Skintone highlight values

divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
edited September 3, 2013 in Finishing School
This was raised in a thread here (images in that thread)

What is the maximum people think is acceptable for a highlight in a portrait? I tend to edit to the bright side by choice, but since this is the second time in 12hrs and two different images I've been called out on brightness, probably time to think about this a bit more. My skin highlights in the photo that sparked this convo was 238/238/238 (black and white conversion)

PS Yes, my monitor is calibrated. I've found that prints are coming out PERFECTLY according to what I"m seeing, but the screen when calibrated is less bright and contrasty than others I've used. I do always check on multiple screens (even if only my phone) just to be sure I'm not missing something; these have seemed ok, but maybe I'm pushing them too hot?

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,670 moderator
    edited August 30, 2013
    Diva, I am not sure how to respond to this question.

    Do I think 238/238/238 is too high or not high enough for a skin highlight in a b&W image ( not a white collar or a specular reflection obviously ).

    I don't know, because I think it depends on the image.

    What I do know is that on a 32 step grey scale, I can distinguish between 238/238/238 and where I can no longer distinguish ink on paper from bare paper, which for my Epson 3800, is about 252, 252, 252. So your highlight tone is certainly well within the printing gamut of my printer.

    The problem is that I don't think this is a technical/scientific question, ultimately, but an artistic one, dependent on the artist's intent.

    Isn't it?

    Who is complaining that your stated highlight tone is too bright, and are they complaining about a print, or a screen image rendering? If they are complaining about a screen image, then I would wonder about the brightness setting of their screen, perhaps.

    Maybe you should post a few images that you have questions about, and viewers will give you their opinions about a specific image.

    Good question, Diva!
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited August 30, 2013
    Thanks PF. Check out the thread linked in my first sentence above, which not only links to the image, but also answers all of your questions regarding it (last two posts in that thread) :)

    Image that prompted the discussion. To me it's bright but in a good way; comment was made that it was "WAY too bright". Values of forehead highlight 238/238/238

    i-XPnSjkB-L.jpg
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,670 moderator
    edited August 30, 2013
    Yes, I saw that thread.

    I think this image is an example of what I posted earlier, that the highlight tone choice is an artistic one, not a technical one.

    Are you satisfied with this image? How does it look in print? Fine, I'll bet.

    Might you want to darken her forehead just a touch with a multiply, or overlay blend mode brush? Maybe, maybe not.

    I do not think it is too bright, personally. A bit darker forehead might help keep the viewer's eye on HER eyes though...

    Is she this fair in life?
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited August 30, 2013
    Here's the colour version :) I preferred the bw because of what it did for the reflection....
  • BinaryFxBinaryFx Registered Users Posts: 707 Major grins
    edited September 1, 2013
    divamum wrote: »
    Thanks PF. Check out the thread linked in my first sentence above, which not only links to the image, but also answers all of your questions regarding it (last two posts in that thread) :)

    Image that prompted the discussion. To me it's bright but in a good way; comment was made that it was "WAY too bright". Values of forehead highlight 238/238/238

    i-XPnSjkB-L.jpg


    Divamum, in my opinion, it is an image by image call - for me, it is about the transition from one side of the forehead to the other.

    It can't be denied that contrast is usually a good thing. As an imaging professional, I am sensitive to loss of shadow and highlight detail - while many consumers would not care.

    Below is a very quick adjustment using the Photoshop Shadow/Highlight command to darken the highlights 15% and open the shadows up 5%.


    Stephen Marsh
  • divamumdivamum Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 3, 2013
    Thanks! thumb.gif
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