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Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 23 of 37

Skin Challenges: Multiple Skin Tones Outside


Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 23 of 37

Skin Challenges: Multiple Skin Tones Outside


Lesson Info

Skin Challenges: Multiple Skin Tones Outside

this one we didn't touch on but it's kind of combining everything we're talking about taking a wedding dress outside so if you're going to think that you can get dark person with dark skin in a wedding dress in bright sunlight ever toe look perfectly balanced that's going to be a huge challenge you really got to try to get get them out of the sun try to get them in the shade covered shades something like that you could use everything we talked about in the studio but it is going to be harder so let's take a look at a couple of things this is getting both the exposure on her face correct and the wedding dress without overexposing in camera instead of having due in post so the challenge is you have with dark skin and a wedding dress outside challenge number one is there's just too much exposure range the dress is going to be too bright the face is going to be too dark you kind of gotta pick one or the other it's also difficult when you're trying to figure this out if the background becom...

es another element you're trying to balance with like if there's a bright background or really dark background s so what we've got to do a couple things you want diffused ambient light sun is just it's going to make it near to impossible to really control you khun do it but you've got to think about about all those things you got to think about the high speed think and then you got to think about just lighting on her face and not the whole dress so you're kind of combining everything we talked about the layered light like we did in the studio you could do outside and the high speed sync to darken down the background teo kind of have all these elements so it's just easier to get the person in the shade or diffuse light if you have a scream that would be great as well you have to add like just to the face and not to the dress you could use a smaller light or try to feather it to try an angle your light so it's not lighting the whole dress and said just the face you're compressing the exposure right pumping up the shadows bringing down the highlights on go look for a medium back not too bright not too dark so it's just one less element that you have to worry about so this is the problem you run into I spot needed on her face here and the dress is way over exposed no detail it all and I know that she's not to be happy with that and then the other picture exposed I spot meted for the middle of her chest here the brightest highlight and when I did that under exposes her face so I've got this problem it's just too much tonal range so we're doing what we do what I said before I got to find a way to build up the shadows bring down the highlights all right so this again there's the two choices and this is what it looks like in in in light room if I turn on my exposure warning when exposed for her face a turn in the exposure warning for the highlight all of this has no detail all of that dress has no detail but if I conversely go ahead and incorrectly exposed for her dress her eye sockets are pure black because she's definitely not going to be happy with either of these solutions all right so here's what you gotta do you have to introduce some light into the scene but try to just light the face you can feather the light up so that instead of having the light pointed downwards where it lights the whole dress try toe point it up and you can kind of see that he's doing that pointed more towards her face instead of down the whole dress you can also try to bring the light source way way in the bucket of water he holds the light really far back it's going to light her whole dress it's throwing the bucket from far back the water spreads everywhere but if I bring it really really close to her face it'll just be focused and that's usually what I do for letting a subject with dark skin and a white dress on location I go ahead and I bring a flash bender really really close it just like their face and then doesn't like the dress so what I will dio is that we'll set my camera on manual and exposed for how the dress is supposed to look so now it's not overexposed but her face is too dark so I keep like mike cameron manual there and then I introduced flash until now her face is correctly exposed but not spilling on to the rest of the dress so that's how you have to try to manage that particular scene so this is him coming in closer it's a little bit too bright for me here I think it's spread out a little bit but it's not terrible you can also do this with natural light it's just harder you can do a natural it's just harder to control eh so in this instance same thing exposed for the dress and her face is way too dark so I can so I can go ahead and grab a reflector we've got her fucked over here is my friend taking behind the scenes waken grab a reflector and just watch really carefully where you're aiming that reflector so that it is just hitting her face and we've had to use silver in this instance because I'm going to get full length um probably using white I'm gonna have to get a little bit too close and we're actually standing in the middle of traffic in new york city happens doing it for the shot anyway so we're letting her face but the downside is today when it's really windy using a reflector becomes really hard because what happens is the wind blows and now what it's doing is it's lighting her chest in her dress and I missed your face still underexposed and now the dress is also over exposed so that's why it's a little bit harder to control but if it's a nice calm day and you can actually manage the light just kick some light in on their face I put her in shadow in the scene so that the light is flat and I'm gone ahead and pumped in a reflector on her face okay the last one multiple skin tones outside we did that we downloaded but let's go over the essentials again in case you want to reference this multiple skin tones on location the exposure drastic is drastically different on one person to another and so what you want to do is try to get low contrast light not direct sunlight drafted dress online is going to make it nearly impossible to try to get light subject to be appear darken off a dark subject to appear late enough so you could go ahead and defuse the scene with a big scrim you could do that or try to put them in the shade or get them out of that really contrast the light if you are lighting the scene you want to put the darker skin tone closer to the light source whether that's a reflector or whether that's going to be a speed like so trying to get the darker skin tone to be more illuminated and then you feather the light off of the lighter skin tone soon make sure basically that light that you're pumping into the scene is just hitting the darker skin tone so you'd expose for the lighter skin tone and so that you're bringing down the highlights to be manageable and then bringing up the shadows on the darker skin tone so you like that huh um if you can find a really diffused light source like I did here I don't really need to do that much she's still a little bit darker but let's say you don't have any reflectors you don't have anything here this moving truck behind me is hit by the sun and it is a gigantic soft reflector it's just a big white reflector so if I have nothing else available to me try to find some type of natural reflector there and that bounces the light and its lower contrast the highlights won't be is bright the shadows on p is dark it's not perfect but it's pretty good okay so I have them in another scene not as much filled they're still a little bit of phil there and so I'm going to add so I'm sad phil is supposed to say to the right guys not left isom adding the fill to the right so that it just hits her it gets him a little bit but I'm trying to feather it so mostly I'm pumping in exposure pumping in light on her so it's just all about controlling your reflector bringing her closer to the light source so that is covered everything that we did on location trying to control multiple skin tones light skin tones dark skin tones and both of them together so should I start with audience questions we have got a ton saved up from the last segment but I think we would love to ask but you guys get your questions ready as well let's start with one from buddy love says can you bracket exposures to make up for lost highlights or is that completely impossible I mean breaking exposure like shooting multiple frames yeah exactly I mean the problem is is you run into the same problem as you do with hdr so the idea behind hdr is that you're shooting the same frame at multiple exposures and then you can put it together which cheating it's j r is gonna let you get the detail in the highlights and the detail in the shadows but our subjects move it was going to be a pain in the butt teo line up and you have to do post processing anyway so you're better off trying to compress the scene a little bit if you have to do post processing bring in those highlights or bring up those shadows it just it'll be less work to do it that way all right I have a question here from painted foot who says I find that when I try to expose for the background and add flash the background looks very fake like a film set how do I make the light look more cohesive do you ever have that problem I know what you're talking about and it's kind of just don't under expose that much the more you under exposed a faker it looks so it's picking a balance if you look at your background and you read the correct exposure maybe just don't read what your camera says is correct like opening up a little bit as long as even if the backgrounds over exposed a little as long as it's not distracting it's okay so frequently I have overexposed backgrounds I'm just looking for really distracting elements that's what I'm trying to limit I probably over exposed my backgrounds more often than not versus really under exposing them because yeah it does start to look a little fake and especially if I'm going for like a more natural family portrait or something like that it doesn't quite have the air I feel I'm going for so question from ah beth from texas who is wondering how you would handle someone wearing a hat I counted this and found it challenging to deal with especially if the hat is white or black so you're out in the sun somebody's wearing a hat to protect themselves from it and then you've got shadow under highlights under bright background so what take the head off I know I don't know I know I know that's a jerky answer teo today I mean of course hat is going to make it really difficult because then in order to pump like in the face you have to have your light source lower and then it's not a flattering direction of light so I mean lifting up the broom a little bit chin up a little bit try to do something like that also if your subject can sit and you can have them look up at you then your higher angle of light will be more flattering and the brim is going to be a little bit higher so I would say it comes down to a little bit of posing and angles at that point otherwise just pumping in light from below usually ends up giving you bottom line or making them take it off all right lindsay can we just do a review mick ryan was asking about you using a color checker outdoors can we just do a review of white balance outside and yeah definitely so what I do is I usually set my weight balance preset right away today light I'm not going to stick with that but I just don't want me my white balance bouncing all over the place at least it gives me kind of ah middle ground all right so I'll do that and then you take a picture of a color checker and you want to hold it in front of your what your subjects of beholding it and you want whatever light is hitting their face to be hitting the color checker like for example if we were outside and they have their back to the sun I want hold in front of them not facing the sun because the color of light on their face is influenced by that ground that it was balancing off of a nearby wall like that's how I'm going to get my white balance I have to hold it just where their faces you want a photograph and you want to photograph it right side up I mean the little faces on it if you're using the x ray passport color checker they need to be right set up and then what we're going to do in post processing is going to use a plug in in light room there probably is a version for aperture but I use light room on dh it's going to help bring in the colors in the exposure by doing this color checker maybe a couple more just kind of like really quick ones beach was wondering and we've talked about this a lot throughout this wood using a gold reflector help with such a like pail are fair skinned person so it sounds like it would but it doesn't because the problem is it just gives them a yellow hue it's not really warming up the skin tone it just looks like now they're lit by a yellowish light it works better for silver gold filling in shadows of a darker skin tone what I would do is maybe a silver gold mix and then under exposed them a little bit that would probably help but gold it ends up looking like split like it ends up being weird thing too much golden yellow in the shadows it sounds like it would work but it doesn't work all that great okay a question from elizabeth talking about shooting outdoors of being backlit how do you get rid of the red on someone's ears are shooting through ears yeah okay so really funny thing I never heard this and then someone I know puts tape on the back of their ears anyone ever done that I've never done that but that I heard that's a thing and I was like okay so maybe you taped the person's years but uh it's post processing for me personally if I'm not goingto keep their ears it's going to be post processing it is kind of a pain if it's heavily lit so also I mean I kind of watched based on where they're angle that it's not like pouring through the air like bending and how their heads turned you can actually have it so that the light isn't coming directly through otherwise post processing and I think we're probably good to move on at this point unless we have any oh yeah eso you brick we mentioned about the term overpowering the sun so I guess my question is do you ever run into a situation where you need multiple spiel eyes on one soft box and when used stories in high speed sync and totally know that is awesome and completely relevant question I know it's not intelligence I'm not really allowed to say that whatever it's cool just love me you can say whatever you want with your lives okay the answer is yes absolutely so when I was up there and I was using my flash better I was bringing really really close to the face because it's a small light source and I wanted to be softer but it's also because in high speed sync in the middle of the day it does not have that much kick if I was holding like let's say that I'm photographing him if I'm holding the light back here it will not reach him strong enough with one flash because that's how hyde swede sink works it's taking out a lot of lower powered flashes so in that case let's say I wanted to use a large shoot through umbrella or one of the larger apollo's if I put the strobe and now not only is it having to reach him it's got to reflect in the back of the pollo shoot out through the diffusion when cuts out at least to stop and then reach him so I've increased the distance I've defused it and so what ends up happening is there's just not enough power so that's why they make multiple brackets for two or three speed lights so what what it comes down to is if that's what you want to dio neither need multiple speed lights to use high speed sync or you take a strobe on location that has higher wattage so minimum like eight sorry five hundred watt second strobe on location of how baby about what you need minimum but even a little higher would probably help you literally overpower the sun

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?