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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 12 Mar 2012 (Monday) 16:16
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Backlighting and skin tone

 
YankeeMom
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Mar 12, 2012 16:16 |  #1

I love to have a bit of backlighting with my portraits and found a great opportunity yesterday, but I still struggle a bit with color. I love the warmth of the light, but not a face that is too orange or too yellow. I know it's what is naturally happening via the sun, but I would love some tips for keeping or creating a more "peaches and cream" color to her face. I only use Lightroom, but I got PSE (I just haven't learned much about it yet.) Is it possible to do any more than I've done with just LR3? I worked on it quite a bit (desaturaing the face, color levels, etc.)

I would love tips for Lightroom and even PSE (if you show me step-by-step.) I know the light is a bit harsh on her shirt front. Other than the skin and some harsh spots, I would love more feedback on how to make this kind of shot even better.

NOTE: I use the T2i. I wonder if my pictures are not quite as "smooth" or creamy as others who use an 5dmk2, for example. The lens is 85 1.8.

Thanks! :)

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Kristin
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Titus213
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Mar 12, 2012 16:55 |  #2

I think I would be more concerned that I was over processing the face. Most young ladies this age should have fairly good skin I would think.


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YankeeMom
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Mar 12, 2012 18:05 |  #3

Oh, I did nothing to her face except to desat some of the orange (no smoothing, for example.)


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Mar 12, 2012 18:07 |  #4

Hmm... I am not sure what you camera gear bag consists of. Do you have a flash that you can use off-camera?

I'm thinking underexpose the ambient by 1-2 stops (but make sure that you are still capturing the rim light you like) and add in a manual flash with a warming (CTO) gel in front of the subject (e.g. split lighting).


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Titus213
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Mar 12, 2012 19:22 |  #5

I really like the image, especially the back light, but her face is a bit pale for my tastes.

She is a lovely model.


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YankeeMom
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Mar 12, 2012 19:30 |  #6

Thanks! I could put some color back in -- it just seemed too "orange" from the light (she is naturally pale.) That's my dilemma. Would love to maintain a peaches-and-cream skin tone, but not quite getting there.


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Mar 12, 2012 20:06 |  #7

I think the tones look pretty good except for her left cheek area which as Titus says is too pale. But overall I think you have a great image with natural sun backlight.
Next time you might post her with her shoulders about 45 degrees to camera so her head is not turned quite so much enabling us to see whites on both sides of her irises.
Cute girl!


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Mar 13, 2012 01:19 as a reply to  @ Qbx's post |  #8

It's difficult to get many teen and tween girl's skin tones "right". Most are very pale and want their photographs to look like them. Parents do too. Your model is not as pale as some I've photographed. When you're so close to white it doesn't take much error in the pp to have them look too blue, orange, whatever. If that's her natural skin tone I think you have her just right.


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YankeeMom
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Mar 13, 2012 10:55 |  #9

Thanks so much -- I tweaked it (put a little more color back in her face) and it looks better. Not sure if I should bring more color or not; she is definitely pale and I worry about too much orange (a by-product of the light.) I updated on my Flickr, but not sure if it updates here, so this is the subtle change. Thanks for all the great feedback:

(On a side-note -- I notice that my photos look SO MUCH more yellow in Lightroom then what it looks like after I convert it to jpeg. Am I the only one??)

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Mar 13, 2012 11:05 |  #10

That looks very nice. If you shot raw you might want to try to recover some of the blown out hair on her shoulder. I don't use LR but I'm sure someone will chime in.


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YankeeMom
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Mar 13, 2012 11:12 |  #11

Yes, I did shoot raw and I recovered it and that was the best it would get (only showing tiny bits of blowout, but it looks a little worse to me.) :(


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Mar 13, 2012 16:08 |  #12

It's a really nice image. In regards to your questions about color, a grey card is never a bad idea just snap a quick shot of it whenever there is a significant change in lighting. It will give you a consistent starting point to work from and keep a set of images consistent. I don't know if you are using a reflector but a matt silver would help bring the ambient down a bit while providing a bit of cooling to the skin tone.


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Mar 13, 2012 16:14 |  #13

Titus213 wrote in post #14074684 (external link)
I really like the image, especially the back light, but her face is a bit pale for my tastes.

She is a lovely model.


perhaps she's English


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Mar 13, 2012 16:16 |  #14

Titus213 wrote in post #14073890 (external link)
I think I would be more concerned that I was over processing the face. Most young ladies this age should have fairly good skin I would think.

she may be a tad older but I recently shot a bunch of girls at my wife's HS
the entire PP was getting rid of blemishes/acne


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YankeeMom
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Mar 13, 2012 16:20 |  #15

The silver reflector is a great idea (I have one, too -- DOINK!) And, I guess you could say she's English in the sense that her father is mostly English by heritage (she's just turned 12, btw.) :)


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Backlighting and skin tone
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