Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Color-correcting dark skin tones, part of Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials.
Hi, well I saved the most complex image for last. Here we have this beautiful portrait by one of my good friends, Michael Costa. He is an amazing wedding photographer. Google his name and check out his stuff; it is absolutely amazing. Thanks Michael for providing us with this image, so that we can use it for color-correcting skin. let's go and open this one up in Photoshop. After go to full-screen view mode, spacebar reposition the image at the top part of the screen. Well, I've already set a sample point for you in this image. I've already set our values to CMYK.
As we look at these values, there are couple other things we notice. One of the things is that the percentages are much higher because of the density of the skin. OK, we know that already. Yet, we are also seeing that there are all really close together. So, we are probably guessing that the 1/3rd to 1/5th of magenta and yellow is going to be a little bit different. Remember, I said some times your cyan can actually go as high as a half to your magenta yellow. that's probably going to be the case here. So let's go ahead and see if we can color-correct this great photograph.
Click on the curves adjustments layer icon and choose good old curves. That will open up the Curves dialogue window. Now, I'm going to go first to my red-cyan channel, because that to me is the most problematic. It can't be that close to those other two numbers. It could be maybe half of what those numbers are, but not that close. Click in the image, see where are the tones are, OK right about in the middle, Command+click on the Mac, Ctrl+click on the PC. Now what I needed to do here is add a bunch of red to take that number down and I could use my arrow keys or I could simply bring those numbers down.
Now, the numbers that I'm looking for here are approximately a half of these numbers so about 30% is pretty good. Yes, the image is much too red, I'm aware of that, but we are going to look at correcting that later. Next thing I'm going to do is navigate to my green-magenta channel and click on the image there and I'm going to look it to see if I can bring up my magenta a little bit. Id dragged that through wrong way; I will drag it down to bring that to the closer range. I will get those numbers a little bit closer and number wise that looks pretty good, on-screen wise, doesnt look very good; there is too much red.
We can see that there is too much red in the skin, too much red in the background. let's look at our before and after. Here is before and then after, it is a much nicer skin tone, but there is too much red in it. that's OK, we will click OK. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer by clicking on the adjustment layer icon, choosing Hue/sats, go at the red channel, bring those reds down. Look at our numbers; make sure our numbers are still in range. How far we bring this down? The actual numbers are really going to be a little bit subjective here.
Just like cooking; how much salt to use, how much spaghetti sauce, it is really going to depend on the chef himself or herself. There is my before and after. I think that's pretty nice. Click OK. Now let's take a look at our before and after in general. We can do that by holding down the Option key on a Mac, the Alt on a PC and clicking this icon. it is an important shortcut for retouching. I will say that one again; hold down your Option key on the Mac and click on the eye icon for the background layer, in a PC that's holding down the Alt key and clicking on that eye icon.
So we have our before and after. The image definitely was green. It looks much better here. It maybe a little bit too strong, too red. One way that we can work against that red is click our curves adjustment layer and just bring this back a little bit. So I'm going to take this back just a tad bit. Although my numbers arent quite exactly where I want them to be, I think the actual image looks stronger now. Final option, click on the icon, Alt+click on a PC, Option+click on a Mac.
I'm just evaluating this image before and after and as you can tell, there is a bit of an art, bit of a science to color-correcting skin tones. Yes, I think this image looks much better although it was the most challenging image, we pulled it off and that wraps up this movie.
Those wishing to see these skills applied in greater detail may also enjoy Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniques.
- Strategizing a retouching workflow
- Correcting color and tone
- Cleaning up images in Camera Raw
- Removing distractions
- Enhancing structure and symmetry
- Reducing and removing wrinkles
- Sculpting facial features and body parts
- Whitening and brightening teeth
- Changing eyes
- Smoothing skin
Skill Level Intermediate
Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniqueswith Chris Orwig8h 35m Intermediate
Beyond Skin: Going Deeper with Photoshop CS3with Lee Varis3h 56m Intermediate
Photoshop CS3 Creative Photographic Techniqueswith Chris Orwig10h 58m Intermediate
1. Retouching Roadmap
2. Correcting Color and Tone
3. Cleaning Up Images in Camera Raw
4. Cleaning Up Images in Photoshop
5. Structural Image Enhancements
6. Reducing and Removing Wrinkles
7. Enhancing Eyes
8. Enhancing Eyelashes and Eyebrows
9. Improving Hair
10. Improving Faces and Bodies
11. Fixing Teeth
12. Improving Makeup
13. Enhancing Skin
14. Softening Skin
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