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Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 3 of 37

Skin Essentials: Mixed Lighting, Color Contamination


Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

Lesson 3 of 37

Skin Essentials: Mixed Lighting, Color Contamination


Lesson Info

Skin Essentials: Mixed Lighting, Color Contamination

mixed lighting would mean let's say you're in a room and you've got a big window over here and then a nice bright tungsten lamp over here and so what ends up looking like is really really yellow the side of the face really really blew this side of the face because daylight is blue and tungsten is yellow and that does not look nice on skin tones I mean it's a huge pain and they said there are ways to fix it in post but we would like to be awesome photographers and not have to fix it in post so let's talk about some of the options you have here first and foremost if you can avoid it at all costs do if you have the ability to like well there's really bright windows like it's a it's an event really really a huge bank of windows and there's overhead tungsten lights but they're not contributing anything if you can go sneak and turn them off and not get yelled out by like the event coordinator do it it's going to make your job easier really ifit's not contributing barely noticed so that used ...

to be my trick so try to avoid at all costs if you can't avoid it basically what you have to do is you gotta pick one am I gonna white balance for the windows are my going to white balance for the tungsten lights and then you add a strobe toe overpower the one you don't like so that's what I do I walk into a scene I look at it and say okay can I turn off the overhead tongue stones no all right looks like they're pretty strong so I'm going to do is I'm gonna balance for the tungsten in my camera my weight balance preset and I'm going to try to overpower the window light try to get everything the same color so let's take a look at what that might look like this is a new image in a serious that I shot with eric melon we taught a class called conquering crappy lighting so and that's what he was talking with droopy lighting in the beginning if you missed that that was funny s o I walk into the scene and over here is a big window so this is all blue light and then over here in the back is a very pretty lamp and it is very very yellow so if you look at her face it is blue and yellow and definitely not flattering is definitely not what I want her skin tone to look like so I know for sure the way that I want to go is going to be to pick one so let's say I can't turn off the overhead lights all I did she's just facing the window okay so just pretend that doesn't mean that she's just facing the window and I'm waiting this way this is what happens at four am gonna get yelled at so she's facing the window and the cameras shooting her that way so yeah if you look she definitely has yellow on her hair and it's definitely yellow in the background but her skin looks good and that's all we care about because this is a skin class so you can go that way all right but let's say that I don't have a choice like this is it's a bridal party they're sitting at the head table and there's a window on the left and tungsten on the right and there is nothing I can do about it so what do you want to dio so unavoidable makes light as you have here you're going to choose the white balance and match your strobe so what I could do in that scene is I could go ahead and you saw how she was blue on the side and yellow on the other I could go ahead and say you know what I'm going to daylight balance I set my camera my white balance to daylight I'm going to take my strobe and just try to overpower that tungsten whatever my strobe isn't reaching like in the background it's still going to be yellow but I'm going to try to overpower as much as possible in the only thing that's really important to me is overpowering that yellow on our face on her skin so I could do that or if the tungsten is really really bright and that's what's dominant maybe there's only a little bit of window light coming through set my white balance to tungsten for the light in that room I'll take my flash and make it tungsten because you have a problem if you don't what ends up happening is if I go ahead and I say okay I can't this is this is for balancing for the room okay let's say that window light was very weak so I said okay I wanted I wanted a I want a balance for tungsten okay I want to make sure that this light in the background isn't yellow I want to make sure this side of her face is correct so I said at tungsten but then I just pull out my flash and take a picture she's going to be insanely blue because our flashes air daylight balanced so it seems really counterintuitive like it seems opposite of what you want to dio but you actually need to make your flash yellow because since you've said it well it's not real it's orange but same thing since you've set your white balance to tungsten you're getting rid of our neutralizing the tungsten on her face and on the background and then you've got to make your strobe appear tungsten so that it is neutral too basically by switching your white balance preset to tungsten you're just saying neutralize anything that's yellow orange that's what it's doing and so it's going to just look crazy blue if you don't so really the solution in the end is this you pick I wanted teo go ahead and said it's a tungsten because I have really strong tungsten light in the background and then I've got overpower that window so I'm going to grab a flash and I'm going to gel it with something called color temperature orange it's a little orange gel I put on the front now that light matches the background light I'm set to tungsten and now the skin looks nice so if you could do that pick what you're going to overpower set your white balance to whatever you choose and matching strobe that's the easiest way to try to get over mixed lighting situations something borrowed that what I used for events um is this and the's are called rogue gels and they make them for speed lights this is also made by expo imaging and so they have these little gels and this is one full stop color temperature orange which is usually what you're going to use to overpower or to match the tungsten lights so I went to match the tungsten lights with this and there's a bunch of other colors so let's say that I went and I was in a fluorescent room and there was fluorescent and she's like nasty green on the side of her face and then over here she has daylight and I said okay well I want to neutralize that green I don't want the whole background look green so I'm going to set my my pre set I'm going to set it to what to florida but then I throw in my flash and it will look magenta that's how it works it's going to appear the opposite so I've gotta gel my flash to match what I white balanced for I white balance for the fluorescent in the room so you make your flash green which sounds weird it sounds like the opposite of what you want to do but since you're using a preset it's going to neutralize it anyway so these are the ones that I use pretty simple um pretty inexpensive and this would be my recommendation another thing that you can also consider it if you do not have anything like you don't have a flash to overpower the scene and so you've got mixed light and you're stuck with it a couple things that can kind of help you out so one of them that I've used in the past it's called a spider cube okay hold it still and this thing is actually really cool it's just like you are it's your great card but like super on steroids ok it's really cool because what you've got is you've got a lot of different things here you've got your neutral points this is actually for speculum highlights because when you're trying to set your exposure when you're judging you don't actually care if speculate highlights like like really bright highlights are white they're supposed to be what you don't want is white to become over exposed so this is for imposed you can shoot this and gauge that here's your neutral point and then in here it's called a black trap so that will be true solid black because light can't get in there but what's nice about this is if you hold it out in the scene I can get the white balance is for both sides so if anyone has ever used smart filters or double processing I can take a picture of this white balance once for this sign what balance ones for the other and combined them if you had no choice this would be the option that I would go for and it's got another one of those threads on the bottom so if you wanted unlike a little well things stick it out in this scene you could do that on day also can mount to the top of their spider color checker there spider checker it came out on the top of that you could do both on that once okay now barring that that doesn't work or that you don't have one of those which I think they're pretty cool if that doesn't work if you do have an expo disc you can if it's like there's window over here and there's like a little bit of tungsten getting in and it's a little bit mixed and it's no priest that's going to work and it just looks messy you can use an expo disk and just hold it where the subject is and just try to capture the light of the scene it'll help get closer mixed light is still not going to be pretty but it's going to be improved for your skin tones so that would be the process that I would walk through pick a white balance overpower the light that I don't like by joing my flashed match where I set my white balance for use a color checker or one of those spider cubes and then after that if I don't have also use an extra desk so question I just want to let the people at home there there there's been quite a few questions about how do we do this outside where do we point this outside so I just want to remind everybody that we will be having an entire segment shooting outdoors we'll be covering all this then take it ok and when I would also say if you if you have the you put the camera kind of right where the subject's faces and and shoot out at the scene it's built to catch the light of the scene the thing you would want to watch out for outdoors is if for some reason you had a drastic difference of white balance from one side to the other like sons on this side and shaved on the other it's you would want to hold it right in the middle so it actually stand in front of your subject so you can catch everything and that would be how you might use an expo desk so you're kind of making sure that you're capturing all light hitting your subjects and that's what it's made for just one more question a great question here from navy if you had only one white balance helper which one would it be um I usually I'm a fan of the color shocker you bring it out a lot because I'm a fashion photographer the colors the color accuracy is more important to me so either I think a lot of people find the expo disc easy as well because you don't necessarily have to get it out in the scene but at least just shoot from the angle of where your subject is but I would do color checker I had to choose yeah okay number three is color contamination this is I know a huge one that people don't see you don't realize so this is something you have to train yourself to be familiar with what colors are messing up your scene and unfortunately there are many things to do this how many people have photographed a family in a park and they are bright green the whole family because it is being colored contaminated by the light bouncing off the green grass and they look sickly and not good so let's talk about color contamination this is a huge one that I had to figure out on my own and honestly I didn't really figure it out until recently so let's talk about this um so unwanted color what I want you to dio as they want wherever your environment is wherever you were shooting toe look around and look beyond the obvious everybody goes on location six their subject under the tree and says okay well my light sources the sun but there in the shade so it shade white balance not quite especially when you have that situation where the sun is bouncing off the green grass the green grass is bouncing on your subjects and now they're green so what I want you to do is go to whatever environment urine and try to figure out actually what the light source is it might be the open sky might be the green grass there might be light bouncing off of a red wall there might like one funny one is somebody had we look at one of their images and it was this girl in a swimsuit and I said I was their age a gigantic blue pool cover next to her on her left how did you know that because she had a giant blue highlight up her body because the sun was hitting that blue pool cover and bouncing back and hitting the side of her body which is not blue's not really attractive swimsuit color skin tone so you want to look at those things the other things that can cause problems with color contamination is clothing either the subjects or their assistance so you've probably seen instances where someone has for example a bright pink a bright purple top on really bright purple and all of a sudden they have a nice purple glow underneath urchin um so let's let's take a look at these and what you khun dio I say so you analyze the scene so let's start with the reflective grass the problem is the green and yellow tones in the face okay so it's not actually super easy which is probably why a lot of you have a problem with it what one thing you can do is move them and what I mean by that is you're like wait okay so I have my subjects in the shade let's say there in the shade of a tree and you're standing in the sun and maybe like four feet from them is where the shade line ends and in the sun hits the grass because of that the light source on their faces actually just all that light four feet away bouncing off the green grass so if you could put them deeper in shade that's going to help a little bit but another one that I would often dio is I would put them like I won't put this in my photo but I would put my subjects in the shade of all the beautiful green in the background but right where I'm standing is a nice neutral colored sidewalk I don't need to include it in my frame like I can use a parking lot I can use whatever concrete and so if I have that where the light is bouncing instead of a giant green field it doesn't need to be in my frame but now I have nice glowing white light source instead so if you could take a look in position them where the light's not going to be bouncing off that bright green that's one way to get around it okay the less a little bit more complicated way to get around it without photo shop because talk about that but the other way to get around it is you do have to overpower that green like but it doesn't mean you have to blast your subjects with strobes and it doesn't mean you have to use a reflector reflector really strong you just need to add more neutral light to their faces to try to cancel some of that out so I have a couple images that show this and actually some of them one of them is from a workshop that I just did so looking at the image here where she is in the scene is actually photographing her is his workshop I just didn't sweden and so if you look see the shave line right there she's in the shade but her light source is all of the sun bouncing off this graph and hitting her and she's got a little bit from the side over here this is from the open sky this is not from sun this is it's an opening in the trees so this is actually nice and correctly color tone because just open shade but on this side of her face is all of that green reflection greenish yellow from the grass so if I could if I could move her in the shade and maybe over on this sign there's a sidewalk if I could move her over there and stand her near the sidewalk it's going to help me because I don't have that green reflecting but another option and let me just zoom in war times you can see okay this is going to be green this is going to be neutral but another option is to pop in a little bit of light and this is where people go overboard is they think okay I'm going to be using strobe on location so I need to go you know two stops above ambient and make the background like no just because you're using strobe on location doesn't need I mean it needs to look like a flash shot I don't think that this looks like a flash photograph doesn't look like strobe was used in this image to me at least but all I'm trying to dio is just overpower some of this green some of this yellow by kicking in just a little bit of light so you could do this with an off camera flash creative live has lots of classes on speed lines and off camera flash you could also do this with the studio strobe on location if that's what you're more comfortable with or you could also try to do this with the reflector I tend to lean more towards the reflector route that's that's kind of how I like to work let me show you another example kind of same idea o and in this picture I have the new pro photo be one it's just bare balls turned way down and I'm just kicking in just a little bit of light on her face just to get rid of some of that green and some of that yellow and also proved a little bit more the contrast with a little muddy shouldn't have many catch lights in her eyes because the light was coming from blow into the side so actually improves the quality of life okay but you can also do this as I said with reflector so this is my friend sarah and I'm photographing her and shoes standing in the middle of a field the sun's hitting the back of her head and there is a giant green grass everywhere so the on ly light on her face is going to be a light reflecting off the grass from the open sky the open sky like I'm talking about not sun on her face is blue like skies blue we cool on her face and then yellow and green in the shadow areas where it's phil then if you are a black and white photographer no problem but most of our clients at least want to see what it looks like in color yeah I totally used to shoot like shoot black and I was like oh yeah this one is black and white image because it's more emotional because I messed up the white balance really bad but now I don't have to do that s so in this scene what I want to do is I want to overpower this green in this yellow I want pop some light in and so I'm going to do that with a reflector when I'm using reflectors on location one of the things you want to be really really careful of is how you use the reflector a lot of times you get called a lazy but not as into it assistance as you want and they're holding the reflector here and what happens is that's going to give her bottom like it's going to light her nose is going to lay underneath her chin in her jaw line so you want that that reflector to at least be even with her head we're actually honestly even above her head because that direction of light is what carves out the cheekbone owns and carves out the jawline and that's what we have here and this is why she has a nice jaw line here and you can see the reflectors about even in a little bit higher than her head by the catch light but this is a drastic drastic improvement from the previous image which had all that green in the shadows all we've done is pop in a silver reflector so for those of you that wanted an easy solution maybe this is it's not but keep that in mind this is a major source of color contamination on location I use silver and white reflectors I don't really I never use gold just put that out there enough and I don't ever use gold I will very seldom use a silver gold mix and that's particularly with a little bit of warmer skin tones or darker skin tones sometimes the shadows and darker skin tones go a little cool and so I might pop in a little bit there something awful that real quick do perfect so I know this is wait and hope as I said no goals don't look at them it's cool okay so don't do this try either here or something here and what I recommend you check out is westcott make stands that have grips for their reflectors and I usually I usually use those but the big thing to think about is they need a sandbag if it's windy or a voice activated lights stand assistant that's a good one say this is the way thank you he's a voice activated light stands excellent okay let's keep moving on all right so reflective environments but it's not it's not just the grass that's going to be a problem it's anything and I see people make a mistake about this all the time so here's an instance of this being a problem this side of her face is super duper red and pink because when I was shooting her she's standing next to a red and pink wall that's not what's hitting her face but there is enough light bouncing around that it's going to give me color contamination so all I had her do is take five steps forward and that problem is gone I'm just making sure that that red wall is not reflecting on that side of her face no so just try to analyse your scene I think that's the biggest thing that I would recommend is take a look where is there a color problem like if you have a girl posing in the middle of the street and a right blue car that brave blue car is definitely influencing your shot I have no doubt of it in the middle of the day so take a look at that but it gets a little bit more complicated let's take a look at a couple other things reflective clothing and I don't even mean reflective it's not like they're wearing like space suits like I'm talking about bright colored clothing if somebody has a bright red or bright pink shirt it will cause some damage to the skin tones and we can see that pretty blatantly but the big one that people forget is your assistance I have a rule on my sets ok I'm a fashion photographer so I could make rules on my said nice but the rule is all my assistants have to be wearing black at all times always because with him standing here holding this reflector this entire side of her faith is pink I think it would do salmon better whatever but it's more than that if he's wearing a light gray shirt maybe a whitish gray shirt it's not going to influence the image because it's going to balance the light's going to bounce off of him and fill in those shadows the on ly thing I can have my assistance where that isn't affecting my actual image and actual skin tones is solid black so everybody has to wear a solid black which is really funny I had an intern jenna marin hi jenna she was assisting me and I told you this ruling she's not from new york so she's like I only have two black outfit so I don't know either she was dirty a lot or she bought more sure so anyway so the assistant makes a difference let's take a look here so here's the difference him in a black shirt him and that pinkish crazy color shirt and yes of course I picked this color because it illustrates the point that you don't have to be that crazy how about him in blue like that's a regular color that people would wear you definitely can see that blue in the shadows that lighter color fills it in so that is something you definitely want to watch out for which is one of the reasons is well if I'm photographing family and group portrait one of the reasons you want them to wear maybe more subdued or more subtle skin tones is if you're photographing outdoors they're going to be reflecting on each other so the little kid standing next to dad and the bright red shirt is going to have a bright red face so I try to keep people in more neutral tones doesn't mean you have to do grey were all white but just not really bright colors okay so going on from this as well is looking at her shirt hears when she's wearing a black shirt when she switches color watcher chin it's going to reflect how do you fix this ok so you can't really totally fix it but when we're talking about lighting on location we're talking about all the green grass what we can do is we can overpower that grain so in the studio what you could dio is you could add a reflector underneath her chin and some of that neutral light is going to overpower the pink the ones I didn't want to reflect your underneath her chin maybe that's not the type of light that I wanted your angle of light does make a difference the fact that I have the light at a higher angle it bounces off her shirt and back up to her face so I could lower the angle of the light but now I'm changing dangle of my light which means they just can't wear crazy colors I mean you know what I'm saying you either have to add a reflector to try to overpower change angle of your life or you can definitely fix that in post the color is easier to fix than the fact that it's making this area lighter we're making that area lighter and that's going to be a little bit more challenging to dark and down I can pretty easily select that pink and pull that out or change the color of that so watch out for these type of color contaminations and the last cut from one that people really overlook is unwanted ambient light and I absolutely had this problem my first studio all right so my very first studio wass um I think it was like ten and a half for twelve feet wine by seventeen feet deep and eight and a half foot ceilings with fluorescent lights and so I would take more dramatically lit images of men and they never ever understood why their skin always looked green because what I was doing is I was shooting in a way that actually that fluorescent light on the ceiling I was showing up in my strobe lit pictures even though I didn't intend it to and this can happen you don't have to be shooting really high I s o isn't really long shutter speed for this to happen so let me let me explain what this means and how this how this affects your image uh one way to avoid this I'm going to give you the set up is when you're shooting in the studio and you do not want color contamination from your overhead lights or your windows you're going to want to shoot at or near your sink speed so all of our cameras have a maximum shutter speed where it can still talk to the strobes and work before you start seeing the curtains for mine for example it's one to hundreds of the second I should've cannon five the mark three even at one two hundred of the second I start to see like the corner of the of the shutter so I usually shoot at once one sixtieth of a second another thing that you want to do is try to turn off the ambient light if you can go ahead and turn off three tungsten is overhead or close the curtains from the windows try to get rid of anything that's going to be affecting the tones in your pictures and then the next thing that you want to do is when you go to shoot make sure you take off your trigger you've got your camera all set so what you think your exposure is going to be for the studio strobe and take a picture you should see nothing when you're shooting in the studio and you take a picture with your studio strobes and then you take that off if you take a picture without the strobes and you still see that person what it means is that the ambient light in the room is recording whether it's the window where the tongue center the fluorescents and that color that's recording is messing up your skin tones have no doubt and it's going to show up most predominantly in the shadows but the shadows it doesn't mean you have to have a dramatically what picture it could be the shadows under the chin with shadows in their eye sockets so my problem used to be is I would even if it wasn't that dramatic I'd have laid on a subject's face and maybe they had deeper set eyes and they have like green in their eyes and green underneath their chin because the fluorescent light was registering there so what I came to find out I'd get my settings all right with my strobe I'd take off that trigger and take a picture and make sure no light was recording so when shane what that actually looks like how you might do a test like that all right so I made a really extreme example here but it's not actually put a tungsten hot light on this sign this is going to be let's say that I had a lamp sitting there but quite honestly a big bank of windows is enough light to mess up your color for sure um so it's it's kind of just simulating another light source all right so this is my beauty dish is going to be the daylight strove hears me shooting I'm using the d one heirs all right so I went ahead and I took the trigger off of my camera and I shot at my sink speed one two hundredth of a second f a s o one hundred I am quite sure that many of you shoot in the studio at settings close to this right like those are outrageous it's not like I'm shooting a really long shutter speed or shooting wide open or really high I so and I can still see her but not too bad what happens if I go to a sixtieth or thirtieth aiken see a full complete image so when I go ahead and I turned my strobes back on at a two hundred of the second maybe you can see a little bit but with these strobes when I have those longer shutter speeds I absolutely see the color from the ambient light for those of you who aren't familiar with mixing ambience and studio at the same time your shutter speed determines how much ambient you see the longer your stutter stays open the more your recording of the ambient light along shutter speed isn't going to affect your studio strove if you're just trying to shoot studio so that's why I recommend go ahead and shoot close to your sink speed and take a test image because although this one is kind of oranges looking mind was green and this is definitely not an attractive undertone and this even happens when you're not shooting at you know really really long exposures or really high I esos so give that a test for sure so let me take a look one more time here's the sixtieth which I was shooting at a sixty if all the time I had no idea and one two hundred um let's say however you go on ahead and you're like well I've heard I've tried to close the windows as much as possible I'm shooting out my sink speed and I can definitely still see the ambient light what do you do what you can do it that point is you start making sure you're right you're saying speed you want to close down your aperture more because that'll dark and everything too but then your stroke is going to look darker so you've got to turn up the power of your flash so if you're seeing your ambient turner strobe up higher basically just make it stronger and that's gonna help you out okay so do we have any questions while we're at that course we do okay all right so can we just kind of do some review if you don't want it okay so quite a few people were talking about let me get their names for you this is here we have a question from rio song and from lindsay another lindsey talking about putting things on the ground in front of you so when you talked about having the grass laid out do you recommend like putting reflectors out in front of you people on the ground is that something that you would do okay so I have actually tried this before and it kind of works and it kind of doesn't so let's say it's the grass situation again if I can put a reflector out there it's still going to be a light source that maybe I don't want particularly in a sunny day what'll happen is if you have a silver reflector the sun's going to hit it and it's going to give them bottom like now what you could do is you could lay out a gigantic black tarp but that's impractical for most people so you could do it maybe like for example I used to shoot the california sun balance had a really large reflector like a four by six and maybe I could set the white on the ground but chances are there's still a lot of color contamination from the entire rest of the scene so it won't completely get rid of the problem maybe for a close up if they're sitting right on the grass right underneath them that would would work if you're reflector is maybe like a five and one and it has a black and you're not getting the ground you could put it right in front of your subject it'll help but it won't fix it so maybe not even worth the effort I would recommend just giving it a try okay cool I'm glad you tried it on a clarification question this is from j names and david david who would like who said that you had talked about not putting reflectors underneath people but then in your slide they were you had a new assistant that was had him right here so don't talk about that and clarify the question often okay so perfect clarification you never want your assistance to hold the reflector down here except when it's still light so what I mean by that is when you're on location what you're trying to do is actually shaped the light on the face you're reflector will be the main light which is why you want that light from above same thing in the studio you don't usually have your studio's drove down here so it gives you monster like either it's roughly even with their face or a little bit higher in the studio the reason that reflector was below the chin is because it's just filling in the shadows is not the main light the mainly is definitely still that studio stroh and then you're just trying to fill in the shadows a little bit so if you went out on location and it was an overcast day and all you're trying to do is just pop a little bit of catch late in someone's eyes it might be okay to put a reflector under their chin so my rule of thumb is when the reflector is the main source of illumination on your subject then it's got to be above their head if it's just kicking in a tiny bit of phil for catch lights or to fill in the shadows then it's okay to go underneath but you still want to pay attention you know you want to make sure you're not getting dual highlights like highlights under their chin and one thing to be aware of is highlights underneath people's chins that are undesirable like too bright make people look heavier because drawing more attention to this area and it makes their jaw look wider and the skin under their neck look wider whether they have extra skin or not all right lindsay so we've had quite a few people including including frozen photo who are asking how to overpower like cedar walls and ceilings or how to overpower their floor on how much their floors affecting their light we've kind of touched on all of these things but I mean do you recommend that people paint their entire studio white and tried to get the floor white or what do we do for people that have studios built yeah no this is an excellent question and technically technically the perfect studio should look like a really creepy dungeon perfect studios actually supposed to be painted black or great everywhere which was just being planted black everywhere because then the on ly light on your subject is like that you put there because let's say that your subjects sitting here and you you go ahead and you have your your stroke here you're lighting your subject and you have a white wall it's like two feet away you're not going to get your black shadows because that light is going to bounce off the white wall and fill in the shadows on their face um now let's imagine that you have cedar walls or brown or whatever color now they're always going to have that tone in the shadow areas so the perfect studio is painted black don't paint your studio black it's really creepy instead what most photographers use are something called the flats or book ends and their large pieces of foam core usually therefore by eight feet and there's two of them taped together on one side it's white on on the other side it's black so what you would do then in the immediate surroundings of your subject as you put up that black b flat on either side and it's going to help eat up that light and make sure it's not bouncing around whatever color is in your scene if and said you know you want to fill in those shadows you turn it around and use it for white my studio in new york is all white that is standard for rental studios but then I bring out the black v flats whenever I want to control the scene a little bit better if you have a crazy color in whatever space you're shooting just watch out for light spill like watch out that the angle of your light isn't bouncing off that wall maybe you want to instead use grids this isn't a conversation we're really getting into but you can actually use grids and soft boxes and what grids do is they focus the light more it prevents the light from spilling there's grids for beauty dishes those grids for soft boxes there's grids for lots of lights and so what it will do is it will make sure that you're not having like spilling on that colored wall on balancing back on your subject thank you john so this is a beauty dish grid and what it will do is if your subject is sitting here without the grid the lights probably gonna spill from the top of your subjects head down past their knees I add the grid and now it's maybe only from their waste to their head so it's it's kind of controlling your light a little bit more in crazy color situations that's definitely what I would recommend and then last but not least if you don't have black v flats but you do have black muslin or black fabric hanging out from the walls a swell that would be fine thank yu okay and one final question mark l wanted to know about using great hard can we just touch on that again people that only have owed ricardo can I have the color checker again real quick actually I have something to add on top of everything I said all right perfect okay so what you would do for using a great card is have your subject hold it right in front of their face as I am and then what you're going to do is in light room or aperture or in camera raw all of them would be fine you use your white balance eyedropper and you select on this great patch and it's saying this should be neutral they should have any color catherine will switch your whole photo to make it be neutral the thing I wanted to add to this is let's say that you don't have an expo disc there actually are ways that you can do custom white balances without one I don't find it to be as accurate but if you have a larger great hard and you hold it in front of your subject and you zoom way way in and on lee on ly fill your frame with that great card and the subject is holding it exactly in front of their face you can actually set that as a custom white balance it's not as accurate in my opinion but if that's something that you wanted to try out it a lot of times it does actually improve the skin tone because it's the same thing it's saying okay just like the expert is the grayish frame I'm giving you should be neutral so make it neutral and create a custom white balance for the scene and that's nice because you can also shoot it after the fact and neutralize it

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?