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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here I want to briefly introduce you to another topic for Color Correction. It has to do with taking a look at the skin and the CMYK values of the skin, and following a bit of a recipe in order to get those numbers in a good range. Well, let's go ahead and take a look at how this works. I'm going to press the I key to select the Eyedropper tool. Next, I want to make sure my sample size is something other than point sample. Now, because this is a relatively low- res file, I'm going to choose 5 x 5; yet if it were a high-res file, I might choose 11 x 11, or if it's a really high-res file, I will choose one of these options here.
I'll go ahead and select 5 x 5. Next, what I want to do is simply hold down the Shift key and then click in the background, because I'm assuming that this background was black, and I know that because I was there and captured this image. So I want to set a point there, and then I want to go to the highlight on the forehead here, and just move just to the right of that and click, and set a point up here on the skin. Next, for the second point, we're going to click on our Eyedropper in the Info panel, and change this to CMYK Color. Now, what this is going to show us is our different CMYK percentage amounts.
What we want to do, typically, is have our yellow a little bit higher than our magenta. That's one of the first things we're going to do here is correct that. So let's click on the Adjustment Layer icon for Curves. Next, what I'm going to do is go to the Blue-Yellow channel, click on the Target Adjustment tool, and I'm going to hover over the forehead, and I'm going to go ahead and click and drag. What I need to do is click and drag down in order to make sure that this Yellow is a little bit higher than the Magenta. Now the next thing that we want to do is we want to control our Cyan amount.
There's quite a bit of flexibility here, but typically what you want is one-third to one-fifth cyan compared to magenta or yellow. An easy way to think about that is to simply multiply this number by 3 or by 5. So one of the things that I'm noticing is that this is a little bit high. So I will go into that Red-Cyan channel. With the Target Adjustment tool here, I'm going to go ahead and click and drag up. So let's take a look at this. 3 x 10 would be 30. 5 x 10 would be 50. So right now, we are definitely in that range of this being one-third to one-fifth of that ratio.
Yet, the problem is is that our Yellow channel now dropped down. Let's correct this by going to the Green-Magenta. So we go into the Green-Magenta Channel, Target Adjustment tool, and here what I want to do is I want to remove a little bit, just so that magenta is a touch less than the yellow, and that looks pretty good. Let's also take a look at our RGB values. Now, these three numbers are much more similar than they were. There's much more variance over here. So these are getting closer which is really nice, showing us that we're getting close to neutral there.
These numbers all fall inside of that equation. We could, of course, modify these a little bit one way or another. This is simply a recipe. It's not a rule. You can't follow it in a one-to- one way, but sometimes it's a really good starting point. Let's see how it did for us. We click on the Eye icon. We can go ahead and turn that layer off. Here is before. Let me zoom in a little bit on this athlete here, so we can actually see it. Here is before. Turn that back on. There is after. Well, the skin tone looks much better. Again, we have our before and then after.
So one of the things that you can do is you can begin to apply this recipe and take a look at this technique, and see how you can apply this to your photographs of people. Just keep in mind that many times this is simply a starting point, but often it's a really good starting point, as we saw here with this photograph.
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