Skin tones adjustment in Lightroom

BobTBobT Big grinsPosts: 44Registered Users Big grins
edited December 27, 2012 in Finishing School
SmugMug has a great article on skin tones at http://www.smugmug.com/help/skin-tone . It talks about maintaining a balance between yellow and magenta and shows how this is done in PS. Unfortunately I have Lightroom only. LR has sliders for yellow and magenta but they are relative not absolute. In other words, they don't tell you what the starting balance was. There is no eye-dropper as in PS. There is an eye-dropper for the auto WB but it tells you only the RGB mix. Does anyone know how one can use the SmugMug skin tone technique in LR?

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter Posts: 13,985Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 2, 2010
    Why not include one frame in your shoot with the addition of a non-specular white card or a grey card to white balance off of in Lightroom, and avoid the issue entirely of trying to color correct by eye.

    Otherwise, cyan is the opposite of red, yellow is the opposite of blue, and magenta is the opposite of green. Yellow >Magenta, means that blue < green, and red should be greater than either.

    Andrew posted some faces with the LR color values in the image as well. Maybe he will post the link again.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 2, 2010
    BobT wrote:
    SmugMug has a great article on skin tones at http://www.smugmug.com/help/skin-tone . It talks about maintaining a balance between yellow and magenta and shows how this is done in PS. Unfortunately I have Lightroom only. LR has sliders for yellow and magenta but they are relative not absolute. In other words, they don't tell you what the starting balance was. There is no eye-dropper as in PS. There is an eye-dropper for the auto WB but it tells you only the RGB mix. Does anyone know how one can use the SmugMug skin tone technique in LR?

    Its actually easier (and makes a lot more sense) to use LR’s Percentage read out than some color space that has no relationship to the data you are working with. The ratio’s, while rough (like the old CMYK ratio’s) are easier with one less value to deal with:
    http://digitaldog.net/files/LR_Skintone_Ratio.jpg

    imagehttp://digitaldog.net/files/LR_Skintone_Ratio.jpg" alt="LR_Skintone_Ratio.jpg" class="bbcode_img" />

    And yes, there is an eyedropper in that as you move the cursor over the image, the readout updates as seen above.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • BobTBobT Big grins Posts: 44Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 2, 2010
    Wow! Thanks Andrew.
  • NickOsNickOs Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited October 22, 2010
    I know you've left this thread way behind but I'm interested to know how you adjust colours to match the rgb references you refer to here? I can't see any way to adjust them other than Temp and Tint.

    Hope you get this message. Thanks


    arodney wrote: »
    Its actually easier (and makes a lot more sense) to use LR’s Percentage read out than some color space that has no relationship to the data you are working with. The ratio’s, while rough (like the old CMYK ratio’s) are easier with one less value to deal with:
    http://digitaldog.net/files/LR_Skintone_Ratio.jpg

    imagehttp://digitaldog.net/files/LR_Skintone_Ratio.jpg" alt="LR_Skintone_Ratio.jpg" class="bbcode_img" />

    And yes, there is an eyedropper in that as you move the cursor over the image, the readout updates as seen above.
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 22, 2010
    NickOs wrote: »
    I know you've left this thread way behind but I'm interested to know how you adjust colours to match the rgb references you refer to here? I can't see any way to adjust them other than Temp and Tint.

    Temp and Tint are for affecting white balance and only show here because they are towards the top of the dialog near the RGB values. You can use HLS for example.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • MarkRMarkR Accused Shill. Posts: 2,099Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 22, 2010
    Just as an addendum, you might want to pick up an xrite color checker passport and calibrate your camera using either the xrite or Adobe tools.

    I found that my skin tones were a lot closer to where I needed them to be once I did that. (The "Camera" calibration was close on skin but off on other colors. The "Adobe Standard" was off on skin and everything else.)
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,018Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 14, 2012
    Am I correct in my understanding that the proportions are, essentially, 10% apart no matter what the highest point is? I have a gal with beautiful, rich mediterranean olive skin, but it was shot in extremely warm light. I like it as I've edited it, but I have a feeling it could print too magenta....
  • Dan7312Dan7312 Major grins Posts: 1,330Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 14, 2012
    I'm not sure I understand your question but aren't skin tones best adjusted in cmyk where yellow is always more than magenta? http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/93363y

    To my seriously un-color educated eye there is too much magenta in her right cheek and along the edge of her chin. Take this as a chance to point out how clueless I am about color or how uncalibrated my monitor is:D

    divamum wrote: »
    Am I correct in my understanding that the proportions are, essentially, 10% apart no matter what the highest point is? I have a gal with beautiful, rich mediterranean olive skin, but it was shot in extremely warm light. I like it as I've edited it, but I have a feeling it could print too magenta....
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 25, 2012
    Hello, im just a beginner now in editing photos and I'm having trouble understanding how all these lightroom controls effect everything. Im trying to tackle skin tones. I have read about the RGB percentages, and I was giving it a go. My problem is however I cant get the RGB percentages nowhere near what is supposed to be good skin tone.

    For example, I have read perfect skin tone is R larger than G is larger than B. G being the midpoint of R and B. I got this Part down. However the percentage amounts I have are way off. If R is supposed to be around 70% to 80%, I am getting mine around 55%.

    I have played around with Temperature, Tint, Saturation, etc, but cant seem to get the Reds as high as perfect skin tone. I was hoping once I got the reds up to where they should be, I could adjust the others to fall in line, but I cant even get close.

    I know I am learning, and maybe much has to do with the image and how it was taken. If someone could help me with a basic work flow of which controls to adjust to bring each colors in that would be much appreciated.

    What I have done this far is take a reading from the forehead, and adjust Tint so its mid way between red and blue. Then I adjusted the Temp so that Blue is 20% less than Red. This yielded good results as far as my monitor is concerned, but like I stated above, the percentages were very low, red was around 55%. The skin looked ok in color but seemed sort of pale.

    Anyone have advice for a novice on all fronts to get me on my way?
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 25, 2012
    Anyone have advice for a novice on all fronts to get me on my way?

    You have the display calibrated and profiled (and if so, correctly)?
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 25, 2012
    Calibrated, yes. Correctly? Not sure lol. I used a spider2 once apron a time to calibrate it. It looks much better than it did, but whether its correct or not, not sure. But that's why I wanted to use the RGB percentages. That way if my monitor is off, I can know the color is still accurate.
  • AnthonyAnthony Harris Tweed Posts: 149Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 25, 2012
    ... once apron a time ...

    I just love that! imagehttps://us.v-cdn.net/6029383/uploads/emoji/rolleyes1.gif" alt="rolleyes1.gif" class="bbcode_img" />

    Anthony.
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 25, 2012
    Lo, that is funny. Got to love that spell check :)
  • MarkRMarkR Accused Shill. Posts: 2,099Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 26, 2012
    But that's why I wanted to use the RGB percentages. That way if my monitor is off, I can know the color is still accurate.

    How? The RGB numbers are dependent on what color space you are working with-- a value of 147 blue can refer to a variety of different blues, depending on if you are in sRGB, Adobe, ProPhoto, etc. Not to mention 8-bit vs. 16 bit (or 32 bit, now that LR can handle those types of images: quick what color does R=1456547991, G=2950032172 B=2235651010 correspond to for a 32 bit HDR? Yeah, me neither. Percentages start making a lot more sense when faced with the above).

    I'd start by re-calibrating your monitor so that you know that it is up to date and as accurate as you can make it. Monitors do need recalibrating from time to time, so now's a good time to start.
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 26, 2012
    I would love to calibrate my monitor, however the tool I used a while back I no longer have. Aside from basic brightness and contrast settings, I have no way to check color accuracy. Also say I was color blind, a calibrated monitor would be meaningless.
    So to get back to my original question, using sRGB, if my sRGB values for my skin are all low, what controls can I use to raise them.

    Keep in mind I just learning this subject, I am a noob.
  • MarkRMarkR Accused Shill. Posts: 2,099Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 26, 2012
    I would love to calibrate my monitor, however the tool I used a while back I no longer have. Aside from basic brightness and contrast settings, I have no way to check color accuracy. Also say I was color blind, a calibrated monitor would be meaningless.
    So to get back to my original question, using sRGB, if my sRGB values for my skin are all low, what controls can I use to raise them.

    Keep in mind I just learning this subject, I am a noob.

    In Lightroom I'd use the targeted adjustment tool in the HSL panel in combination with the eyedropper tool to check percentages. Sometimes just dropping the orange saturation by 10-20 points can do miracles for skin tones.
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 27, 2012
    The reason you want the display calibrated (and correctly) is it provides another and some would say more important feedback to the image than numbers! When all is working as it should, the numbers you KNOW (expect) to be correct and the image preview back each other up. I'm not sure what your problems are as the Lightroom RGB percentage values should work, the color space is meaningless in this app (you are always using the same scale: MelissaRGB).

    Grab some images in LR you've output that has known, good skintone values and just move over them as I described months back and teach yourself what looks good. Or easier, calibrate the display properly* and when the sliders make the skin look good, that's what you should get (the role of color management <g>).

    *http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml

    As Mark has said, the HSL tool NOT Tint/Temp is the tool to be examining to adjust this kind of color.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,673Super Moderators moderator
    edited November 27, 2012
    I collect screen and print "calibration target" image files. I printed the ones that I wanted to use, using my preferred professional print service to verify their accuracy, and then chose a few for production use.

    While you really can use gamma targets alone to get fairly close to correct monitor setup, and then fine tune with the monitor/print targets, the real value is in the knowledge that the human eye/brain system is rather poor at absolute color evaluation, but extremely good at "comparative" color evaluation.

    Just choose a portion of relevant skin from the proven and tested calibration target file, and overlay that on the portion of "your" image that you want to evaluate. You'll know quickly if you're close to an acceptable coloration value.

    Another valuable skill is to color sample the highlights and shadows of the skin tones on the calibration image files, noting the relationships between the R, G and B values. Check these on several trusted images, and you'll be able to understand what the numerical color relationships "should be" for your images (and similar skin tones and types of skin).
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 28, 2012
    I want to say up front I am thankful for all the help you guys are supplying. I may have not explained my self clearly. I am not having monitor problems or problems matching color or skin tones. I'm not really trying to match skin tones. I am using skin tones only because I was reading some tutorials online and they were skin tone based.

    What I am asking is when I am taking a color reading and seeing what the percentages of RGB are present, what controls in Lightroom do I move to bring the percentages up. Is it saturation alone, do others effect it, ect..

    Thanks.
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 28, 2012
    What I am asking is when I am taking a color reading and seeing what the percentages of RGB are present, what controls in Lightroom do I move to bring the percentages up. Is it saturation alone, do others effect it, ect..

    I'd start with HSL controls.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 30, 2012
    Mind if I throw another question out there to you guys about something such as the color passport checker. If I am out shooting landscape scenes, and my pictures are all in the same light, could I take that passport thing, hold it in front of my camera and snap a picture, then take all the pictures I want in the same light, using RAW. Then back home, adjust the colors for my passport shot and apply them all to the remaining shots in lightroom?

    Im not a professional by any means, but i do like things to be as good as I can get them, if I am able to do so.
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 30, 2012
    If I am out shooting landscape scenes, and my pictures are all in the same light, could I take that passport thing, hold it in front of my camera and snap a picture, then take all the pictures I want in the same light, using RAW. Then back home, adjust the colors for my passport shot and apply them all to the remaining shots in lightroom?

    Short answer, no. You only need to build a DNG profile for Daylight, Tungsten (or a Daylight+Tungsten) and after than, profiles captured under odd illuminant (Fluorescent, Metal Halide etc). The one Daylight profile will do the job for all captures under that kind of lighting, you'll still need to (you'll still want to) adjust the other sliders to produce a color appearance you desire. From there you might copy and paste the settings onto other similar images. But a DNG profile itself is only part of the rendering process.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 4, 2012
    Another Question: These DNG Profiles. I was playing around with them this past weekend. Using the Adobe DNG Profile editor, I created a profile and exported it. So now when I go into Lightroom, I see the profile under the camera calibration section.

    So my question in this, all the default profiles (Adobe Standard, Camera Neutral, ect), these all seem to be white balance "independent", so why would I need to create custom profiles for different lighting?

    Cant I just create a awesome profile for my camera and call it "One that Is Actually Good" and have it not dependent on white balance or lighting?
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 4, 2012
    All DNG profiles are White Balance agnostic. IOW, you're expected to WB images after the selection of any such profile. It's a separate part of the processing chain by design (DNG profile + WB).

    You should only need a DNG profile per vastly different illuminant such as Daylight versus Fluorescent or Fluorescent versus Metal halide etc.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • changedsoulchangedsoul Big grins Posts: 13Registered Users Big grins
    edited December 5, 2012
    Ok, thanks a bunch. Ill do what you suggest :)
  • karloznzkarloznz Major grins Posts: 126Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 27, 2012
    Great series of posts etc - I wish I could get my head around it all lolimagehttps://us.v-cdn.net/6029383/uploads/emoji/rolleyes1.gif" alt="rolleyes1.gif" class="bbcode_img" />rofl
    Carl Lea Wedding and event photographer - Wellington - Web Site
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