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Lesson 7 from: Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

7. Exposure

Lesson Info


we're going to start right now with real quick just taking a couple shots of phase you guys take a look at that file quality if you've never seen it before by the way digital transitions are the people that lend to me the phase for this so thank you to them so could I have like gorgeous model out here john was your standing he was pretty good not quite the same thank you tingle all right let's do this quick test I'm gonna grab a quick test here everything's looking good this one's giving my focus speaking so can you see that green that green is giving me an idea of what is in focus so I have her cheek and her eye and focus which is exactly what I want and then also I have kind of like on an iphone with a pinch for looking up close I can really check the quality takes a second a load but it's really nice because it's the actual pixels not just a zooming in ah nah j peg preview like you have in the back of your camera so it's pretty awesome all right I'm going to get in really really clo...

se so we can take yeah ship with a map roland here here like fun e okay and I will take one more regular photo but can we do you mind zooming in on the eyelashes for a second right yeah I just told me I couldn't hold it in so that's pretty like intense and amazing so if I am going to shoot in there am I I got to do this weight which said it would be anyway so if you're shooting like a campaign for beauty and you want all that and texture I find actually easier to retouch one of these files because I have more of that skin texture to work with sometimes when I'm shooting with thirty five millimeter camera and I shoot at slightly narrow deaf the field not much is in focus of the whole picture looks a little soft when I start retouching at least detail I have details of this looks tack sharp even after every touch we're going to talk about frequency separation when you do frequency separation for these files it's mind blowing and that's what they do for avon campaigns maybelline is there going to shooting one of these and not can you go to the very first image I took okay and can you zoom into the yeah for a minute yeah actually you could take a break I'll bring you back up can you zoom into the shadow transition area so this is where on and of course you need a little different this's where on particularly on dark skins and dark skin people kind of in this transition area is where you would have the biggest problems especially in shadow areas around the neck s o just the way that this works is going to have a little bit smoother transition of skin tones okay but with that I think that was good and I'm going to move on to our number six you guys have any questions about that it's just cool you can see that I mean the cindy tell us yes questions without retouch and photo shop and everything we still can't get a dsr image too look like that meeting for no not not this the same way as part of it is to do with simply the resolution to even even high resolution thirty five millimeter cameras it doesn't have that type of detail it's sharp but it doesn't always also using a mackerel in so that also has to do with a little bit of the way you see the detail there so shooting a macro lens austin helps you see more detail more megapixels medium format all that kind of adds up to just the optimal level of amazing skin detail it is so pretty I shot that one picture I showed you with the really dark skin of the dark background I shot with the phase and it's going to be I want to blow it up message it's gonna be beautiful so it's very exciting cool all right so let's talk about number six which is exposure so what we're talking about right now there are ten main ways to totally mess up skin ten ways to ruin skin in your photograph so let's talk about exposure and exposure is a really easy way either you overexposed to someone loses a lot of the warmth of their scanner the skin tone or you underexposed and particularly with dark skinned individuals and you can't even see the skin so this is just a brief overview tomorrow I'm going a little bit more in depth will be photographing someone with lighter skin and we photographing someone with much darker skin both in the studio and on location so we can talk about some of the problems that you run into but I thought this would be a good time to explain exactly what those little meat hearing things and the camera mean you have all those different modes and why you might choose one over the other and want to watch out for us this is the very basics now when you're photographing and you want true skin tones this is one of those instances where it might actually be pretty good to use a meter has to do with how light is being read incident or reflective because your your camera gets confused really easily but see someone who's really light it often makes them darker to see someone that's really dark it might go the other direction and it depends on what mood you're in that being said I'll just be totally honest I don't use a handheld meter hardly at all I do in the studio when it's easy but when I'm on location unless it's a big commercial job I don't so let's just talk about what's in camera for this particular class so if you have your exposure wrong dark skin is going to have no detail it's just going to show up completely dark ifyou're underexposed whereas also if you're underage suppose you tend to see more detail that you didn't want to see you often will see that all right so talk about metering so in a basic photography class of beginning photography class you've probably heard what your camera tries to do tries to make everything middle gray which is why way back when if you took a picture of I did this is film you take a picture of a field covered in snow with trees and snow it was really great because it read all that white and said well k way too much weight let's under expose it and then if you took a picture of something that was dark black on black on black and go whoa way too dark and then it would overexpose it's trying to put everything in the middle thankfully our cameras have gotten smarter especially with digital cameras one of the meeting modes actually has something in it where it compared to the scene to like a million other scenes that has programs in and kind of guesses what you're probably trying to expose for so it has gotten better not great but better and what it comes down to you need to be smarter than your camera and you need to know how to outsmart it on but you need to know what the meeting loads do and then how to overpower if you're shooting manual then it's then you just shoot manual and you said it's what you like but I don't always shoot manual especially manual exposure especially on the go and then what about reading your meter what is it telling you so okay let's take a look go back to that not all of these existing nikon but like one of them is missing but these are all the modes you might see on your camera all right so it goes center waited spot parch partial evaluative or matrix what does that mean okay center waited if you see this symbol it looks and the entire scene it gives um it gives an exposure based on the whole scene but then just a little heavier bias on the center which it gives you something that's going to be within the realm of what you want meaning like it's not going to be massively over exposed not going to be massively under exposed but probably won't be just right but it's looking at the whole scene and saying ok what's close this is probably what you would see for what we're looking at when things that are white look a little bit more gray and things that are dark that look a little bit brighter I don't usually you center waited then you spot so spot metering takes a tiny little portion of your sensor and wherever you put that it is meeting specifically for that exact spot but it is tiny it is just two to four percent of your entire sensor very very small but that's great if you want to see how bright that highlight is on the forehead or you know when your spot meeting that person in your frame you want their face to be perfectly exposed so you put it just on their cheek to base your exposure you're judging the shadows so it is hard to use because spot metering for most cameras is just the center point so what that means is if you're moving around and clicking around its base ng off that center point so if you're not locking in your exposure using exposure lock then it's going to go all crazy so how do you mean by that is what say that I'm using my my spot metering and in photographing this gentleman and I put the spot meeting on his face I'd get a reading okay great and then I recompose and always said no my spots something on the background into reading something way way way over exposed so what under exposes my picture what you have to do is if you were using spot metering you either use it to take a reading of the face and then set your camera emmanual so you use that literally to say okay well what should my exposure be great I'm going to use manual settings on my camera but the other way to use it is if you go ahead and you take that reading off the cheek on the back your camera you have an exposure locks you can actually lock the exposures now when you recompose it's locked in place and it's not going to be basing the spot metering off something in the background spot metering when using it not for making decisions in manual can go wrong kind of quickly that's what I found so if I am shooting emmanuel I use that more to take a reading okay what's the exposure on his shirt versus his face I can kind of judge exposure difference that's my little in camera meter partial makes it a little bit easier it's like spot but it's a bigger sampling so it's not the two percent which could make a huge difference if I were here or here become massive difference and exposure where I'm reading on that evaluative is what most cameras are set on including point in shoots they have a system like this so what it does look that the entire frame it tries to guess for you based on all the different has comparisons of other scenes you might be photographing and it puts a little bit more weight on whatever your focus point is so we've obviously the smartest because if I'm putting my focus point on this person I probably want them to be correctly exposed so it puts more weight on where your focus point is but then it does look at the entire scene so knowing this let's just take a look again this is what it's doing center waited it's looking at the whole thing a little heavier in the center spot partial and a valued of it looking at the whole thing but then the spot has more wait okay so I did this test with my camera changing the meeting loads and that's all I did I did not move I didn't change the lighting we stayed in the exact same place and I tried out the different media remote so in the top left I have spot metering but I went ahead and I metered off of her forehead and so what that's going to do is it's very bright so it's going under expose her case you might say why would you want to do that well maybe what I want is I want to make sure that this highlight isn't over exposed so we'll get the exposure correct for that scene and for that highlight and then I can add a flasher reflector in so maybe I'm just trying to make sure I don't lose that highlight and then I'll build the scene up or conversely maybe I put the spot metering in a shadow area and I don't care about the highlights I just want to make sure that I have correct exposure on the face and in the shadow of the details in the shadow area so that is putting the spot metering just about here for the spot metering was meeting off her forehead partial I just pointed it at the middle of her face the partial is the bigger spot so that's what it gave me evaluative is what I use most of the time so it gives you something kind of in between she's not too light she's not too dark and then senator weighted average lighten things up just a little bit because right in the center of my frame is darker than the rest of the frame so it goes okay so the center a little bit darker so we got a late and everything up so more or less this is what it gave me I use evaluative most often because it is simplest for me but it will not always give you the right results so I will either shoot in manual or aperture priority and I use personally I use exposure compensation so it depends on how each of you work but whether I'm in africa priority or in manual I can brighten or dark in my exposure for me when it's africa priority I'm changing my shutter speed and so I can make to the right make the exposure later left to make it darker and that's honestly usually what I do if my skin has to be perfect I will take a meter reading because it doesn't get confused because you're not reading the background you're not worried about whether it's just the highlight I'll say what is the most important part of the face let's say I'd need the center of her face correctly exposed take a meter reading there and see what the light hitting the faces that most likely will be the exposure I would go with and let's see there's that bright highlight on her head I can also take amita ring there and see how much brighter is is it am I going to lose that detail if it's a lot brighter if it's three stops writer I know I need to come in and like maybe at a diffuser or maybe I know I'm going to lose that highlight what I'm in the studio I usually just use my meter and that's my exposure I can adjust it if I need to just know how to be smarter than your camera and figure out for each scene kind of what is it doing maybe maybe spot metering is really going to be the best because you're going to spot meter on that face every single shot and that's what's going to give you the best exposure because the backgrounds really really bright I did a test with her where I stood her in front of a moving truck that was lit by the sun and then she was in the shade and I tried all the meter in modes and none of them had any idea what to dio except for when I use spot metering because it's reading when I was doing evaluative and senator weighted average and even a little bit of partial it's this massive ahead or small in the frame massive reflective white surface and it reads a ton of light and says okay we've got it under expos and so nothing was even close except for when I grab spot and said this is what's important this is what I want to expose for just kind of understand how your camera's working and what you need to correct

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?

Student Work