Color Manipulation for Portraits: Editorial
So let's go to the editorial, guys. Okay, and we can spend a bit more time on these ones. Let's see, oh I need to just... There's a couple of images which I was looking at yesterday which I also want to work with. So let's bring those across. Okay, so Color Edits for Editorial. Now again, I would think that we're gonna be much less tight with editing skin tones, because when we look at shots like this, we're not primarily concerned with everyone having fantastic, even skin tones, it's more about the mood and the feel and so on and so forth. So let's take these images all back to their basic adjustments, so everything back to zero, as such. And let's try and get a nice, seamless look of all these various different shots. So, as I said, I'd probably be less concerned with working with skin tones on this, but we're now going back to the Color Balance tool, which gives us the opportunity to give our look and feel. And this particular image, if we open up the Color Balance tool, again, draw...
ing inspiration from the image itself, it's a nice, warm setting, it looks like sunset or sunrise, so in our color grade we wanna try and take influences from that and apply that to the image as well. So in this case there's no reason why we can't use the Master tab and the 3-Way tab at the same time. So if we just want a general nice cold, sorry, warm glow across the image, and then we can also do the same for the shadows and highlights like so. In terms of other adjustments, probably have a little bit of slight bit of extra contrast, but now I'm happy with my color, then I would probably use a Luma Curve, just so that my color remains nice and constant. Midtone-wise, I'd just be a little bit careful of warming that up too much, because it can just affect our skin tones. Now there's nothing to stop you using White Balance, of course, for warming up an image or making it colder, but ideally what we should do with our White Balance, if I just correct, reset the Color Balance, is that we're looking for, if you like, the relatively correct White Balance, and then we're adding on mood and feel by using tools such as the Color Balance tool. So if we take these, and the reason why I'm doing Master and all the others is because I want to have a bit more warmth in the shadows and highlights, but I don't want to affect the midtones, 'cause that affects the skin tone too much. Always helps to have a nice little vignette, for example, and another trick which can be good, which is not really a color correction trick, but I think it's good along the mood and feel things, is if we add a new layer and I just call that Flare, grab a simple Gradient Mask, something like that, so just like so, and then in our Curve tool we can just bring the shadows up and then we can just kind of enhance the sun a bit so that we have a nice flare sort of coming across like so. And that kinda local adjustment, there's no reason why we can't copy all of that and then apply that to the same shot, like so. And it works quite nicely. If we wanted to just take that off, there's nothing to stop us. Deleting that, or because it's a gradient, we could pull the gradient in for this side and then switch off layer round, for example. So the Color Balance tool for lifestyle makes much more sense in this case. I personally wouldn't really see a need to get into this sort of correcting skin tones and so on. That's not really what it's about. Again, if we take this image from Ryan Noltmire, again, we're a little bit underexposed here, so I wouldn't start flying into the Color Balance tool and starting to make color grades, because we need to fix our exposure first. So it's always good to do some base corrections before getting too involved in doing the color side of things, 'cause it's harder to see what's going on. So first of all, just looking at our Histogram, we wanna bump Exposure up a touch. If I press C for crop, I'm just gonna crop out that windows on the right and left, as I find them a bit distracting. Contrast-wise, let's just bring up the Contrast slider a bit, White Balance, probably err on the side of warmth, and then a tiny bit of Clarity as well. Now we're happy with base adjustments, I'm gonna drop Saturation and use the Color Balance tool to get our look and feel. So he's in quite a nice, warm setting, so again, I'd be looking to try and mimic what was going on there, but even a slightly cinematic, colder shadows would work nicely, and then warming up the rest of the shot. Remember, double-click to reset. And if you need more precision, go to Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights separately if you need a bit more precision in making those adjustments. So only a very sort of short time span, but if we look at before and after, and before and after with the Color Grading tool, or Color Balance tool, you can see a nice, appreciable difference with the image itself. Again, if we wanna copy our color grades across, let's reset that. Let's take our exposure down, have a bit more contrast, and then a very quick speedy color grade with just extra warmth. And if we take our shadows down, that gives us a bit more of impression of the end of the day as well, and then we can, very quickly, if we want to copy that across, don't forget, hold your shift key down, click on the little copy applier over here, and then we can send our color grade across to anything else. Same goes for this lifestyle shot as well. Before we get into the color grading side of things, we wanna open up our exposure somewhat. Little bit of contrast, and then, again, with our color grade, we want nice, warm, cozy feeling, so probably just with the Master tab, and a slight vignette, that would do a nice job with this image, without the need to sort of worry too much about skin toning and so on. I think with the kind of lifestyle shots that we saw earlier, so these ones, then it makes perfect sense to do some skin tone work as we saw earlier with this image. But for kind of editorial images, as we're looking at here, we're more about getting sort of the emotion and look and feel across, so it's less important, I personally think, to worry about the skin tone side of things.