Digital SLR Photography - - Contents -

We’re not talk­ing about your skin rou­tine – here’s how to calm a sub­ject’s red and blotchy skin tones when edit­ing

WHEN IT COMES to edit­ing por­traits, lev­el­ling skin tones and re­mov­ing blem­ishes is at the top of the list. Most Cau­casian peo­ple have red pig­ment in their skin, which shows up to vary­ing de­grees based on your ex­po­sure; un­der­ex­posed skin typ­i­cally em­pha­sises these red patches, for most show­ing up on the cheeks, fore­head and nose. For ba­bies, es­pe­cially new­borns, their skin can be very red in ar­eas, often paired with baby acne, red marks and peel­ing skin – a far cry from the creamy skin tones we see in pro­fes­sional pho­to­graphs. There are dozens of ways to re­touch skin, with the best be­ing the more ad­vanced and time- in­ten­sive Fre­quency Sep­a­ra­tion, but there are quick fixes that re­tain skin tex­ture and re­duce red­ness that can dra­mat­i­cally im­prove your por­traits. This tech­nique helps you to neu­tralise overly red pig­ment as well as iso­late types of reds to bring them in line with a more flat­ter­ing, even skin tone.

1 EDIT YOUR IM­AGE Be­fore you ad­dress the skin tones, cor­rect any ex­po­sure er­rors and get the im­age to a stage where only the skin needs re­touch­ing. You won’t want to make many, if any, global ad­just­ments once you’ve re­touched the skin, as this will al­ter any se­lec­tive edit you’ve made. Here, I’ve added a Curves ad­just­ment layer ( Layer> New Ad­just­ment Layer> Curves) to brighten the im­age.

3 RE­FINE YOUR SE­LEC­TION Move the outer and in­ner slid­ers to iso­late the ar­eas you want to tar­get. Then re­duce the Sat­u­ra­tion slider to 0 and ad­just the Light­ness ( this is set to + 27) and move Hue to the right to add a touch of yel­low, which is more akin to nor­mal skin tones. As this layer tar­gets the baby’s over­all red­ness, my ad­just­ments are sub­tle so as not to make him look un­nat­u­rally pale.

2 HUE/ SAT­U­RA­TION Add a Hue/ Sat­u­ra­tion ad­just­ment layer and set the drop- down menu to Red to iso­late this colour. Move the Sat­u­ra­tion slider to 100 so you can see where the im­age is red­dest. At the bot­tom of the ad­just­ment layer you’ll see two colour charts con­nected with a slider in- be­tween. The in­ner ar­rows de­ter­mine the types of red you want to iso­late and the outer slid­ers feather the se­lec­tion.

4 TAR­GET THE DE­TAILS For this baby, there are dif­fer­ent types of red­ness that need to be ad­dressed and patches of yel­low. While Step 3 re­duced his overly rosy com­plex­ion, I now re­peat Step 3 to iso­late the red patches on his hands and birth­marks across his eyes. Next, in­stead of se­lect­ing Red from the drop- down menu, I pick Yel­low and iso­late the small ar­eas on the nose, brows and back­ground.

5 BE PUR­POSE­FUL IN THE EDIT As the patches of red/ yel­low are quite vibrant, I heav­ily re­duce the Light­ness and then the Sat­u­ra­tion slightly, to bring these patches in line with the now creamier skin tones. The set­tings you use are a judge­ment call for what works for your sub­ject; you may find ad­just­ing the Ma­genta helps, or if you've colour casts from bounced light, like green grass, you can iso­late this too.

6 FIN­ISH­ING TOUCH While most blem­ishes may have been erased through this process, you can now zoom into the im­age and use the Clone Stamp tool, set to 100% Opac­ity and 10% Flow to blend re­main­ing blem­ishes. Also go back to the Layer Masks at­tached to the Ad­just­ment Layer and use the Brush tool and black paint to hide the ad­just­ments from the lips as you want these to re­main rosy.


SMOOTH AS A BABY’S BOT TOM The re­sults may look sub­tle but com­pared to the orig­i­nal, the skin tones are greatly im­proved.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.