In case you’ve been too buried to see it, there’s been a significant shift in photo manipulation in recent months and even years, and it’s two-fold. On one side images are trending toward the much more realistic compared to what you’d have found just 3 years ago. No longer is the plasticized skin, devoid of texture and semblance to reality welcomed, and in its place is the more realistic version of ‘perfect’. And on the other there’s a growing appreciation for details in terms of color and harmony. Both of these are reflected in imagery of people.
In order for your images to be of high quality by today’s standards you must adhere to the above, and that means paying attention to even skin tones whilst simultaneously retaining a sense of the real. The video herein will help you do that as Michael Woloszynowicz of Vibrant Shot will show you how to match skin tones in Photoshop without rendering your subject something of a manikin.
Anyone who has photographed people with any attention will know that keeping tones matched through the body is key to a striking image. Getting the skin tones on one part of the body is one thing, but then different parts of the body often have different tones, and much exacerbated due to how light falls on it, clothing, make-up etc, and evening out that difference presents a challenge most will face. This is a bit of a technical approach to tackling that challenge.
Using sampling of colors from the forehead and taking note of the values presented in the CMYK section on the Info panel, it’s quickly clear that the ratios between those colors is what your aim is to balance on all areas of skin – in this case it’s about matching the lower half of the body to the upper. Bringing up the selective color adjustment and choosing between Yellow and Red, then manipulating the CMYK options in either should give you enough control to bring the area you want to match the numbers with (Legs), to the area you’re basing off of (face).
It warrants saying here, that Capture One can actually take care of a lot of this for you, and much more simply. In fact, the Skin Tone panel within the Color Editor tool is worth the purchase price ten times over if you photograph a lot of people. I highly recommend it, and you can see it in action in the article below:
To close, this is just one of Michael’s brilliant free tutorials, and if you weren’t yet aware, there are many more where that came from. Check out his YouTube Channel, and his Facebook, and anything to do with VibrantShot. His paid products have met with real critical acclaim too, seem to be very comprehensive, and he has a new comprehensive course on fashion and beautfy photography to take you through all stages from the ground up.
Source: Michael Woloszynowicz YouTube