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Thread: How to getskin tones right???

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    Member Leedoc's Avatar
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    How to getskin tones right???

    Hi, Im new here and I just getting back into photography after a few years off, so would love any help you can give me.
    Im having trouble getting skin tones right on my shots. Im not sure where I am going wrong, is it in camera, am I not getting my exposure and white balance right ( I dont use a grey card..maybe I need to get one). Or am I losing it in pp??? Ahhh I just dont know and it is driving me mad. Any help would be great.

    Here is my SOOC and my attempt with pp. Her skin is very grey/pink in the SOOC and grey/yellow in the edited.

    Thanks Lee
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    This might be a hard one ----

    It is all going to depend on how your monitor is set but to me #1 looks the better of the two for colour.
    In this shot I would suggest that you would be best off having the colour mode in camera set to "mode 1" and the white balance set to direct sunlight and then -1 or -2 to warm it up. your exif data says that you had a manual white balance set.
    At F/3.5 shooting into the sun and even metering xcorrectly as you have ( spot ) it is going to produce a lack of contrast in the photo.
    I am assuming that you took this in raw (NEF) ? If so, you should be able to put this back to how you want to see it.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    I agree with Andrew, Lee. The skin tones look pretty good colour wise in the first shot, but you've introduced a green/yellow cast in the second shot. It looks like your monitor is the biggest issue at the moment. Is there anyone you can borrow a monitor calibrator from close by? If you can adjust your monitor you'll get the most value in pp because you'll be starting from a more accurate colour base.
    Cheryl B.

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    the 2 images being the same, neither are correct colour...... all that has happened is that the density in the first image is greater than the second which for some reason is lighter, so the colours, or skin tone, has changed from the darker to lighter. If you match the density of the wide image to the close up image they should be the same....... or match the colour numbers in Photoshop......... or create a smart object and the density of the image should remain the same from wide to crop...... there are too many variants for the above, including the program for the PP of the images. The only constant would be the monitor
    Last edited by Big Pix; 02-01-2010 at 4:10pm.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Lee, I had a quick play with #1 to affect only the colour only on the girl, mostly to take out a slight colour cast and warm it a little.
    Does it look any better on your machine?
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    Back to the OP - how are you setting wb ? I see you used "shade" which I think's the root of your problem

    I use sunny if very bright blue skies and a lot of glare, but 90% of the time outdoors I use cloudy
    Darren
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    Thanks everyone for your quick reply. This is the first time I have put my photos out there for others to look at and it makes me very nervous to put myself up for CC, but I know the only way my pics are going to get any better is to have others help me. So thank so much for the help so far.

    No I dont have a calibrated monitor at the moment and Im not sure its something I can get access to anytime soon...I guess its going to continue to be a problem....

    I think the comments on WB are correct and maybe I would have been better to shoot in sun rather than shade. I just missed that one when I was setting up for my pic. Im not that confident with WB and need to really learn some more. I think this would improve my photos. Does anyone have any suggestions of good places to learn more about WB and exposure for shooting people in natural light?

    Andrew, thanks for the quick fix up. It does look better than my attempt, but it still looks very pink. I like when photos have that nice milky tone, but I just have so much trouble getting them....not sure where I am going wrong????
    Thanks
    Lee
    Thanks
    Lee

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    Lenses influence colours quite differently as well ( yes, I know, pp can cure some of that but I still reckon it is better to get as close in camera to start with ) and the D200 isn't the worlds best for skin tones but in the situation where this one was taken I would have set the wb to direct sunlight and then -1 or -2 to warm it further. This is where you need to observe which lens and wb is giving you the results you need under which light conditions.

    Shoot in raw (NEF) and even the freebie Nikon View NX software will give you a good way to play with wb in pp to establish what is happening.

    But ---- to be sure that you are seeing things correctly, having a monitor that gives the best colours is a must and that means calibrating or at the very least matching it with known true colours.

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    I think also you do develop an eye for good wb, it just takes time

    Believe me, I was (and sometimes still am) SHOCKING with WB. But I am learning to look at markers like eyes and teeth etc re getting it right

    The VERY best thing you can get yourself is a grey card, I use a whibal (just google it), and then at least you can adjust in post processing to the right value and then adjust it to taste after that.

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    Thanks everyone. I will take it all on board and see what I can come up with.
    Thanks
    Lee

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