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Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 27 of 37

Retouching Skin: Removing Redness


Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 27 of 37

Retouching Skin: Removing Redness


Lesson Info

Retouching Skin: Removing Redness

I wantto jump into a little bit of workflow but let's like edit some photos and take a look at some things that we can get this rolling and take a look so I brought in although there's some heather I brought in all of the photos that we worked on I have my own personal photos and also some challenges to some of the things I shot for this class some of the things I shot yesterday some of the students photos some of thie audience online sent me photos so I could have ah whole bunch of different things to work with so one thing I wanted to do teo kick it off and photograph and start editing is let's do some like actual editing what do I do in light room for skin the question I get asked all the time okay what do you do in late room versus photo shop I start in light room to get the correct white balance as the most important thing um as close as I can get it and then also the correct exposure because what happens is if later on I decided to change the exposure really really drastically I ...

start seeing changes in the skin so I try to get as close as possible for high end retouching you don't actually want to get the contrast perfect because what happens is let's say you were looking at the picture it looks a little bit flat so you go ahead and you drag a black point okay but maybe certain areas of the photo went a little bit too dark and now that you've opened it up in photo shop you can't get that detailed back and the same thing with highlights maybe it looks a little bit flat do you want to pop the highlights but then again you're in photo shop now once you've opened it up on your trying to bring that back and there's not enough detail there so in high end retouching it's kind of like in the movies when you look at raw film footage it is extremely de saturated but it's also very very flat and the reason that it's flat is they shoot it flat so then later on they could make decisions how contrast is they want it to be do they want it to be really flat but if they shoot in contrast say they can't get back and they've lost that information so in other words let's say you want your picture to be really contrast ing I would just be a little bit careful of getting that achieved right away in uh in light room too passing it off to photo shop because you can't go back so you start editing and then change your mind and you can't do it but if you're working in photoshopped you can use nondestructive editing so that you can always make tweaking tweaks later on for those of you out there who are just light room lovers and you would much prefer to work in light room there is a way to work with layers in light room so if you want it to be kind wanted to have most of your work flow there that is called things called perfect layers perfect yeah and it's it's on one product and so I don't use that because I use photo shop but if this is your comfort zone take a look at that I have a ton of free videos on their website so maybe that's going to be how you prefer to work so as I said the very first thing that I know that I want to do is I want to go ahead and try tio get my exposure under control and so looking at this file it's all messed up really over exposed on the dress and it's a little bit it's still a little bit flat on her face and so let's take a look at what kind of history grams mean and what we're paying attention to here all right so what I can see is when I click on the right hand triangle on the far side of the history graham anything that turns red is telling me it is over exposed to the point of zero detail so that's what it's telling me here if I go ahead and click on the arrow on the triangle on the left hand side it'll tell me if there's any shadows with no detail means they're so black it doesn't have any detail so this is what I'm looking at in my history see that I have clipped highlights and it's really skewed far to the right now I should have more pixels to the right hand side of the instagram because it's has a wedding dress you know the frame is a little bit brighter should have later tones there but it's too much so what you can do is a couple things to get you started and this is in light room in the developed module one thing that I will try because if I can get away with it it's nice and easy is working in the basic settings I will see if I can pull back on the whites and the highlights just to bring the exposure back to the dress so I can go ahead and pull back on the highlights a little bit there and I mean it actually pulled back enough detail that maybe that's acceptable to me at least they feel that the dress has detail it's not overexposed and maybe I'll try a little bit with the whites the reason that it works ok in this photograph is that she has darker skin tones when you're photographing maybe the mixed mixed skin tone couple when I go ahead and I drag the whites and the highlights to the left and make them darker his entire skin tone gets darker and starts so muddy and it starts to look very flat but in this situation actually works pretty great pretty simply so I would do that but if I also needed to get a little bit more extreme I wanted to be a little bit more careful with that reset there's also tools in both light room and adobe camera raw that allows you to selectively apply adjustments so this is something that I will use a lot in the right hand top right hand corner and it's the adjustment brush and so is allowing me to paint my changes onto the image specifically where I want them so let's say I did go ahead and I dragged the whites and the highlights and what it did to the dress was great but all of a sudden the background started to look really muddy or this other person's face wasn't looking the correct exposure so what I can do here is I could make changes maybe decrease the exposure darken up the highlights and I get this brush and I can change the size of the brush and start painting on to the dress the darker exposure so you might not be able to see it so what I can dio maybe it can't see the change what I can do is I can continue to drag the sliders and make those changes what's really great about this editing is it's totally non destructive like you're not hurting your file at all because how light room works and for those of you who aren't light room users I apologize but all of these tools exist in adobe camera raw like every single tool that I'm covering here you just have to know where to find them in a cr so it's not going to be detrimental to how you would work but light room is great because how is looking at this file not actually editing the original file it's working with all the raw data every highlight every shadow that you have available and so I can push and pull and start to bring my highlights down and bring my shadows up if I open this file as is without making any changes in photo shop I don't have all of that information anymore I'm not going to be able to bring the dress back as much or bring up the shadows so that's why instead of doing this particular exposure change in photo shop I would do it here because I'm actually making the changes with all the raw information there's another button I wantedto letyou know about over here when you're changing the attributes of your brush you want tohave auto mask turned on because well auto mask does it to text edges so as I'm darkening down maybe I don't want the wall behind her toe look darker because then all of a sudden I'm gonna have a halo around the dress and it's clear that I darkened it down so what auto mask does to text those edges and it keeps your change within the edges so it's going to make it look more natural because one of the things that I like about photo shop is it's easier for me to adjust masks and to go back and change my mind and it's ok and can do it in late room as well but this is another thing that just helps you have more control so I couldn't do the same thing I can come in here dark and down this highlights and if I think I need to go more I can keep going more and what's great is I can always erase this I can always get rid of it all you have to do is you click on this dot that was created for that adjustment shows you the mask of where he applied it and I can click on it and just delete and then start again so for this particular image what I would do is I would darken down her dress I'd bring up the exposure on her face just a little bit but then for all my re touching getting rid of blemishes anything like that for me that's done in photo shop because I have more control so on can I have it in the micro whoever has my link to my block can they put that up for a second or maybe they already did oh they did I see it ok they're good um we're going to talk about not in this segment but then in the next one we're going to talk about frequency separation a little bit we're going to start getting into that I'm going to tell you how to do it exactly step by step but I recommend you go to this link that you can see because most of what I'm talking about I create actions so that you don't have to do it over and over again you could just and saw the action hit the button and it's totally free so I have ah frequency separation action for a bit sixteen bit for contouring the face and then also for dodging and burning eso it does there's like four or five different actions in that link like so I go to the art institute and they show us but that really essentially explain it so I don't have a full understanding and like the youtube videos they watched just move really fascinate you gets applause in anything but sometimes they're worse going run together yeah totally so for actions and just you know I know that we're there are creative lives action classes or somebody who's done I know somebody for like photoshopped week did a whole entire class about actions but basically what it's doing is as you're making changes in photo shop it's recording your every move so if I duplicate a lair it'll duplicate the same relative layer if I run it in the future if I open up levels and I make specific tonal adjustments it'll save that and apply it in the future so for example on frequency separation ready missus really fast duplicate the background twice you take the bottom one and you blurt you take the top when you do it and apply image and then you gotta change the tough one to land here late and then it's kind of a lot of steps when you have the action you hit play and there's one place where you need to input a specific number based on each image so what my action does is you hit the button it says what number do you want to input and then it's done vs doing all those steps so there's something you know you do over and over again you can save it as an action or maybe what I do is a fashion photographer especially with skin is let's say that I had a bunch of images and later on it aside to make a color change now I could make a late run pre set but let's say that the changes that I made it was specific things for curves and for color look up and all these things that only exist over here in photo shop so what I could do is they could create an action and then apply it to all of my photos so they all have the same look s o gives you come some consistency so time saving and consistency and it's really not hard to create them yourself but you just got to find a good tutorial on how to do it so that so I would say definitely check out that creative live class I create actions for myself pretty much every shoot that ideo just to keep it everything nice and consistent okay so that's just to address what I do in photoshopped versus what I do in late room I of course also will go ahead and grab white balance in light room or adobe camera raw so what I'm saying like rumored o b camera you can do everything I'm doing in either one so for those of you who missed it we were taking pictures of great cards or color checkers this entire time so that we could always have a nice neutral point so in this image what I want to do is I want to grab my weight balance eyedropper in the developed module and I want to go ahead and click on one of these bottom neutral swatches it is going to give me correct white balance based on that great card because what it's seeing in this image is I was shooting an auto and this is what auto white balance gave me and it was reading off of her skin tone and it was a little bit to cool a little bit too blue but when I go ahead and grab that white balance picker it takes a look at that swatch and says who it's supposed to be great it's a little bit blue we got a warm this whole thing up so that's the look that you have and yesterday I was recommending for really pale people if there's not enough warmth in their skin there's actually other swatches included on this color checker and it's this top row the far left is neutral to see there wasn't a change and then as you move further over to the right each one warms up the photo a little bit more so it is not correct white balance if you have something greater neutral in the scene it will be warmer than it is supposed to be but if that's the better look for that skin tone then maybe that's the option that you would want to choose I like that for when you have someone that's just really pale or this skin looked a little bit cool a little bit ashy can warm it up just a little bit using that so and we talked about the differences between the color checker and thie great car great card is just white balance color checker actually gives you a profile for the lighting and the colors in that scene all right so let's get started with this photograph we're going to start editing this and so we have a few problems going on in this photograph someone is human and the problems that we have going on is she has a lot of redness a lot of readiness in her cheeks and a lot of readiness in her skin she also has some undesirable textures as well overall I'm okay with the white balance I could make some changes if I wanted teo I took a picture of a color checker so I could do that for example I made of the white balance change here well this was shot in the same waiting conditions in light room the power of light room is what I can do is clicked on that first image where I made the change if I hold shifter command I can click on the second image and you can go to the bottom right hand corner and click on sink settings and it brings up this dialog box with a million different options and basically what I'll do is I'll check any of the things that I changed in the first image that I want to carry over to that second image so in this instance I want the white balance to match because that's why I shot the great card that's why I shot the color checker so I hit synchronized and immediately corrected that image so it looks perfect it's exactly the white balance that I'd want and the reason it's great is if I shot a wedding with two thousand images but it was all kind of in the same environment can get that white balance once and applied it to every other photo so that's one of the powers of light room that's why I do my initial edits here I get it right okay so let's go back to this photo so what aiken d'oh as I can go to photo editor in adobe photo shop cc and it should open up with no errors if you didn't have your workspace is matching you would see the errors there all right so let's talk about a good one how do you get rid of readiness in the skin because I'm sure some of you have said okay well I'm just going to de saturate reds right and then all of a sudden they look dead but they have like really gray skin so here is one way to do it we're gonna talk about a bunch of different ways but this is where I want to start I don't wanna have to go ahead and leave the red and retouch it out if I could just get rid of the color because I'm going to change my retouching I'm going to have to do more work on the skin to get rid of the red if I could just control it with color I'd rather do that it's less damage to the skin so here's what you want to dio and we're going to now talk about the essentials that will be incredibly important for the entire rest of the day so everybody pay attention okay we're going to talk about adjustment layers and layers masks if you don't know adjustment layers and layers masks you're causing yourself a great deal of stress because they are the foundations of editing every single thing that I will be doing for the rest of the day is going to be using adjustment layers and their masks okay so let's start off with an adjustment layer adjustment layers how I see them are basically like gels that you're putting over top of a print so that gel it might be a color it might be an effect it might be contrast it might be black and white and everything underneath it will have that effect applied so our adjustment layers are over here on the right if you click on the half moon cookie it brings up all of the different options that you have and so the reason this is good is that it's non destructive and it doesn't take up a lot of file space the opposite of what a lot of people do is let's say that I wanted to change theo exposure wanted to change the levels for example what I used to do is I would like duplicate the background that I come here to image adjustment levels I'd make an adjustment there and then I go ahead editing and then like ten steps down the line I changed my mind I cannot go back because it's destructive actually duplicated that layer and made the change I can't go back it's embedded in that file now what lair masks allow you to do it I mean sorry adjustment layers like two d'oh if I click on levels now that change is simply a gel it's simply a lens to look through and whenever I want to change it I could double click on and make a change and whatever I wanted to lead it I can delete it but it also saves a lot of information because I'm not duplicating my background eight hundred times and merging down and then I can't go back so any changes that you do if you can use a nondestructive method if you khun dio adjustment layers definitely do it all right so let's talk about the red skin than awesome tip click on your adjustment layers and the one we're going to select right now is hugh and saturation so we know that we want to change the red we don't want to read anymore well if I just try to de saturate things in the picture that clearly doesn't work and if I try to change the hue I mean that's it's not targeted enough but what we do have is we do have the ability to go into different color channels so right here where it says master I just delete that could anyone right here where it says master aiken go into individual color channels reds yellows greens all of that so I already know that I want to mess with reds like its readiness in the skin that I want to get rid of but the same thing happens if I'm thinking okay well her skin skin is yellow and I want to get rid of the readiness so let's try d sound trading the reds what ends up happening is it d saturates the whole face so in order to have a little bit more control there's these sliders down here that most of us never think of for even a second on what they let you do is pick the specific hue of that red and then adjust just that part of the red so this is what I do is I need to be able to see what I'm selecting so I usually like super saturate my image okay so you can see what you're selecting better don't worry we're gonna we're gonna cancel it out we're going to get rid of it leader and know what I'm going to do is I'm going to drag this slider left and right so let's see what happens okay that's not doing what I want I just want to see that red in this get okay I see that you see that right now just that readiness in her skin that I don't like is being highlighted being selected now it is also selecting her lips but don't worry we can fix that but I'm able to just get that realization just get that readiness so this is perfect also what I did is I clicked in the very middle of those sliders I didn't grab those little individual markers because that screws everything up it gets all complicated but what you do want to know is the ej is the far edges of those sliders are based basically like expanding your selection if you've used plug ins maybe you've heard of threshold or feathering it's technically feathering how far do you want this election to reach into other similar colors so I can grab the left don't see how that works I didn't do too much let's grab the right well okay that's gonna be way too much but let's control right right there like I think that that's getting that readiness selected which is perfect okay well now I don't want to see that supersaturated anymore so if you if you double click on saturation double click on the word it sets it back to zero that's a quick way to do it so I've got just that red targeted because of how I placed those sliders and now what I can do is I can drag the hue to change it from red to maybe a little bit cooler and so I can hit before and after you see what it's doing to the readiness in her skin there's something way way in you can see the change and so I've basically neutralized that red and look again at the blemish and now it's going to be more like her skin tone so the problem that we now have is as I back up everything looks great got rid of a ton of that readiness which is going to save me a lot of time retouching but now a mess that the lips okay so this is the next thing that I said is insanely important and you have to know in order for you to get the rest of the day is the little box to the right to the right hand side where it says hugh saturation that is called a lair mask and that's what allows me to decide what parts of the photo this change is applied to and again it's totally non destructive because let's say I did the same thing to another duplicated my background did the change and then I'd have to a race and then I can't go back and have done a ton of erasing later on this would it allows me to do is make a change at any point how it works and this is how you want to think that there's a there's a saying but I'm gonna explain it first wherever you see white the change next to it is visible so if I see hugh situation here and the whole thing's white that hugh saturation has been changed to the whole photo wherever I see black it's basically blacked out that change is hidden so the saying is black conceals white reveals so let's see what this looks like so if I come in here all I need to do is grab a black brush I'm just on my brush shortcuts b you grab your brush and now when I paint selected on that mask and I'm going to grab a brush it a hundred percent I could bring the color of her lips back if she was wearing a red shirt if there was something else in the photograph that was being affected all I need to do is paint black and the great thing about using adjustment layers is I can always double click on that adjustment layer gold back into the red channel and maybe I think you know what I still see some red I want to go a bit farther or maybe I think it starts to go too far and I can change it no matter where I am at this process and I can also change my mind and decide I liked the lips the color that they looked originally so instead of having black the hide that hugh saturation aiken switchback and paint white and go back and apply that hugh saturation changed the lips so that would be my very first tip for you that makes a huge difference let's look again very quickly and simply getting rid of redness in the skin works really well for people like a lot of people have readiness in the nose or a lot of texture if they've been blowing their nose from a cold that's what you would want to use so you see if there's any questions on that well quick clarification for everybody shooter in new york says does this in this example doesn't model have any makeup on wouldn't make up helps at this before shooting and you had said that you had done this in order teo demonstrate exactly what we're doing right now yeah so almost none of the examples I'll be using have makeup on because when I was a portrait photographer nobody more makeup they were whatever they did for themselves so this is she walked into the studio and this is exactly what she'll do like but of course over the past two days we've seen the power that you know doing the right makeup shooting correctly lighting it well all that that can have to help you actually do really amazing work but in order for this demonstration we're keeping it clean even that simple exactly well and then also for this this lighting for rose asia for red skin this is actually the more forgiving lighting I was using a soft box and a white reflector which is what we talked about yesterday would make the readiness not as pronounced and she still had a lot of readiness so at this point then if you didn't have make up you've got to do this you've got to do something okay so that is the so maybe this is kind of a question that khun lead throughout the day pro photo says why do you not use the light room developed tone curve channel to reduce red without having to switch to a photo shop so can you talk just briefly before we get too much further into it about why you use light room are what you use like informed than what you're doing photo shop instead definitely so all right so I popped back over into light room for a second and there's some really cool tools that let you do selective adjustments so for example something that I like is if you go to the tone curve a lot of people don't see this tool or don't know it but there's a little little die it's a little control point when you click on it what I can do is let's say I think this shirt is too light I wanted dark meant down I don't know but in this case would be maybe a wedding dress that was too like I can click on it if I dragged down it'll take just that specific tone and darken it down or if I drag it up it takes just that specific area and lighten it up you can see on the right hand side beyond manipulating the curve and it's clicked on a very specific point so let's make it really targeted but not targeted enough there are work arounds like I could go ahead and then use that plug in so I could have layers and mask things out but that's kind of a pain so the same thing I also have available to me in the huse saturation and luminous channel me close some of these so hugh saturation and luminant dialogue actually use the time I make a lot of changes there so it could go ahead and maybe go in and say ok a saturation let's pull those reds way way down and it makes a difference to de saturate them but it makes a difference to the whole photo so like okay let's neutralize that and I can go into hughes and I can also change the hue of the reds but it's not controlled enough it's getting all the red in her skin read on her lips in different areas so specifically the way that I didn't photo shop I could control the feathering the specific tone I could actually see it versus here it's just doing what it wants and I also have that same targeted circle over here and I can click on the lips and change the humans see how it's changing everything that's even close to it so I don't have quite enough ability to control what it selecting however on the flip side capture one does capture one if you're using it to edit which is a program that you would use to edit likea phase one file or medium format digital back but it does edit raw files you definitely can't do si r two's in any f there it has a module that lets you do basically what we just did and who's saturation in photoshopped lets you do that same control where you can feather and modify your selection and capture one actually has masking built into it without having a plug in so that's why a lot of people who news capture one love it but it tends to be used more by the kind of a high end professional in general

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


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?