Photographer

Buzz Photography LLC

Posts: 525

Lafayette, Indiana, US

I found this link on smugmug on skin tones.  My problems is that the examples they use are from an older version of photoshop.  So could someone please explain this with CS5 or how do you get your great skin tones?

http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/93363

Dec 05 12 04:01 pm Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3883

Santa Cruz, California, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
I found this link on smugmug on skin tones.  My problems is that the examples they use are from an older version of photoshop.  So could someone please explain this with CS5 or how do you get your great skin tones?

http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/93363

I personally don't use numbers, but if you want to adjust skin tones by the numbers all the functions are the same in CS5 or CS6. Can you show us what have you tried, because if you even tried you would found that all of it works in CS5 as well.

Dec 05 12 04:16 pm Link

Photographer

Buzz Photography LLC

Posts: 525

Lafayette, Indiana, US

Krunoslav-Stifter wrote:

I personally don't use numbers, but if you want to adjust skin tones by the numbers all the functions are the same in CS5 or CS6. Can you show us what have you tried, because if you even tried you would found that all of it works in CS5 as well.

So what do you use?  My eye isn't the best but I can't help but to think my pictures are coming out with bad skin tones?

Dec 05 12 04:28 pm Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3883

Santa Cruz, California, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
So what do you use?  My eye isn't the best but I can't help but to think my pictures are coming out with bad skin tones?

I use my eyes, it is quite subjective when it comes to smaller correction, you can argue when you make the skin green or blue but smaller things are matter of subjective evaluation.

Dec 05 12 04:35 pm Link

Photographer

Buzz Photography LLC

Posts: 525

Lafayette, Indiana, US

So how do you go in to CS5 to get the skin tones just the way you want them?

Dec 05 12 04:36 pm Link

Retoucher

Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3883

Santa Cruz, California, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
So how do you go in to CS5 to get the skin tones just the way you want them?

I'm not sure if you understand what that question involves? To explain that it would take me a lot of time and you probably would not understand anyway. Just like I explained it's about training your eyes.

If you are asking what tool to use, it can be any tool. That is not what will get you the tones, your personal judgement will. If you want to do it by the numbers you posted a link where that is explained. 

So let me ask you a counter question. What have you done to get the tones you are not satisfied and what have you done to try to get the tones you are satisfied with?

Dec 05 12 04:41 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
So how do you go in to CS5 to get the skin tones just the way you want them?

"Just the way you want them" is the subjective element. If you can envision a result in your mind's eye, you have a target to shoot for. If you can't, then you don't really know what you're shooting for. But you can improve your ability to envision a result if you work with numerical targets in the right way.

Don't just blindly replicate numbers. Learn to "see," before you adjust color, which values are too high or too low. First view these two tutorials:

http://www.lynda.com/home/Player.aspx?l … pter=False

http://www.lynda.com/home/Player.aspx?l … pter=False

Then try your eye at this little quiz. "Normal" skin tones are on the left. What color is there "too much" of in each example, 1 through 5?

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/5785/skintonese.jpg

These are all pretty obvious. If you work by numbers and pay attention to what's happening as you vary the CMY values, you'll become better at spotting what is needed -- before you make any adjustments.

My answers to what is "too much" in the examples:

1.  cyan

2. green

3. magenta

4. blue

5. yellow

Dec 05 12 05:27 pm Link

Photographer

Buzz Photography LLC

Posts: 525

Lafayette, Indiana, US

Peano wrote:

"Just the way you want them" is the subjective element. If you can envision a result in your mind's eye, you have a target to shoot for. If you can't, then you don't really know what you're shooting for. But you can improve your ability to envision a result if you work with numerical targets in the right way.

Don't just blindly replicate numbers. Learn to "see," before you adjust color, which values are too high or too low. First view this tutorial:

http://www.lynda.com/home/Player.aspx?l … pter=False

Then try your eye at this little quiz. "Normal" skin tones are on the left. What color is there "too much" of in each example, 1 through 5?

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/5785/skintonese.jpg

These are all pretty obvious. If you work by numbers and pay attention to what's happening as you vary the CMY values, you'll become better at spotting what is needed -- before you make any adjustments.

My answers to what is "too much" in the examples:

1.  cyan

2. green

3. magenta

4. blue

5. yellow

I think this is my problem, I thought the "too" yellow, number 5, was the right skin tone.

Dec 05 12 06:26 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
te]
I think this is my problem, I thought the "too" yellow, number 5, was the right skin tone.

Is your monitor calibrated?

Dec 05 12 06:34 pm Link

Retoucher

Retouch007

Posts: 403

East Newark, New Jersey, US

this could be wrong but it works for me I have a several presets as starting points for the hue/sat, selective color and curves so when I go blank i try them out or when I am trying to fix/change something. Alternatively, if u want really good skin tones invest in Capture one software it's what most if not all retouching houses use to process images before they start to work on them.

Dec 05 12 07:13 pm Link

Photographer

richy01

Posts: 153

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Peano wrote:

Is your monitor calibrated?

+1..good question

Dec 07 12 08:08 am Link

Photographer

Buzz Photography LLC

Posts: 525

Lafayette, Indiana, US

Peano wrote:

Is your monitor calibrated?

If it's not calibrated will it affect the numbers that CS5 gives me?

Dec 07 12 10:05 am Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
If it's not calibrated will it affect the numbers that CS5 gives me?

Yes, and it will also affect the way colors appear on your screen. To make accurate color adjustments, you need to calibrate.

Dec 07 12 11:23 am Link

Photographer

Buzz Photography LLC

Posts: 525

Lafayette, Indiana, US

Peano wrote:

Yes, and it will also affect the way colors appear on your screen. To make accurate color adjustments, you need to calibrate.

What's the best program to calibrate my monitor?

Dec 07 12 02:17 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
What's the best program to calibrate my monitor?

Might depend on your monitor. Others might have some advice. I don't.

Dec 07 12 02:34 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5316

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Most of my work in correcting skin tones in RAW files is done by tweaking the color temperature by moving the Temperature slider in Adobe Camera Raw (which ships with PS CS5). If I don't get the skin tones right in ACR, it's not nearly as easily done in Photoshop.

Dec 07 12 03:18 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
If it's not calibrated will it affect the numbers that CS5 gives me?

No, it will not. Those numbers come from the working colorspace you choose and are completely independant of your monitor or any calibration you have done to it. You could completely desaturate your monitor and photoshop will still report color values in your image.

Dec 07 12 04:33 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
No, it will not. Those numbers come from the working colorspace you choose and are completely independant of your monitor or any calibration you have done to it. You could completely desaturate your monitor and photoshop will still report color values in your image.

Thanks for that correction, Ruben. Calibration will affect the way colors appear to the eye, which is crucial here. The OP thought that an image with a yellow cast looked "right," which suggests that maybe his monitor is introducing a color cast.

My advice (to repeat) is learn to judge skin tones by eye, and use the numbers mainly as eye-training tools rather than as reliable guides to good skin tones.

Dec 07 12 04:46 pm Link

Photographer

L Raye

Posts: 5028

Petaluma, California, US

This is a link to a grayscale calibration image I made.  You should only see shades of gray on your monitor.  If not, it needs to be calibrated.

Grayscale

Dec 07 12 04:48 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Peano wrote:
Thanks for that correction, Ruben. Calibration will affect the way colors appear to the eye, which is crucial here. The OP thought that an image with a yellow cast looked "right," which suggests that maybe his monitor is introducing a color cast.

My advice (to repeat) is learn to judge skin tones by eye, and use the numbers mainly as eye-training tools rather than as reliable guides to good skin tones.

I mostly agree with this but not entirely. The thing of it is, our eyes can be fooled in multiple ways. One thing that a lot of people fail to realize is just how important the viewing environment is. While most will calibrate their monitors to either d50 (5000K), or d65 (6500k), standards, quite often they'll use standard tungsten bulbs for ambient lighting which is usually around 2800k. The mixing of two color temps will throw off peoples color perception more or less, negating monitor calibration especially if they're not using a hood for their monitor(s). This gets even worse if their walls aren't at least neutral as colorful walls will introduce a color cast and throw off color perception as well. Furthermore, everyones color perception is just a bit different and as we get older, the cornea in our eyes become more and more yellow; further throwing off our color perception.

The numbers are completely independant of all of that so they're a better guide than most people give them credit for. The only problem, numbers wont tell you what looks good and what doesn't, but your eyes will. For these reasons, I recommend using the numbers as an initial guide to ensure you're getting the kind of colors you want and then (to echo your advice), use your eyes to adjust those colors to your liking.

Dec 07 12 05:29 pm Link

Retoucher

Retouch007

Posts: 403

East Newark, New Jersey, US

Camerosity wrote:
Most of my work in correcting skin tones in RAW files is done by tweaking the color temperature by moving the Temperature slider in Adobe Camera Raw (which ships with PS CS5). If I don't get the skin tones right in ACR, it's not nearly as easily done in Photoshop.

So true if you start off with good colors it's makes the work way easier. Calibrated monitor and raw conversions are very important.

Dec 07 12 07:54 pm Link

Photographer

RSM-images

Posts: 4226

Jacksonville, Florida, US

.

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
hHow do you get your great skin tones?

You merely match the skin tones of the subject model.

That's all there is to it....

neutral

.

Dec 07 12 08:19 pm Link

Retoucher

Peano

Posts: 4106

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

Buzz Photography LLC wrote:
I found this link on smugmug on skin tones.  My problems is that the examples they use are from an older version of photoshop.  So could someone please explain this with CS5 or how do you get your great skin tones?

http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/93363

There's one bit of incredibly poor advice in the article you linked to:

Go to Image > Mode > CMYK Color.

blah blah blah

Finally, Image > Mode > RGB Color. Save. That's all there is to it.

Do not convert to CMYK and then back to RGB. Just change the readout in the info panel to CMYK. That will show CMYK values while the image remains in RGB mode.

Dec 08 12 06:51 am Link

Photographer

richy01

Posts: 153

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Calibration and profiling will set the monitor to a good basis and static value. But it depends also on the sensitivity of the eye of the viewer, the existing light/surrounding light in the room where the monitor is viewed, the time of day as the eye continuously adjusts itself to variations in light

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutori … ration.htm

Dec 08 12 08:20 am Link