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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 28 May 2014 (Wednesday) 15:09
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Correcting skin tone colors?

 
KTLizzy
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May 28, 2014 15:09 |  #1

So I end up shooting a lot of family gathering photos, indoors and out. And no matter what I set my white balance to, and gray card or not, and speedlight/natural light/combo, I always seem to end up with photos with uneven skin tones with a red/yellow/orangy color cast, instead of a nice even cream/pinkish look.

And I can't figure out how to correct it in post without making everyone turn green or gray, or making the rest of the photo look off-color.

So my question is, is what I am looking for achieved with lighting, or post processing, or both, or neither...?

For reference, what I am getting is something like this:

http://bestseniorphoto​graphersmi.com …ds/2012/05/Lozi​er7545.jpg (external link)

But what I want is this:

http://www.rayelawphot​ography.com …009/08/dsc_1352​e-copy.jpg (external link)

(I'm shooting Canon T2i, RAW, manual settings, diffused & bounced speedlight indoors, Canon nifty 50 or 20-35mm wide angle)




  
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nittaya
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May 28, 2014 16:37 |  #2

There are free file sharing sites such as mediafire etc. open an account with them
and upload your raw file and provide a link to the file so it can be downloaded by anyone
who want to give it a try.

whether it is possible to achieve the effect you want or not with post processing alone
you will know it.

i myself plus many others learnt a lot through this method.




  
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tonylong
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May 28, 2014 16:40 |  #3

I can't hop in with an answer, but you need to know that forum rules prohibit you from posting images that are not yours.

So I assume that the second photo is not yours, be wise and delete the photo but post a link to it, before a moderator steps in!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
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PixelMagic
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May 28, 2014 16:57 |  #4

Let's start with the obvious difference; the two photos have entirely different backgrounds. That makes a significant difference in how the photos are perceived.

The second photo - which obviously you don't own or you'd know how it was shot - was lit with a softbox positioned to the right of the camera. You can easily ascertain this by looking at the hotspots/specular highlights on the face of the girl on the right and he baby's back. Also the catchlights indicate the main light source was positioned to the upper right ( the 2 o'clock position) of the camera. Given the even lighting I suspect a reflector was used just out of the frame to provide fill light.

To get a similar looking photo you'd really need to be able to control the speedlight output so that light doesn't reach the backdrop; this is much simpler to do with a softbox, especially if it is gridded.

The second photo was also manipulated in post processing; most likely a simple Curves adjustment increasing the black point and lowering the white point.


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KTLizzy
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May 28, 2014 18:11 as a reply to  @ PixelMagic's post |  #5

Whoops, sorry about breaking the image posting rules - actually neither of them are mine, just examples! I will fix it when I get to a computer, just logging in on my phone here to say I got the heads up.




  
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tonylong
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May 28, 2014 21:29 |  #6

One thing I want to throw out while you are taking care of "business":

There is no way I would expect the skin tones of the two groups of people to match! Hey, they have different skin tones, and then like was said earlier the lighting of the two groups is different. Sure, maybe there were some differences in processing, that's a "creative choice", but still the skin tones to me look naturally different!

Since neither of these is yours we really can't comment a whole lot...if you could post a couple of your shots and tell us what you don't like, we could give you better input, although I myself am not a portrait photographer and won't have much direct input, but there are plenty others here who have a lot of experience in both the lighting and the post-processing of portraits, so post the shots and stay tuned!


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBase (external link)
Wildlife project pics here (external link), Biking Photog shoots here (external link), "Suburbia" project here (external link)! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics here (external link)

  
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kirkt
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May 29, 2014 07:32 |  #7

The image you "want" to achieve is a stylized look, not the output from the camera that took the image. It is the terribly precious baby and young child look that you can find everywhere nowadays. Very soft lighting, very little contrast where there should be modeling of detail and form. Then, as PM noted, lift the black point and there is often a tint in the shadows and some desaturation of the image color. You can also get your subjects to dress in simple, similar clothing to unify the look and, as PM mentioned, use a simple background. This formula is ubiquitous and you can probably find countless YouTube videos to help reverse engineer it in LR and make a preset.

kirk


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KTLizzy
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May 29, 2014 08:38 |  #8

Thanks everyone - I fixed the image posting.

I'll put up a couple of my photos in a minute.




  
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KTLizzy
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May 29, 2014 08:55 |  #9

So here's an image I edited. I feel like his skin has an odd greenish/red/yellowish cast to it, and the baby is kind of mauve colored. (In fact the whole photo seems slightly greenish now that I look at it.)

This was the best I could fix it without it looking strange.

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3669/10283198414_34c4db343f_c.jpg
(CanonT2i, nifty 50, manual mode, f/3.2, 1/50, ISO 800, natural light from a window, no flash)

Here's a jpg of the unedited image:
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


and here's a link to the RAW file:
https://www.dropbox.co​m …a%20Baby%20Show​er-065.dng (external link)



  
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KTLizzy
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May 29, 2014 08:59 |  #10

I should add, my other problem is that when photos like this get printed out, people look kind of weird - the skin tones are all off, with strange color yellow casts or too bright reds. (To be fair, my relatives are just taking them to places like walmart, which isn't helping.)

Is there any way to edit so the skin colors show up natural looking both on screen and in cheap prints?




  
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joeblack2022
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May 29, 2014 09:28 |  #11

KTLizzy wrote in post #16937954 (external link)
So here's an image I edited. I feel like his skin has an odd greenish/red/yellowish cast to it, and the baby is kind of mauve colored. (In fact the whole photo seems slightly greenish now that I look at it.)

Just looking at the pics quickly neither looks problematic to me. I'd suggest that your monitor probably needs to be calibrated, the fact that you are having issues with printing also makes a case for that.

Lastly the baby looks close to being a newborn and they generally have all kinds of funny skin colours initially. :)


Joel

  
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KTLizzy
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May 29, 2014 09:40 |  #12

@joeblack2022 - thanks!

Actually, my monitor is calibrated - I have one of the inexpensive Spyder calibrators.

I agree the image is fine as is, but I would still like to know how to reduce the reds and make it look less greenish - I definitely prefer the more high-key, lighter, cooler tones stylistically - ideally something like this:

http://fstoppers.com …Karsten-Thormaehlen-2.jpg (external link)




  
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kirkt
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May 29, 2014 09:42 |  #13

Is this sort of what you are going for?

kirk


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KTLizzy
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May 29, 2014 09:50 |  #14

@kirkt - yes, that's definitely closer!




  
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joeblack2022
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May 29, 2014 09:57 |  #15

KTLizzy wrote in post #16938050 (external link)
I agree the image is fine as is, but I would still like to know how to reduce the reds and make it look less greenish - I definitely prefer the more high-key, lighter, cooler tones stylistically - ideally something like this:

http://fstoppers.com …Karsten-Thormaehlen-2.jpg (external link)

What editing software are you using? That image you linked to looks like the colour saturation was brought down.


Joel

  
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Correcting skin tone colors?
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