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How to achieve this skin tones look

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  • How to achieve this skin tones look


    I bumped up on this image where I believe the retouch must be really simple. Yet, the skin tones look great for a picture like this:

    I see that the color palete is really on the browinsh side. The author claims to shoot jpeg in camera and the apply little retouch. I believe ther must be some dodge and burn between to make the model gently pop over the background. I don't think there was any skin softening, there was? Retouching from a 8 bit jpeg (adobe rgb) must be just a fine tuning...

    You think one can set a brownish bias in camera?


  • #2
    Re: How to achieve this skin tones look

    I've answered a lot of similar questions. The best advice I can give you is to find something with similar lighting. You may be able to locate an appropriate image on modelmayhem. Once you find one, start trying to match this. Make sure you keep this image up side by side.

    You are likely to get better results if you make a couple serious attempts before asking questions. It will lend insight to your questions.

    Anyway the girl is clearly tan. It's much easier to start with if you have that.

    A brown bias sounds like you mean something like a warming or sepia filtration. I don't think you'll be pleased with the results. Overusing canned effects often leads to an image where parts are oversaturated or poorly differentiated.

    A jpeg saved as sRGB or AdobeRGB doesn't make this any more difficult if your exposure and white balance settings are decent. Consider that at one point people worked with film scans and didn't have a real equivalent to raw files Unadjusted drumscans are pretty flat, but they do not behave the same way. People still achieved stuff like this.

    I'll tell you how I would approach it. I would keep this up as reference. I would find an image with similar lighting. I would most likely bring the shadows down very slightly with the curves tool to get that sharp shadow. I would probably get that color balance using the end points on curves and the color balance tool, especially using the shadow portion. If those are insufficient, I would use channel mixer.

    I would mask out the skin if it isn't quite right. The skintone is something a viewer will use as a reality check. If it looks off, it won't work. You may or may not be able to achieve the desired effect without masking. It's inconsequential whether the guy that shot this was able to do so. You will have a different image shot in a different place with a different model. You adjust based on what you have available.

    Other things to note are that it's a full length shot. It may not require much skin work, because given lighting and proximity her skin should already look smooth. Sunglasses, jewelry, and bikini may have been adjusted to get the right level of detail. Background was probably adjusted a little. He certainly cleaned up some of the flyaway hairs. I think he retouched the elbow and cheek a bit. His story is certainly plausible.


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