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Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

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  • Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

    Hi all,

    Quick background; I've been lurking for a while but this is my first post so go easy on me. I'm here to improve my retouching/ps skills but I'm a photographer first and foremost. However, I still want to master this side of the artform so I spend a lot of my free time trying to learn the proper techniques rather than quick fixes.

    Recently I've been drawn to fashion photography as I adore the use of colour, the beauty and balance of the finished image. Just a few random examples;

    Specifically, I love that fact that all the colours in each image match and sit perfectly and I know that this is no lucky accident. I can appreciate that a massive amount of work goes into choosing a theme, clothes, textures and an overall tone in the conceptual stage.

    However, there are some instances where you don't have any control over the locations and subject matter but still want the tones to match.

    I'm going to toss up an image I took yesterday here for an example. Now before anyone jumps on me, I know this isn't a fashion image. It's just a quick snap I took yesterday and a base to try things out.

    My goal was to balance the tones in the image using localised colour tweaks rather than a global whacking great curve. I tried to balance the colour of my subject and the setting by sampling colour off Bailey and blending it into the background colours. I selected specific regions using either then pen tool or the colour range method.

    I then experimented adjusting the colour using either Hue/saturation, a colour fill layer of the desired colour in colour blending mode, and gradient maps in the same manner.

    I'm guessing I also could have used a curves adjustment layer to do this also.

    Below are the results;

    So, as most on here are far more advanced than myself please could let me know if this is an effective or even the correct technique? Are there any other methods you could suggest for me to try? I found that the hue/saturation method took a lot of messing about to get the desired tone. My favourite of the three by far was the colour fill.

    Any help/guidance and critique would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

    I think you have the right idea going, it all depends on the photo you are working with, I would suggest using curves and levels (which is the same thing) Dodge and burning is always a good way to go also... coloring some of the shadows with a gradient map would be a good start too, just double click on the adjustment layer and us the "blend if" option to make the color only appear in the shadows


    • #3
      Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

      Hi, it's nice to know I'm roughly on the right track. I completely forgot about the 'blend if' sliders. Thanks! Another trick to try.

      I'm presuming a method vaguely similar to what I described is used in the following images as the skin tones blend very nicely with the settings...



      • #4
        Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

        I feel interest with what you did. I make luminance mask when I wanna fill color. Curves or Level also. But always desaturation first.
        How about contrast? How did you control it?


        • #5
          Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

          For the contrast I just boosted the midtones with a luminance mask applied to preserve the highlights and shadows...I didn't think of adding a luminance mask to the colour fill however, I'll give that a try.


          • #6
            Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

            This thread's been kicking around for more than year now. You probably won't like it.


            • #7
              Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

              Thanks for the link but I've already enjoyed/read that thread numerous times. I started this one with the intention of being slightly more specific as the other one went off in a few different directions. My intention was to see if the method I was using was in the right ballpark and if there were any other techniques that would do a better job.

              From reading the excellent post by 'djsoulglo' in the thread below I can see that it's essentially the way to go, but a feck load more artistic insight and skill is required.




              • #8
                Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

                I can't see "after" by 'djsoulglo' but what do you think with his layer adjustment? He use 111 curves layer for matching color? So curious....


                • #9
                  Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

                  There is no after. Sadly we're now messing around with the images to make sure the copy reads on all ads, after changing the design when everything was done.

                  Oh.... deadlines, I love the noise they make when they come wooshing by.


                  • #10
                    Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments


                    As a general thing. "How is this look achieved"

                    You start with a RAW file, it will be shot and sometimes be amazing out of camera, or it will be not so good and then there's a lot of work.

                    You start in the RAW converter. Getting a nice processed image. No areas blowing out, good balance between dark/light. I usually only try to get a neutral-ish image out of RAW, so that I can add the color later.

                    Then you comp in hair/clothes/heads/background whatever they want. This is also when image extensions first rear their ugly head. So basically the image is shot as a regular photo, but we need a really wide version for billboards, so you add background and that type of stuff.

                    Then you clean up the image. Why people don't just sweep the floor? I don't know, but that's now your job. Fix the skin a bit, take out the worst wrinkles and anything that catches your eye.

                    Now you have a reasonably clear image.

                    Then you start doing color. So Color Balance/Curves/Levels/Selective Color/Hue_Sat/etc. There is no real recipe for succes. Most looks can just be achieved via a combination of those things.

                    Localised color adjustment: easy-peasy. Quickmask. Set it up so you brush in "selected areas", make it a nice weird color (I use bright green) and just grab a brush use different Flow (usually from 3%, 10% or 100%) and just quickly (and roughly) brush in where you want the adjustment, press Q again and make a curve or whatever and tweak it.

                    I am not joking when I say using this method you can get most looks. All you need to do is experiment.

                    Color Balance can be used in Midtones/Shadows/Hilights. 1 Curve not doing the trick? Just use another one. Yes I use a lot of them, but it's usually a quick process.

                    Try and be organised. I don't label all layers, but I always label my groups with names and colors.

                    My 2 cents.


                    • #11
                      Re: Fashion Toning - Localised Colour Adjustments

                      Thanks for your post! Since I saw your layer stack in the the other thread a light-bulb went on for me and I've been beavering away at snaps in a more artistic manner. Specifically thinking about each items luminosty, colour and contrast and tweaking until it looks right both on it's own and in the image as a whole. It feels so much more creative! Before that I got into the habit of editing images in the same step by step process, with mainly gloablised adjustments. It's interesting that you use the quick mask for your selections and I guess roughly using the brush adds a slight natural feather to them. Anyway, thanks for the insight, it's much appreciated.



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