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Help: Color Correction / Banding / Tone

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  • Help: Color Correction / Banding / Tone

    Hey guys,

    I've been through a big project here, it's a 6 spread fashion editorial, 12 individuals shots that will make a composition of 6 major images.

    This shoot was suppose to run in a low key tech, but it wasn't and now Im bringing back some details hidden in the shadows, but I can't go further. (some comments about it? do u think i can go further?)

    One of my problems now it's concerning this color banding on her legs, unfortunately u can't see the details using this attachments but if someone is available to a private chat I can share my files.

    My profile is set ProPhoto RGB / 16 bits

    This photo has: D&B, global correction and pixel level correction.

    I need to understand how to correct it, even the colors but keeping the skin details that was preserved.

    Note: I tried to put noise and some FS in some areas but didnt work as I expected.

    If someone has questions let me know. Thank you very much!

    The images you have:
    - How was shot (the raw as it shows here)
    - First color correction
    - Rt version
    - Close to her legs.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Help: Color Correction / Banding / Tone

    The 3rd iamge looks pretty good, it is a very low quality JPEG for the forum, so I can't tell if the banding is real or just here, but either way legs are not the main focus point.

    Here are some suggestions from ground up:

    fix toe nails and make shoes more similar to one another
    make rope perfect by cloning, warping... and make it more symmetrical
    make hair cleaner
    clean up the face and make up a bit more
    reduce smile lines
    shade everything

    But main things really are the rope and the hair. Hope I helped.
    Also, don't work on 8bit, that will always give you banding on clean surfaces.


    • #3
      Re: Help: Color Correction / Banding / Tone

      I'm going to try to make this a short post. Prophoto RGB export is a terrible idea here, and you don't even use it correctly. If you did you wouldn't have saved jpegs without converting over in 16bpc mode, which is why I still see banding. You would have seen it initially due to the issue of drawing that stupid space. It's a hack to store a very wide gamut in a gamma encoded space. It's not well suited for general purpose work for a myriad of reasons, which I won't go into at the moment. The problem is you're making this harder on yourself, which isn't what you want to do right now.

      Okay as for the image and laugh lines and everything, google for anatomical reference material, or hit something like or whatever its artist reference equivalent is (can't recall the name). I can tell you have no idea what to do there just by looking at the lower part of the knees. Comparing to reference material as you work can tell you if something looks weird, and that should help you get through this.

      The background just isn't working here. That is actually the place I would start, because you have to make some determination of how it should frame her here. I think without that it will be difficult to judge an appropriate density for the legs, and you will end up overdoing them. Even in the retouched version, it doesn't work. You have a bright spot at the bottom leading you off the page, which just doesn't work here. You can try different things as you like, but the densities there will affect what you can get away with in terms of the densities of the legs. Looking at it again, I think you may have a difficult time with this background. Look at other images for reference. You don't want something completely flat, because a lot of image space is taken up by the background. You don't want something that leads you away from the subject, which you have now.

      A couple notes on the legs. First off is that if they're going to be brighter, you're going to also have to give their lighting more shape. They're flat, because they were buried in shadow. The splotches of green and other colors are color noise. You can clone in color mode on the appropriate layer to fix that. I don't know your layer setup, so "right" may be subjective. If you have a background copy layer that holds things like cloning, use that. Otherwise it's possible to use a blank layer set to mode color. It's the easiest way I know to clear up bits of color noise. Just be gentle with it and use a reasonably small brush. Don't try to do these things at the pixel level. It takes forever, and sometimes the results can be worse.

      When you get some of the framing aspects in place, I think you should really emphasize the face makeup and the accessories, excluding the shoes. The shoes are terrible, because they don't fit her well. It's not that uncommon of an issue, but her toes are really bunched and you have that part in the back that didn't stay in place. The nail polish is also ugly. I would just avoid emphasizing the feet too much, but I think you can make this work using the rest of it.


      • #4
        Re: Help: Color Correction / Banding / Tone

        Agreed on the backrop, the brightest part should be somewhere in her mid to upper torso, not on her feet. That would go under "shade everything".
        Remember that wherever the biggest contrast is, that's where the attention will go.
        Also, thanks klev, I've skipped the ProPhoto part. Use the good old Adobe RGB; only reason to use another profile like CMYK is if the client has a really distinctive printing process, and that's really something you only do for backlit billboards and stuff like that.


        • #5
          Re: Help: Color Correction / Banding / Tone

          We'd have to start from the beginning which is that the lighting sucks. It's not how a proper low key is done if you decide to show the whole body because you're going to loose a lot of details on pretty much everything below the waist and that's exactly what has happened here. Granted you're pretty much done and cannot re-shoot the images so you have to work with what you have.

          I'll sum up what I would do in a few points:

          1) Darken the floor. It doesn't work for a "spot light circle" kind of effect because the lighting is not definitive in that matter; get rid of it because it draws too much attention. I would say it kind of defeats of

          2) I would tilt the picture a few degress to the right because it does not look leveled off to me - but it's just an impression. Might be wrong though.

          3) The legs. They require work, that's for sure and the reason being they look flat. Now this is the part when the lighting screwed the job because they just are at the edge of shade and there isn't much of a contrast. If you want to pop them out a bit give a contrast boost and then shape'm better to achieve vertical contuinuity of light and shade throughout the leg. Now you would like to do this on location either with a bigger light source or a strip box but we don't have the luxury do do so, do we.

          4) I would straighten out her makeup on the forehead. It's not a beauty shot and it is not that clearly visible that these irregular lines are intentional - I would go for something more geometric instead of a painted like look. Again this is a matter of personal preference like the 2) but it's what I'd do.

          Now regarding the color it's per taste so I'll just leave that out of the equation.


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