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Dark Skin Q&A

Lesson 18 from: Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

18. Dark Skin Q&A

Lesson Info

Dark Skin Q&A

whenever you're shaping the light on the models are you having them find oppose first and then you're going through in shaping or you do it kind of like a great great question okay so if I'm photographing a fashion shoot it's much easier because what I'll tell them is let's say that I'm the model and I'll say okay point to them and I'll say okay your key light is over there so what I'm okay with you doing is head towards that light or straight on so they can move around the whole time they just need to stay in that realm I don't shape it so that if you have like one millimeter where they can't move then I'm going to say pose okay perfect right there and I place it and then I shoot from there but that's really generally the same things I would do if your lighter skin tones as well I told them kind of where their head khun b the biggest difference for shooting is with a darker skin tone when my lighting goes wrong like they do look away I could tell much more quickly because the shadows ...

in the light gets soaked up so quickly kind of just falls to black instantly so it's the biggest difference you have less flexibility for mistakes any questions from the in studio audience member quiet today white folks uh let's see so thank you buddy love like the name buddy love is wondering what scenario do you think it's absolutely crucial to use a light meter do you find different skin tones require more finesse than others I think the light meter for me is more beneficial particularly on location because I have so much going on that I'm my meter my camera gets confused I long time using a color checker and I'm kind of close to the exposure I don't mind this much personally I'm just going to be honest but I will take a reading but then if it doesn't look like my camera and I want to lighten it up a little bit I will what's better for using a light meter is telling you really with the exposure should be versus you making a judgment do I want her skin to be later or darker so it's giving more of the reality but in a portrait there is of course some subjectivity to it so I would say on location too so that you're not letting your meter get all confused especially for shooting in manual all right so a couple questions have come up in the last two days about feathering and night owl photos I think there may be having a hard time translating from where they're watching at home but they're asking the center of the brightest part of the soft box is pointed directly at the model or are you feathering the light at all I'm intending it in this case to be pointed directly at her we're actually going to use feathering on purpose for a very controlled reason for when we're photographing multiple skin tones in the same photograph that's when I would use it more than in this example the only other reason that I might use feathering is if there's a highlight that I didn't want or if I wanted the shadow to fall more quickly to black by rotate the soft box around would be catching an edge and the shadow would be more defined but right now it's pretty much centered so lindsay I know you said yesterday that you never use a gold reflector simba and a couple other people are still pushing the question could you show results with gold reflector with the same set up is that something that we have time for we can do that and I'm gonna take two examples we bring in nice and close a little bit more from the front angle yeah and really close so as we were talking about this before that darker skin tones can use silver gold mix and as I'm looking at this now I can see for sure that there is mixed like like if I'm looking at the right hand side of her face it is significantly warmer than the left that's with solid gold maybe if you were using silver gold that just warms it up a little bit I don't mind as much or a white gold I think we do have it yeah so let's try that one we're gonna try silver gold it's just not as as tainted of a color like it's clearly not realistic so the same thing in clothes so for me for dark skin tones that's what I would go for for phil if you want more warmth and you want a little bit more glow a little bit more golden skin tone and it looks significantly more realistic it doesn't confuse the eye and I'll do one without actually into one with silver and we can compare those everybody khun see online same thing mason clothes so silver as much coolers silver gold mix has a little bit more warmth to the shadows which I wouldn't I would do this purely for dark skin tones when I go ahead and use silver gold for light skin tones I see that that kind of weird glow of yellow more pronounced than with dark skin tones because the shadows of her face go a little bit blue and that warmth kind of makes it glow whereas and when someone who's really pale it just looks like there's a little yellow and you don't know why um end of the same thing if I lit from above gonna try one more all right so I'm going teo light from above little bit higher ok so we take a quick test shot like this okay so I lit from above because it like that it was soft I wanted centered light I wanted it flat maybe this would be a perfect example where maybe she didn't have great texture towards skin so I'm trying to get a flat trying to move the light to the centre but now that I'm doing that it's just hi often high up enough that I'm seeing some texture I don't want so it add a reflector and let's take a look at what weight goes first and then we'll take a look at gold get and really close for me so this is white and so white it's really subtle and it just make sure that the shadows in her face don't fall the black whereas gold you actually see a lot of yellow underneath her job for those people who really for some reason or really attracted to using gold if you wanted to use gold just back it off um I would use it but I'd hold it much lower so it's a little bit of phil and a little bit warmer it won't be as yellow but also won't phylis much light so that's why you have all these trade offs so if you actually wanted to fill and be warmer and go with silver gold I have one more suggestion I don't know if you want to do this but swanny would like to know how to separate a dark skin tone from a black background so I don't know if you want to put up a black b flat try that way maybe we could do that sure you're up for anything that's what I'm here for love it lindsay thank you definitely all right so there's a couple things that you can dio yeah it should be yeah do you want a hand okay who then you can wait she can assist me why can't she assists me careful she's purple you can assist me fail you know school it's question help me all right let me take a quick shot I think I might have a little bit too much too much reflection I know it's good all right so I'm gonna rotate my light just for ease of I want to have a solid black shadow on that side of her face you can see that she's going to just blend in the background so if I do this light from the sign quick here okay so photographing her on a solid black background because I have chosen to have the this side of her face over here choose go to shadow it solid black she just blends right in no separation so it's a couple things we can do so I can have her hold this from behind and what have you hold it right there and if you don't have like contamination which we talked about the mission but this light is making it hard for me to see what the light is actually doing with the modeling life so I do have to take a bit of ah test shot but what I should be doing is kicking a highlight back to her and can hold up a little higher okay so watch the difference is with a silver reflector do foreign after gives me separation but it's nice and subtle it's not super contracting but if you look at it it is a little bit cooler than the rest of her skin tone silver cools things down and she has a warm skin tone so can you flip it around is that the silver gold on the other side gristly moving nice and close same exact angle for me great so this is going to be more matching of her skin tones and it's actually really really obvious the first photo the highlight carving out her jaw is very cool and blew the second it looks much more like her skin tone with a silver gold mix you have just looked back and forth kind of real fast to see that another thing that you can do as well is can I get this around to the other side what reach okay so I'll do that and I'll grab another modifier and the other thing can do is introduce another life so instead of having reflector aiken bring another light source from behind and just like to give her some separation in my studio most the time I used these or some variation of these and this is your barn door's because then I can close belief down so I can have just a very small highlights probably with darker skin tones what I use in my studios okay but this is a very expensive things that goes on really snotty um they're called strip lights they're not strip banks they're actually lights but they have diffusion but there like the little ones like five grand so I'm not going to really recommend that but it's awesome because it doesn't when I use that one on photographing really dark skin tones because I can have that light source has barn doors on it so I can close it down so it's really really narrow beam but it has a kind of bold diffusion on the outside which means it's softer so I don't have a lot of texture but I can still have a nice crisp controlled highlight so an alternative would be is you could use a strip of bank you know one of the strips off boxes you could use a grid in it and agreed focuses the light so it'll give you a narrower beam or you could do what I used to do which was black gaffer state and taped half of the soft box so it would be narrower so you'd want something narrower if you just want a tiny highlight and what's thea okay that should be a little kick I'll take a little kick of highlight here and was doing vertical horizontal okay so this is why we have to see instantly this is why I was saying for the top of her head there I wouldn't go with a silver reflector or barn doors like I might go with maybe with a lighter skin tone because the highlight gets over exposed more quickly and option I have can you rotate it and put the actual bring it down a little bit and put the barn door to block that off just a little bit try to cut that highlight a tiny bit well I just looked at it so I can't see anything no night to drink today okay okay turn down just a tiny but thank you no problem okay great so it's still a little hot and that's why that's why I'm saying is if you have a strict bank that would be preferable for this skin tone okay what else you got well let's see we have one from delta dave forty four who wonders whether you could or whatever jelly or key light to match that silver and gold reflector is that something you concerned about when you're shooting I want my skin tone match but I definitely don't join my keily I just don't mess with them um usually I would be more apt to just use the right reflector and if you're using capture one there is a way to select that particular skin tone and then change the I can say ok this particular skin tone of this warmth I cancel ect it I can show how far to reach into other tones and then I can go ahead and change the warmth or the coolness of that color you know if you don't have perhaps one not a big deal you could do it in photo shop it's just harder to do in light room still really useful so lyndsey one the questions that I've seen come up a couple times is how to shoot a full body images I'm not sure if we're going to be doing that but danka nsu said how do you deal with a setup like this for a full body or two thirds body shots as it would be difficult holding reflector close to the face okay so I'm gonna I'm gonna get complicated for a second then not super complicated but can I have me stand up for me and I am going to remove the black b flat but I'm going to actually put it in the way can you me a favor don't can you put the black v flat on this side yes please yes so not the black to the white by guys they're not going to see anything so what I would do for full body is I would like her with my main light and then I would have my v flat kicking that light in so the shadows don't fall the solid black like that's how I would be working so where we are going to have her change and I'm going to talk about it in a bit layering light so you can actually light different parts of the body with different lights so that's in a little bit so and I just loosened that uh can you can you grab the edge that's going back a little good great now and can we move this you know this is like in your personal space okay good and could bring it more out to the front it's a tiny bit great okay all right so this is not full length so I have to switch my lens but it's gonna be three quarter length okay so you guys can see but it looks awesome really yeah um I'll take one more and I'm just gonna open up just a little bit and then we'll be good and has that way and I'll try to get back a little further shouldn't seymour full length okay so now you can move it if you want so notice the shadows are falling to pure black they still have a little bit of detail if I do it without the film same thing and put your body back the same way so now there's no feel light and it follows the solid black okay one more complication can I have can I have that that late I looked it up here and use it as a fill so one more complication is let's say the look you're going for is you want a soft box overhead but then you're doing full length you can't fill underneath and you put your you know your v flat there but it's not catching the light because it's not in the right place to do so so something like this on with fear what I want yet and just lower I don't feel what I want like her face is maybe I'm doing something like this and I want some more phil from below so I'm going to turn this angle this down to let her a little bit more and I'm gonna bring us around to the front please I'm goingto think I'm gonna grab it may be cool so what I can dio doesn't want to take these photos independently so you can see how it builds let's shoot one without first look suit like right here first can you take a half step this way perfect all right so let's say you wanted to fill in a little bit underneath her face I can kick this light on and pop in just a little bit from below or a lot depending if maybe you want to flatten out the photo okay great so messy before after yes it just fills in some of the shadows below which I do one more more dramatic you can see that let's do way above so maybe I really want to shape out her face from above something like that ok give this a test and I'm going to go three quarter because I can't click it back for enough right now okay so this is a good example I lit from above because I wanted the highlights to be on the top of her cheeks given her nice shape but everything is just a little bit too dark here so go ahead and add a little bit of kick fill in the shadows and it looks nice and gluey see you in a sec to get much lower your skin tones you could also do the same thing for the shadow side let's say you're like ok lindsay this is nice but I don't have a giant b flat or I don't have tall enough ceilings for v flats you could also do the same thing with another light source and use that as the fill from the side but just making sure you're choosing one that's not adding too much contrast so a white umbrella another soft boxes something like this so I want to show you one more time the close it will kind of what it's doing to her face here's before and he was after and like a lot gloria er you can do it with reflectors what you have more control if you're using ah fill light because I can turn it up if I wanted to be to fill in the shadows more turn it down if I just want just a little bit of kiss of light this is a form of clamshell lighting the light above shapes the mood of the image and then also the highlights on her face so that kind of shapes the image and the late below decides the shadows so clam shell her head is the pearl in the clam it's a very nice girl hey lindsay sort of sort of a little bit off topic but a little bit on the tough tootle was wondering about and I know that this is not your forte not your area babies now babies do have they tend to have like the baby pimples so they have like you know difficult skin that way do you have any thoughts on lighting for babies for their skin as well as a question of light skin and dark skinned babies any difference I would say almost always just big broad light sources that just tends to be the soft glowing this is my angel child look that everybody wants yeah exactly four by six off box being soft boxes use my four by six in the studio when I photograph babies he poops too much so I didn't continue photographing them all over like my floors and stuff sick and fashion babies yeah no well yeah when I used to photograph families and children I had never been around a baby before I just didn't grope around babies and so I like stepped out and I came back and I didn't know that's what it looked like and I was like in front of my client trying to keep it together it didn't work anyway that's been many years now so I'm not traumatize yeah so big broad light sources windows or four by six off boxes thank you you're not totally done you're coming back so thank you in a couple minutes to do a little change thing so yeah I definitely liked the fill with the silver reflector I did editorial recently that's what instead of a soft box I used a bt dish above because that carved out the features and then I use the silver reflector below to fill in the shadows down pretty low but it gets nice catch lights in the eyes and then I could still have nice high highlights on the cheekbones really carve everything out but not have the face look really heavy down here which is what happens when you have the light high just gets heavier and it kind of blocks up in the shadows

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Makeup Contour Reference
Retouching Checklist
Frequency Separation
Retouching Files
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Gear Guide
Skin Retouching Action File

Ratings and Reviews

Aliah Husain

Lindsay is an INCREDIBLE photographer and teacher, and also seems like a wonderful person! This class is great for beginners and more advanced photographers, as well. She goes into tons of detail on all the technical stuff like lighting and editing, and it is fascinating to see her interact with and shoot her models, work with her equipment, and photoshop like a pro. Huge amounts of information for what you pay for. If you are looking to improve your skills in photographing and retouching people, purchase this class!!

Kirsi Todd

Lindsay is probably my favourite instructor (and that is saying a lot, as there are many incredible instructors). She is so clear in her teaching and she also seems like such a nice and humble person despite her incredible success. This course is one of the best courses I have ever seen. Thank you Lindsay and Creative Live!

Andrew Lederman

Great course. Lindsay Adler is one of the best instructors for any creative live classes that I have seen. Simple and easy to understand, clear workflow, very friendly and non condescending like some other instructors. Could you put a link (maybe I just didn't see it) to where to download the actions used in this tutorial?

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