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Show Critique
I was really struggling to manage colors and skin tones. Shooting in afternoon shade and using an ungeled flash.
Exif Data
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • f/3.2
  • 200mm
  • 1/320
  • 200

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Brent Mantooth

    because this one is all shade, should I have used a light (1/4) CTB gel on the flash to help match the color across her shirt and enable better skin tones?

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  2. A
    Brent Mantooth

    I think the color temperature issues really show up in the shirt where you can see a blue to orange shift

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  3. Matthew Saville

    Is this with Capture One, or Lightroom? The skin tones and colors look great, but they’re just a touch darker than I’d usually like. They have that slight film-like appearance that Capture One is good at offering, but it’s a matter of personal taste too. I don’t think the flash needed to be gelled, I’d just use whatever white balance makes both the ambient and flash appear nice and warm, and if one is slightly warmer than the other, that’s usually OK. The color temp issues in the wardrobe are noticeable, but the skin tone is where it’s at. If anything, I’m puzzled by why the ambient light (shade) is more blue-green than the flash, usually it’s the other way around. Is this at Victoria Beach or somewhere on a beach? I guess the blue cast could be from the watery rocks and ocean; which makes sense, a 1/4 CTB could have helped maybe! Thanks for sharing this rather tough shooting condition!

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    • Brent Mantooth

      I wish it was on the beach in CA, this was in the shade of a building by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.  The blue-green tint is most likely from the stone wall in the back as it was about an hour before sunset. Processed with lightroom, and lots of manual color correction in Photoshop.  I am trying to avoid so much post-retouch work and shoot it better in camera.  Attached is the RAW photo that I started from

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Brent,

      Thanks for sharing the raw version, it definitely helps understand the situation! I think you did a great job of color-correcting this shot in the final image, I can really see the struggle with the blue/cool tint and the warmth of the ungelled flash.

      I think in these situations, one thing that can help is simply changing the angle of the subject so that the natural light is either minimized, or made into the main key light source. Because the best possible result would be an image that just requires less fine-tuning, period. And the best way to avoid doing lots of manual color correction in PS would be to avoid having two primary light sources on their face. Even if you had a CTB filter, it might have only helped with the temperature, but not the tint. Tint (green/magenta) is the worst! I’ve even had CTO gels that slowly get a green or magenta tint over time, it’s nasty. 

      I hope this helps! I know you might not have been able to make her turn left or right to get a better angle on the lighting, if the background was very specific, but at least you now have a little bit more experience, for next time.

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