Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

 

Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

 

Lesson Info

Retouching: Color Casts

these are just a ton of different solutions for dealing with color and some are going to fit one solution and not another so I'm going to cover like five or six or seven different things and then you can use whatever works best for you some of them are going to be incorrect white balance our color cast to the photo others are going to be the green from the grass that's glowing or having not matching skin tones now that's another direction we could go so I think that I will kick it off with one of my friends iris this is her daughter and you know iris she got her daughter is such a cute little model she's so sweet and I said you know last week I think it was uh took her out on location and we were shooting and her skin is just green so what do we do if you notice this is ana not sunny day as well and you guys have seen on a sunny day when it bounces off the grass like a comically bright so what could I do I'm going to open this up and make some changes in photo shop to get this under co...

ntrol photo editor in photo shop cc if I just correct white balance it won't do anything for me because the light source was green and it's mixed light that it's not going to fix it so I got to go a little bit further than that um one thing that you can do and it's a very basic it's not all that controlled is it could select her face and I could try to play over here in adjustment layers I could try to play with color balance on one of the benefits of color balance is that it visually shows you what colors are opposite of one another so if you're not comfortable with this I recommend that you take a screen grab of this we're write it down and keep it next to you when your color correcting because what this is telling you is the opposite of red a sigh in the opposite of green is candente the opposite of blue is yellow so if I want to get rid of blue in a photo I add yellow if I want to get rid of magenta and a photo I add green so it's kind of a chart to tell you as you're trying to color correct things what you need to add and subtract especially if this is not how your mind already works so what I could say it all right well this looks green maybe I can add some magenta and it kind of works it didn't get rid of some of the green but if you look really close it did kind of uh did like her hair a little bit and so are did not change the clothes your hair a little bit so it could mask it out like I said the masking the beginning I use nonstop and so that does help helps a tiny bit but a lot of times it doesn't go far enough because what ends up happening is if the face is really green and you add magenta it tends to almost cancel the colors out and it'll look really dull just because you got rid of a color caste doesn't mean it's the right color so if you're doing this here and color balance I'd say okay well skin's really de saturated maybe I want to add some more reds and yellows to make it make it a little bit warmer so I could drag a little bit of yellow into the frame and a little bit of red so here's you know here's what I was able to do with color balance so I could I could make a pretty drastic change their looks okay I might need to paint off a couple of highlights and shadows but it's a significant improvement the tool that I prefer to use is on it gives me a lot more control maybe a little bit more complicated we have one more options all right I'm going to select her face again and do this other example all right so get to know this tool if you have a lot of color cast it is extremely useful and very very versatile and it's under your name but theirs and it is called selective color and I think know it existed for a very long time because I assumed selective color was like you know you turn the photo black and white except for one part if they got over that so I thought that's what it was that's what it that isn't what it is at all alright let's kind of take a look through what this is when I click on colors what it lets me to do is go into every single color channel and also the different tonal ranges of the photo and make shifts in color meaning I can go into the reds and shift with the reds look like so maybe if someone has a lot of red to their skin I could go in there and add the opposite of red you know we'll we'll take a look at that or maybe you just have a really ugly color cast to the shadows there's something kind of green in the shadows or blue or something I can specifically go to the blacks and just the just the color there so it lets me pick exactly where the color problem is and then fiddle with it and try to fix it for her her face is like a neutral tone it's not really bright it's not really dark and I'm looking and here's what it lets me dio sayin mogens egg yellows and black which is I'm like hey okay so it's actually it's more accurate to how light is broken up into colors than rgb rgb is more of a kind pristine less of a printing thing let's take a look here so for this I can say all right remember before I said you wanted to screen grab that color balance so if I want to decrease greens I need thio add magenta it's okay it's obviously a little extreme but I can add a little bit there all right that cancels it out a little bit but I'm looking and I'm saying all right looks a little bit dull maybe I can add a little bit of yellow maybe had a little bit of reds so I can start giving her more of a riel skin tone and I'm going to just uh I'm just gonna fix my mask here a little bit more controlled and what I see I see that the mid tones look ok but the shadows will look a little bit green you see underneath and part of the reason that is is it the same way that I used gels in the studio whatever a shadow area where there's a shadow area on the face or anywhere it soaks up whatever light you give it going to be more absorbent versus a very bright highlight already has a ton of light so you're not going to notice color cast in the highlights as much from reflective surfaces okay so it's definitely means a little bit of green reduction in the shadows here so I could also add a little bit of magenta in the shadows just a bit and then maybe think a little bit of red or would fix it a little bit so let's take a look and you just want to tweak around and play with things like this but I'm able to take her skin tone from very gray and very very green too much more of a realistic color and then you know there's things I don't like like around her eyes that went a little bit magenta and I can go ahead and uh paint that off using wear masks and just make it a little less magenta around there but I think it is a drastic drastic improvement on her skin so use a selective color make sure you have that little what is opposite of what you know the colors have that right next to you and quickly to remember it in case you aren't really familiar is sick look at this so we always say rgb right always it o b e r g b nine many whatever rgb color rgb and we also always say see m y k so if you line them up they match if you want to know if the opposites are so thick you can't quite remember just write down rgb cm why and then you can compare it side by side you can figure out what you need to cancel the other it's a nice easy way to remember it let's go to another example let's let's grab this one okay so for this particular photograph there's a couple things that you could dio in light room give a little bit you could dio you could go ahead with virtual copies and I could duplicate this photograph and I could go into a huge saturation luminous and this would be applicable for greens and this would be applicable for what whatever reflective surface eyes underneath the chin there and I could grab that little circle where I can change the toner in this case it's the hue off that highlight snow I can click and I can drag it okay well that didn't work let's try the other way and so I can try toe get it looking more like a skin tone before it was a little too pink to be skin now I can click on it and duplicate again and make it a little bit more yellow again say could make it a little bit more yellow there and then also it's not doesn't really make sense as a highlight again I don't really know why it's there so I could go into something called luminant and what luminous lets you do is you can change how each and every color is represented is it lighter or darker same exact thing I could grab my little target click on that highlight area and with that specific color I can kind of bring it down in darkness a little bit I can also expose and combined those but let's say that's about where I get it now I can click on both of these photos right click ed in photo shop as lairs and I can then mask the two of those kind of combine them together so it's a one way you could do it take a look all right so I can go ahead and I can apply a mask and whether a paint black the color corrected will show through on the bottom could be hiding the top layer let's try it at like twenty percent capacity ah my paying on the right selection get let's paint black area okay keep going and this would be another perfect opportunity if you needed to four smart objects you could try that before you can't really see the before and after because of how this is done same thing is I said before you could also go ahead and open up open up the original file and do the same thing that we did in a very very beginning with the cheeks I'm gonna open up that original file in photo shop and photo edit in photo cc case I've got opened up here and I could go ahead into uh my adjustment layers and go into hugh saturation and if I don't know what color it is aiken kind of drag it up and figure out kind of a we orange pinkish so I can see there let's try if I sat right the magenta says that one get brighter nope okay so maybe it's gonna be kind of any yellow rain change nope let's check reds oh yep it's the red you know I mean like if you don't know what color it is because my brain doesn't necessarily work like that so I can see that it's a red so just like we did before I really saturate it and then I'm gonna move this around and now I've moved it to right right there I'm getting I'm pretty much selecting all of that color right there I'm even selecting the under her nose and you can tell that by that saturation level and remember I said if you drag the outside posts you can change the feathering so I can see I want to reach into any other colors no but want to bring it back so now I just have that color cast so cool I'm going to put this such saturation back in zero and now I can go ahead and I can play with this appear it can play with the hue in the lightness I kind of try to darken it down a bit so that looks more like a skin tone the problem is or the downside is it also affected certain parts of her face so if I hit command I it inverts that mask and now I could just go ahead and paint it in where I wanted to be by painting white seconds kind of paint underneath her chin in that part of her face that's one way you can do it you could also go ahead and play around with your selective color and that's actually kind of a mid tone there and you could just select that part of her face and certain adding color taking away and see which switches it that's another way you could do it so the main tools that I use is color around since the easy way but it's not the controlled way I would use would either use uh smart objects virtual copies selective color or this you saturation like those are kind of my line ups and right now we're not dealing with we're not dealing with color half per se we're actually doing color contamination because if there's a cast over the entire photo it's easier to get rid of that by making curves adjustments and so well we're going that direction lindsay buddy love said he's so glad he's getting this course there is no amount of riding in the world that can make up for owning this toe actually implementing all these mind blowing techniques so pretty cool excellent okay yeah that makes a good difference that makes a big difference and I could darken it down but uh it definitely gets rid of some of that color that makes no sense you could need I'm just I'm just throwing this out there like throw a filter on a layer a new layer and then paint out if it works for that particular problem than yes like maybe there's a blue and add a warming filter on it and then you just apply that to the blue area you could do that into the hole the other thing I want you to remember is well it's all about how you're going to blend these things and so sometimes color range would be great in that instance to make the selection and imply it in sometimes it's a selection with channels sometimes it's going to be a plug in so I would take a look at some creative life classes on making selections in general because that helps out then you can target the problem area a little bit better but I'm trying to give you some tools to do them all right let's see some other ones this was another instance here she had a lot of pink from the dress and so I selected that side of her face I went into the magenta channels and I added a little bit more green and I kind of tweaked things in order to get rid of that pink cast so it's like kind of how I'm taking a look at some of these things all right what other unsightly colors do we have here okay here's one something will open up the photo of this girl in the photo shop and I should have two photos that this works for you also this one and this was contributed to me this is not my photograph I was lent this photo for this presentation all right let's take a look at both of these okay so remember how I said this was lent to me for a presentation this this was an s r g b file so it doesn't have is much color information which is harder to color correct but me converting it to rgb doesn't give it more color it's not there it's like trying to make a file bigger so I'm just going to use it's embedded profile instead okay so looking at this photograph what I see is I see that her her chest looks like it's not yellow little pinkish and their hand looks even more pink kind of and we'll see what we see is pink is either my magenta or scion it's not actually pink sometimes blue in the skin because it's mixing with the skin tones there it comes off as looking like it's it's kind of pinkish it's really blue sayin colored so in her instance the face is about the same tonal range as the chest so I can't really help myself out by going over here and just saying into selective color and picking white neutrals are blacks or picking a particular color because it's not a color cast and it's not in a particular part of the photo so in this case what I would be doing is trying to make a selection of this part of her body you can also just try to blend it suddenly uh subtly so it's just really really rough ready roughly do this I made a lasso selection and I did select modify feather and I'm just going to soften it a little bit and now I can go ahead in color selective color up new selective color and now I can go ahead and say all right so in the mid tones there because that's a kind of middle tone skin tone all right so it looks maybe it looks a little bit to magenta so if I do opposite a magenta maybe a little bit helps okay but also maybe maybe it's not maybe I'm confused because I said sometimes we see pinkish is actually too much sayin so the operation they could go ahead and maybe add like a little bit of opposite of san oh that that definitely helped a little bit and the face looks a little bit more yellow so let's add a little bit of yellow and I can back off this capacity a little bit but I could very quickly like very quickly just by kind of tweak in and around make it match something else that could help you out is well is color samplers color picker samplers what you want to dio is you're going to use over here with your eye dropper um you're going to click on the color sampler tool and I believe yes if you hold shift when you're on your eye dropper it switches it into that tool automatically so what I can do is I can try to pick a mid tone on her cheek like a middle tone not not a highlight not a shadow and I can click in the middle and I'm good at and I got the color sampler clique in the middle all right and what it does is over here by number one it tells me the distribution of red green and blue was telling me kind of what colors are there and then I can come into kind of a middle tone over here and click again and it gives me something similar so what I would try to see is if the ratios are similar and what I see is that there's a lot in the second area in the second one that I hit ratio wise the blue is much higher the blue is definitely higher in comparison so maybe I want to do kind of opposite of that so that's another way I can kind of tryto take a look also because selective color for instance is ah works and see m y que me just make my selection again real quick because selective color works in san why kay if I have that color sampler wherever I mouse over you can actually see the cm like hey values so I can see percentage here it can see what the percentages are compared to here kind of flip back and forth and see a case that science twelve percent and the other to a roughly equal where is down here it's still pretty close let's pick a middle tone thing right there so now it won the scientist significantly lower if I pick a middle tone here it's not as low it's like more proportional so make maybe there's too much scion in the bottom so maybe I can counteract that you could try to judge it that way I was once taught in college very specific numbers that you could look at the judge skin tones and had to do with ratios but like instantly that meant nothing to me because everybody has different skin tones and defeat some people are pinker and some people are I have more yellow to their skin but they were kind of guidelines you could tell if there was a drastic color shift I don't find it super useful but they do exist if you want to online and that's how your brain works ok so one more time we just selective color this so I would go all right well there was too much sayin on the bottom so I'm gonna pull out some of that sayin and then I'm looking and it's a little bit to read the faces more yellow so I can add a little bit more yellow and I would probably just blend and make a selection of the hair based on color range or make a select just painted off

Class Description


Capturing beautiful skin tones is essential to the success of any portrait, yet skin is notoriously difficult to photograph and retouch. Skin comes in all colors, tones, and textures — each requiring different treatment.

Learn how to handle your subject's skin and add polish to all of your portraits. In this course, Lindsay Adler will take you through the essentials of understanding, lighting, photographing and retouching skin in all its variations.

Lay a strong foundation for a great shoot by learning easy make-up tips. Get an in-depth look at how light modifiers, reflectors, and direction of light impact the appearance of skin for both natural light and studio lighting. Learn advanced color calibration and color correction. Master setting up your camera to capture accurate color and when to modifying in post-production to get ideal skin representation.

Lindsay will teach you how to work with a variety of skin textures and tones – whether the skin is very pale, extremely dark, very oily, has extreme blemishes and much more. You’ll learn everything from how to photograph each type of skin to how to retouch these varieties in skin.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2