One of the problems I have when retouching is finding THAT tone color to make the image pop. I feel like when I'm done retouching the image and I want to start playing with hue/saturation/color/etc parameters, I can't find the exact tone I see in professional works. I always feel like the image is too saturated, not enough saturated, ugh. So, any tips you're willing to share?
Thanks in advance.
Edit: Here's a photo I'm working on right now. And a possible tone I've been playing with. Any advice? :S
May 16 13 04:16 pm Link
Asi que queres ser retocador?
https://www.facebook.com/notes/natalia- … 2928708884
Color theory - Learn it - in the mean time, this could help http://colorschemedesigner.com/
ART - Consume it
Good Photography - live it
Look at A LOT of good photography, slowly it will stick
Some of my favorite references
For retouching inspiration:
May 16 13 04:52 pm Link
East Newark, New Jersey, US
May 16 13 04:56 pm Link
Santa Cruz, California, US
If you do it enough times and compare it with the provided references the eye will eventfully start connect. Once you train your eyes you will be able to see it much more clearly. There is no other substitute but lot's of practice and observation of good reference images like in the links provided by Natalia.
May 16 13 11:22 pm Link
Vienna, Wien, Austria
I second everything that's been said already. True, studying art and design and color theory and the works of others would generally be the best route. However, I feel it's a bit condescending not to offer a direct answer to the question and instead tell the OP to do some studies.
Coming back to the initial question, one thing that I try quite often, when toning images, is to use (near) complementary colors for the lights and the shadows, respectively. Say, cyan for the lights and red for the shadows. Or cyan and orange. Or blue and yellow.
That way, the midtones of the image (that includes typical Caucasian skin) basically remain the same, yet the light and the dark parts are given more "emotion". The exact colors will, of course, depend on the subject and the genre and much more. (The fashion world seems to like peach, cyan and green tones at the moment.)
A video that explains this strategy quite well (in the context of movies) can be found here: http://www.redgiant.com/videos/redgianttv/item/23/
EDIT: Formatting corrected
May 17 13 12:21 am Link
To me, that was a direct answer. Any other answer is the wrong answer.
May 17 13 05:30 am Link
Vienna, Wien, Austria
Different strokes for different folks. But I don't see how my answer was wrong?
True, I told the OP one way to get interesting tones. And I was hoping, others would share a few techniques and strategies, as well...
May 17 13 05:59 am Link
I did = Color Theory.
May 17 13 06:34 am Link
Palm Springs, California, US
May 17 13 03:54 pm Link
I must say it is extremely depressing to see all the great photos...
May 24 13 04:41 am Link
Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
what have help me a lil since my last 5 retouches i start risking more, in other words, i used to be scare to adjust the tones correction at the end i use to do it only at the begining, cause u can change the tone 90 procent only adjusting ur hues , or shadows , but i started to play more with the sliders
cuase i start adjusting in cywk abd 16 bit , just playing with selctive color and color balance , and" vision "cuase at the end is not the sliders is you vision , and i also going back to painting cause i think when you even out colors painthing is a big time help as long you paint and after bring back the textures ,
but mostly they will not tell you exactly how to get that tone if you not post and example, so if ur question is in general u will get and general answer, but what i do is if i like certain tone i will replate this tone on the image im working with and post it and they will help u to archieve the tone, but 2 ask how to archieve tones is general and they will not be specific , u get fustraded cause they will not anwer , cuase remeber they r a lot of tones ,but 2 me is all in the vision and creativity and hard work and risking dont be scare just try it
May 24 13 05:40 am Link
That's kind of the point.
May 24 13 06:28 am Link
Montgomery Village, Maryland, US
You have now prevented me from getting my yard work done this weekend
May 24 13 06:46 am Link
Natalia all you did is give the op some web site links full of pic's and a few with some nice colours to play with, but nothing on colour theory.
May 24 13 07:32 am Link
Color is subjective?
Yes, well. I'm not about to give a class in color theory in a forum.
You can google it
Also, the link I gave the OP is the best way I've found to train your eyes to make good use of color.
We can agree to disagree.
May 24 13 08:30 am Link
I agree with a lot of your points. Ambition without effort will not take one far, and talent alone can not carry one without skill.
May 24 13 08:47 am Link
Austin, Texas, US
As Natalia suggested, Color Theory really helps as does looking at imagery. I have found Art History to be a great source for inspiration and tips on pairing colors and treating highlights/shadows. Select the images with the look you want and try to mimic it.
For getting THAT color/lighting effect it really helps to know the purpose of the image - where is it going? who will be seeing it? is there a message? - so you can set the mood.
Curves and Selective Color are great starting points, Blend Modes FTW.
May 24 13 09:11 am Link
The op said 'I can't find the exact tone I see in professional works'.
May 24 13 09:56 am Link
What you're talking about is relative perception. I cover that in my class
May 24 13 01:55 pm Link
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Great Links Natalia, thank you for sharing these. I've tried to make an image with the help of the color wheel, I´ve colored seperately the background, the skin, the hair and the sand. I am not sure if I choose the right color for the text, but is this going into a good direction?
May 24 13 02:24 pm Link
May 24 13 03:38 pm Link
Relative color perception, now we are just pulling hairs
May 24 13 03:46 pm Link
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Just as a FYI on color - Gry Garness has a great e-book that really helped me with some of the fundamentals.
May 24 13 03:52 pm Link
Ivo Adrian wrote:
Luminosity makes images pop not hue/saturation all they do is increase or decrease colour like a filter resulting in a colour shift.
May 24 13 04:31 pm Link
Actually.. You can create a sense of depth with color...
May 24 13 06:58 pm Link
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, US
Sometimes images pop when you use complimentary colors. There is a real trend today to color cross process images to create something other than perfect colors. In cross processing the whites are yellowish and the shadows are blue (complementary colors). You can do the same cross processing using the red and the green channels too.
Here's one way how...Using curves in adjustment layers. Try this:
Go to the bottom of the Layers pallet...choose the 1/2 moon icon called "adjustment layers"...and choose curve. On the curve dialogue where it says Channels...select the blue channel from the dropdown... and not the RGB channel. Once you see the blue curve...take the top right (highlight) point and move it to the right so it starts going down the right hand edge...this will give you a yellowish tone in the highlights. Then in the same curve...or in another separate curve on another adjustment layer... take the blue channel curve again and move the left hand bottom point...the shadows point...and move it up the left side of the display...this will make the shadow areas of your image turn blue. The more you move it up...the more the shadows will get blue. You can try the same thing with the red channel and reverse the scheme to get the highly saturated pink flesh tones and the teal shadows. This Photoshop method produces infinitely adjustable color looks...so you can totally experiment and change the values without destroying the image or loosing time or loosing quality.
By just adjusting the curve ends...in an adjustment layer... you can create the LOOKS you see in Vogue or other trendy magazines. These magazine people have to differentiate themselves every so often...so they invite this "off color" look to make themselves look trendy and artsy...hopefully the skewed color look catches on...and it has...SO...If you want to know how much yellow to put in the highlights, or how much magenta in the shadows...just pick up 4 magazines at the grocery counter this week and tear out the pages that have these "new art photography" images. Use them as current trend guides for what may be in current favor as far as intensity, what kind of color compliments they are using, and how strongly to apply and where.
The kind of images that are trendy recently are looking like the images my parents used to get from the drug store when the processing technician put the right color film into the wrong chemicals and made a color mess of the prints...whites were yellowed, the shadows were blue...or the images were very teal or magenta looking...or there were chemical stains on the film in the corners...or even light flashes of red or orange on the images when the technician exposed the film to light in the processing room. Natural color is OUT...retro film looking screw-ups are IN...its just like the big ugly thick black frames in used in glasses...they are IN...and they are looking as UGLY on most of my friends as they did back in the 1950's...but my friends have to have them!
So... try some complimentary splits using curves adjustment layers to add some image pop...also add some contrast adjustment layers to your image... to give it contrast pop... and the resulting saturation boost too. Remember that every adjustment layer comes with a white mask that can be turned black by hitting control or command "I" ...then paint on the black mask with a white brush...now... you can selectively paint on these effects you created anywhere you want, however strong you want...under complete artistic visual control. You can also use the opacity slider and blend modes too to get some nice pop looks...all completely and infinitely adjustable. Keep adjusting these curves, masks, opacity sliders and blend modes interactively...till they look like your trendy grocery store magazine...but watch out...next month they are changing the rules again...so they can say they are the new trend setter again this year. Just buy more of their magazines please so you can see what looks cool and what doesnt! It doesnt matter what looks great to you in your own images and taste...you have to use their adjustments to look cool.
May 24 13 11:55 pm Link
El Paso, Texas, US
That was the best program I've seen on complementary colors. Thank you so much for sharing. I love seeing you on here and appreciate you taking the time to give some advice. Thanks
May 25 13 02:46 am Link
wow, it's been a while since I started this thread. Thanks so so much for your answers. Everyone's view/perspective is different and it helped a lot. I'm trying various things and we'll see if i can achive what i want. Thanks again, everyone.
Jun 02 13 06:18 am Link
Since some people asked for something more specific, here's a photo I'm working on right now. And a possible tone I've been playing with. Tried some complementary colors (blue/yellow) but I'm not so sure about it. Any advice?
Thanks in advance.
Jun 02 13 08:10 am Link
Rochester, New York, US
One thing I've found to occasionally get my creativity moving or to make bleah into yeah! is to make a copy of the picture in question, open it in PS, make bunch of copied layers, and then just go berserk on it with different settings, filters, sliders and stuff. It doesn't always result in something totally new, but it does give me ideas.
Also, blending modes.
Jun 02 13 10:03 am Link
I have to chime in on this one actually.
Jun 02 13 10:06 am Link