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Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 21 of 37

Shoot: Mixed Tones and Pale Skin in Sunlight


Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 21 of 37

Shoot: Mixed Tones and Pale Skin in Sunlight


Lesson Info

Shoot: Mixed Tones and Pale Skin in Sunlight

let's talk about if I were photographing two people of different skin tones together and we're going to use this same concepts that we had in the studio so let me put this down because I like to use my hands talk a lot and hold a dress so okay um all right so fine photographing the two of them the easiest thing to do or what I would try to do is put them in the shade because I can put them in the shade than evens out the light a little bit it's more more diffuse light source and then what I would do is that introduced light back into the scene say a reflector but I would have the reflector closer to the darker skin tone so what's going to happen is it lights her more and then the light falls off by the time it reaches him it gets a little bit darker and just as we were defusing the are feathering the soft box in the studio remember how I was changing the angle so the light wouldn't hit him as much I could do the exact same thing here I can use a reflector and changed the angle so that ...

it's hitting her significantly more than him and so what I'm doing as I'm bringing up the exposure on her and keeping him constant so now it's going to be much more even exposure on the two different skin tones that's great and shadow I can still do it here what I would have to do is turn them away from the sun so have you guys this way a little bit and I'm going to do something very very similar to that in a high end production like I said commercialized I would go ahead and try to get a scram or diffuser over the scene and get rid of those bright highlights but it is super wendy so that's not gonna happen today so instead I'm going to bring you guys over with the reflectors yeah I wanna start with the reflector first thank you and no flash this time just reflectors and I will tell you like I said we're cheating a little bit because you've got this nice phil which is that brings up another great point when I go to a scene when I when I show up at a location where I'm photograph people of two different skin tones what I will look for is a large natural reflector what I mean by that is if there is a large make sure it's not gonna tip over okay if there is a large white wall hit by the sun that is a gigantic white reflector with beautiful even diffused light I would love to light them with that because it's not not very contrast so it's gonna be nice and even we've got like the roof over there gives us a little nice phil side of a building a side of a moving van like anything that's a large even light source low contrast on dh having a bounced white light source means that it brings the exposure in a little bit she is not going to be a cz dark he's not going to be a bright kind of even so I definitely will do that and here it's pretty nice because that's what this ground is giving us a little bit of phil so even if I don't do anything this picture will actually look pretty decent not not great but pretty good so I look like you know each other against christian okay and I'm going to noe reflector for a second so this is without me doing anything because we have the reflective ground all right just a little okay so if we take a look here it's not perfectly ideal but it's not like she's extremely dark and he's extremely pale it's kind of in between because we have this nice diffuse light source but I need a little bit more even skin tone so what I want to do is I'm gonna have john here kickin some light on her but try to avoid lighting him all right so look you know keep again perfect and is it possible to have the reflector a little higher or is it that windy I know okay we're there we're trying it good when we're and kick it up a little okay I think we're kind of close we're working on here we'll try one more time okay all right so angled towards it right there so all he did and I think this came over here can see it and what happened is when he kicked this light and all he did is like her so much that one more time I'll see if I could try one like right there and let's try right there that's just her like right there first is getting both of them so that's feathering and that's what you want to do is you want to try to get the angle the reflector just to hit her and leave him not lit all right we'll try one more of those sorry don and putting yuto like intense work today okay I'll tell you when keep going a little bit more and try one more time one more little harsher see watching for it right there okay looks cute looks nice if you'll notice the highlights on their shoulders and on the top of his hands there's still blown out like it's still not as dark as I'd like it to be because we don't have a diffuser over the scene I would like to a daily scrim over the scene it's too windy you can't do that but one thing I can do is that same thing as I did before darkened down the scene using high speed sync aiken darken down the scene and then introduce a flash but how that flash closer to her side so it lights her first and feather it also doesn't like him as much that's going to give me a little control so that I can actually under expose the environment so that the benefit or downside of using natural light versus stroke if you do take a strobe on location it'll give me more control over choosing what the highlights looked like and the environment because I can darken it down using strobe with natural light I'm gonna have to defuse it to darken it down and then add in reflector so yeah let's good try the flash please you guys are doing great excellent okay um how about now I didn't hit the button and this is the high speed sync but in change for a reason maybe not just sit and see if it works um so it wasn't high speed now it's not just let's test it and let me to see how it's going in and I'll take a look in back of it well we'll give it a little try and see if I do need to take a look at the flash for a second okay friendly friendly downside is that there's not going to be a modeling light here for me to see I actually can have a modeling light if I held in on the side of my camera in some of the cameras and depending on how you do this there's something called an auto focus assist team not office uh feel preview button thank you that's what he's looking for that field review but if you hold it what it does is it pulses the flash and you could get a quick idea of the modeling light so you can see if it's hitting just her or him of course you can just take a couple pictures and see but that gives you an idea of where the light's going so let me see how this is working let's get the exposure rate yeah was working okay better not get distance isn't safe okay so it's talking to each other so what I did is able to darken down the highlights a little bit and I'm waiting just her and not him all right good and I'm gonna have you bring even closer to her great perfect looks good I need to open up a little bit more hold on recycled time perfect great okay so now when I look at this the backgrounds a little darker and I'm able to use thank you I'm able to use my stroke just to pump light on her but I can angle it I confederate so that it's just letting her and not him so now my skin tones are much more even ondas much more pleasing of a photograph so that would be the approach that I would take do you have the apollo up here still like around I'm just going to show people a couple options that they do have you guys have been wonderful if you are going to take your your stroll but your flash on location I like the flash bender e I think I'm going to keep him okay thank you excellent okay so if you are going to take your speed light on location what you want to remember is you want to be able to defuse it make it softer also for lighting somebody even if I were lighting just her for example I wantto have maybe a bigger broader light source to light her entire body so there are many different manufacturers that make modifiers that go with your stroke so here's one for example that's called the apollo it's made by westcott and it's four speed light so what it does is it gives you a soft box on location your flash mount points back into that and then it kicks it out onto your subject and it's going to be a much softer light source and it looks beautiful glowing like taking your studio out on location so that is something that you might want to look into if you wanted to be able to try to compress the scene just like I was talking about before and because it's deeper so in turn to the side a little bit but it's a deeper modifier what it lets you do is that same bucket analogies are saying before has a little more fall off so what I could do it I could do that same feathering approach are photographing two people could also back it up and have kind of nice even diffuse life on a full length subject a couple other things that you might consider is well is maybe you don't like speed lights not your thing but you still want to be able to overpower the ambient perhaps so another option is to take studio strobes out on location and so one of the things I've been shooting a ton recently is the new pro photo b one b one is awesome because it takes it looks just like a d one air has a lot of the same functionality which is the pro photo model block but I can't take it out on location it gets two hundred twenty full power flashes on a battery and that's including with a modeling like so now I have a modeling light to see what I'm doing and all that stuff I taught you in the studio all those things about layering light and all that will do the same thing because I am taking my studio strobes on location those air a little bit more expensive so you could also try using another option which would be a vagabond policy bus makes a battery pack the bad vagabond lithium extreme is their newest and strongest one and take whatever studio you strove you have from your own studio and use on location toe overpower the son though you do need higher wattage which means that battery gets sucked up really really fast okay so can I have a reflector with black the negative phil perfect okay so something else that you wanted to consider is I'm photographing him and he is a very we'll get more pale light source ah subject the light on his face kind of very flat and so for a guy it's not actually ideal it's not bad but it's not ideal so have you faced me real quick perfect all right and looked right at me d'oh ducking down a little right there we'll take another shot one more okay so if you're looking at his face right now particularly for lighting a guy and someone who's a little bit more pale the light's really flat on his face and what we said before with people that are pale something that you want to do is you want to introduce shadow right now we have like no shadow because of this phil so there's a couple different things you could dio for introducing shadow can you turn that around all right so you could do something called negative phil and so you could take a black reflector and put it really close to one side of the face or other or maybe underneath his chin and what it will do is try to eat up some of the light so john wherever you think it might eat it up most so it good give me a little bit of definition but that not too much if like what I might do in this situation is moved him to where there's not a ton of phil especially from below because when you want a natural reflector you want like a wall from above ideally right now it's kind of coming from underneath his chin instead of ah nice angle from the side or above so I could also lay down black fabric and we have some black fabric I could lay that down in front of him and that would help suck up some of that bottom line so that's another thing that I could do and can I have the uh that strobe one more time right there but because there's no shadow on his face and I am not pleased with that I can go ahead and darkened down the ambience just like I said with high speed sync I'm going ahead and I'm going to darken down there using really fast shutter speed I'm gonna darken it down and then throw in some light so I can actually make shadow on his face so he doesn't look so pale and he doesn't look so flatly lit so I'm gonna try one without this room first and let's get roughly what I want that background to look like so I overpowered the ambient a lot I'm shooting let's see me shoot some place around here I can close out a little bit okay so I've really really gotten rid of most of the ambient light on the face which is good because now I decide with the light on the faces instead of whatever the environment is giving me so I'm gonna throw my strobe great perfect and nice and close in the great here take a look and could you bring this out to the front a little bit more and a little higher great they're perfect so I'm gonna have you do a one two three open your eyes because you're a little squinty okay okay so close your eyes for me all right ready one do you think that was cute so I'm looking at him I need a little bit more exposure but that's pretty close to what I need dude the one to three okay and I might I might tweak the exposure a little bit more and get it just right I think it's a little bit overexposed but at least now I got some shadow I've got some contrast before it was kind of dead in the eyes not enough shape and of course the other option that you could do is underexposed and try to add in a reflector for him I would use I would try to use silver so I'd have a little bit more contrast and try to get some shadows to the face white light give me a little bit of that flatness again but I would make sure I'm not holding it to the front I would have the light off to the side so left the right to give a little bit more shadow

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?