Attention to COLOR for Fashion

    For a long time now I've been very focused on the retouching of an image when it comes to fixes the imperfections, skin work, blemishes and all that good stuff. I think I have that part down. Now I'm starting focus on the overall adjustments of the images and to me that means COLOR. I want to perfect the way I use color in my fashion shots. I'm a big fan of the desaturated, warm tones that you see all over the places in magazines, especially the editorials where the models are lit mostly with natural light. I really want to achieve this look.

    I get decent results with some cross processing and I know about adjusting the Blue channel in curves where you add blues to the shadows and pump the yellows in the highlights. Combining this with some desaturation gets close but I feel like there's something else im missing.

    Here are a couple of examples from someones portfolio but I'm seeing these colors pop of everywhere now. I need to master this!



  • #2
    Re: Attention to COLOR for Fashion

    I'd start with setting the white balance in camera raw, get it neutral to remove any color casts, and then warm it up just a bit.
    One thing that I do after that, I open it on photoshop cs5, add a black and white adjustment layer. Then go through each slider and get a nice black and white, you can really really work with the tonality of the photo that way ... bring certain colors up or down. Then I'll lower the opacity of the adjustment layer to 15%-25%. This desaturates the photo slightly while still affecting the colors that you brought up or down in the b&w adjustment layer.

    You mentioned playing with the blues and yellows with curves, there's another way to get similar result. Add a levels adjustment layer, from the drop down box, change it from RGB to Blue. This way you're just working with the blues. Then at the output levels at the bottom, drag the white slider to the left a little and the black slider to the right about the same amount. It does the same effect of adding yellow to the highlights and blue to the shadows.

    There's really no one way to do this, I've seen it done with curves layers, color balance layers, and some all in camera raw. I think the best bet for a good starting point is to warm it up in camera raw first. Then Play around with the b&w adjustment layer thing that I mentioned. May get you close.


    • #3
      Re: Attention to COLOR for Fashion

      Thanks for the explanation. I gave it some thought and realized that I could figure out what the color adjustments are of almost any picture on the web.

      Here's what I did:

      I find a fashion image that I wan't to figure out the color adjustments. The images has to have a neutral grey or white reference point. I open the image in PS and using the Sample color tool, I look for an area that I know is white, making sure that the area is not blown out and still has some detail. I can do this by referencing a Threshold adjustment layer. Once I do this I select that color area and create a curves layer. What I do is bring that area back to white using curves. Once the area is back to white, the image looks as it would without any color tones added. If I reverse what I did to get it to white, that's exactly what they used to get the color.

      Does that make any sense? LOL


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