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Another technique that you can use in order to improve skin is you can minimize color variation. Here this portrait of this author you can see that the skin on his neck is a little bit red. In order to reduce or remove that, what we can do is make a selection of that area. We can use any of our selection tools, say like the Lasso tool. Let's click and drag and feather amount up, so we have nice soft edges, and then here we'll just go ahead and click and drag around this general area of the photograph. If we don't get this exactly right, that's okay because we're going to be creating a mask here, so we can always modify the mask as well.
Next, you want to click on the Adjustment Layer icon for Hue/Saturation. Once you've open up your Hue/ Saturation adjustment, click on the Targeted Adjustment tool and then click on the color that you want to remove; in this case it's these reds. Here what we can do is we can either modify our Hue or our Saturation sliders to change the color of that area. Let me make an exaggerated adjustment so that you can see how we can adjust this. Here you can see again, it's just affecting this part of the image. As I mentioned, if the edges aren't good, we can always go to the Masks panel and here we can increase the feather amount.
As I do that you can see how it's softening this affect and kind of applying it to this whole general area here. Well obviously, we don't want the skin to be green, so let's go back to Hue/ Saturation and let's go back to the reds. Here underneath the reds, I am going to take this slider back to the default setting of zero. One of the things that we can do is we can do desaturate a little bit, by removing some of the color. It will then remove some of that variation. We can also click and drag to the right. For working with the reds I know that dragging to the right will make the skin a little bit more yellow.
Here by modifying these sliders -- and I am just going to go ahead and modify them a little bit and try to use the sliders and talk at the same time here. All right, well I think that's pretty good. You can see that I was able to remove this red area from the photograph. After you've dialed in this adjustment what you want to do is lower your layer opacity. A lot of times I like to take this all the way down to zero and then kind of incrementally build this up. In doing this you can find just the right spot where it has a nice natural color and where you're not introducing, maybe an orange or yellow. Again, you want this to look natural.
Then if you ever have other areas where you have skin issues like this, you can paint on this mask to take advantage of this. For example, here I'll grab my brush. I'll paint with white. I'm going to lower the opacity. I'll bring this opacity somewhere right around 20% or so. Next, I'll press the right bracket key to make this brush a little bit bigger. I am just going to paint across the face here a little bit. In doing this it's going to then target any area of the image where I have this red shift. It'll then shift that a little bit by de- saturating it, and also by changing its overall hue, so that it will be a little bit more yellow.
In this way we can then correct other parts of our photograph. When it comes to making changes like this in regards to the color of the image, we want to be careful so we're not making dramatic huge adjustments here. Yet, if we increase the opacity, we can start to see how that is affecting the image a little bit more directly. Let me zoom in a bit more, so you can see the details there. Here it is, our before and after. And then again to highlight -- this technique is all about using hue/saturation, and then targeting a specific color and shifting that color, and then masking the adjustment into different areas of our image, so that we can minimize the variation of the colors in the skin.
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