Shooting with red skin

DavidTODavidTO Mod EmeritusThousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
edited December 21, 2006 in Technique
I'm going to be shooting an engagement session and wedding with the couple below (not my pic). The groom has this skin condition that makes his skin reddish on his nose and cheeks. You can see it a bit in the picture below. It is worse sometimes than others, varies quite a bit.

My question is, what can I do when shooting to minimize this, or to make my life in post easier? I don't want to eliminate it, or completely change his look, but I definitely want to tame it so that it's not a distraction.

Not my pic:
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  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited December 19, 2006
    DavidTO wrote:
    I'm going to be shooting an engagement session and wedding with the couple below (not my pic). The groom has this skin condition that makes his skin reddish on his nose and cheeks. You can see it a bit in the picture below. It is worse sometimes than others, varies quite a bit.

    My question is, what can I do when shooting to minimize this, or to make my life in post easier? I don't want to eliminate it, or completely change his look, but I definitely want to tame it so that it's not a distraction.

    Not my pic:

    It looks like Rosacea, I have a brother with it. Flash is not your friend, unless you get that B+W filter, linked on this help page: http://www.smugmug.com/help/red-skin-tones and even then, it's really tough to beat at time of shoot.

    I deal with it in post. Color correct as normal, ignore the Rosacea or red face. Then, after all done, treat that subject separately, on a layer, likely a hue sat layer, removing red and then dump a black bucket on the layer, and remove the mask just for the subject's red areas. A soft brush and zoom-in are your friends.

    Good luck!
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 19, 2006
    Andy wrote:
    It looks like Rosacea, I have a brother with it. Flash is not your friend, unless you get that B+W filter, linked on this help page: http://www.smugmug.com/help/red-skin-tones and even then, it's really tough to beat at time of shoot.

    I deal with it in post. Color correct as normal, ignore the Rosacea or red face. Then, after all done, treat that subject separately, on a layer, likely a hue sat layer, removing red and then dump a black bucket on the layer, and remove the mask just for the subject's red areas. A soft brush and zoom-in are your friends.

    Good luck!


    Cool. The post-processing I'm all familiar with, and I test drove that filter. I guess I'm going to have to deal with it in post. I wasn't happy with the filter. Also, I'd hate to pass up the benefits of a flash for fill and catchlights.

    I also spoke to the bride on the qt about getting some cream on his face ahead of time! :D
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  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited December 19, 2006
    David,
    If you gonna do closeups, I'd suggest using MUA. Or the lady in question can do her own makeup and then do her spouse-to-be.
    Don't underestimate the power of powder!deal.gif
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  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Registered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
    edited December 20, 2006
    I deal with this in post as well. Be careful not to make the matter worse by over correcting. A lighter touch is better than a heavy hand. I usually lower the red saturation a tad and maybe alter the red hue a bit, just enough to tone it down. I don't try to eliminate it completely, or in every shot. You want them to look recognizable :-)
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  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited December 21, 2006
    Man I wish I wasn't so busy and had time for the small amount of research needed to get to the bottom of this. Maybe we should form a posse to devide and conquer. We could do the photographic world a big favor.

    I don't see the problem much when shooting with my studio lights and soft boxes — and many people say they didn't see it much in the days of film.

    What's happening is described here:

    http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/publications/newsletters/news34/science_e.aspx

    The various Canon flashes I've used, coupled with digital cameras, produce a lot of red in areas of veins, rashes, and acne. Processing as many photos as we do, I can tell at a glance which ones were shot with a flash that puts out a lot of near-infrared. It then reflects back and gets picked up by digital cameras.

    You can see in outdoor shots with a lot of fill flash that where the skin is lit by the flash, red skin goes nuclear, whereas where it's lit by sunlight it's a more realistic red. Here's an example:

    118195800-O.jpg

    There is no way Scott was that red where the flash illuminated him, or that his acne was that pronounced.

    Here's another example. The guy who had a sunburn got a double-dose of it thanks to the fill flash. Note that the red parts of these faces are not where the sun is falling on them, it's where the crappy Canon flash is filling them:

    118196151-L-1.jpg

    I'd love to see a filter over the flash head that cuts the near infrared at the source.
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 21, 2006
    Baldy wrote:
    I'd love to see a filter over the flash head that cuts the near infrared at the source.


    I've not done tests, but it seems to me that the effects of the flash are diminished when I use my lightsphere. Could just be that it's not direct.

    The point about the groom in this shoot is that he's got a skin condition that's red no matter what. Yep, the flash will make it worse, no doubt. But it's just red. Period.

    I'm in cahoots with the bride to make sure he gets his cream on so that it's diminished as much as possible. :D
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  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,518 moderator
    edited December 21, 2006
    Dave,

    Here is my try.

    I downloaded your image, duped it with ctrl-J and then did a Color Select with color select on his nose and cheeks and feather of 10 pixels. I lassoed the rest of the image to deselect it, and used a Image > Photo Filter > Green filter at about 40% _ You choose the amount. The opacity of the upper adjustment layer can then be blended with the background layer to final taste.

    Green kills magenta right?? This really dials back the nuclear red and yet leaves it looking legit to my eye ,

    Here is my effort. Quick and easy, you could even build an action..... If you need more you can season to taste.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

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  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,518 moderator
    edited December 21, 2006
    Here is Baldy's second image with the same basic editing scheme

    I think it is really magenta that is the problem. If it is truly red, then cyan should kill it shoudn't it?? When I try cyan instead of a green photo filter, it does not look right.

    Here is with the green photo filter after selecting the sunburned fellas face and giving the selection a 6 pixel blur. I did not deselect any of the rest of image, so any real magenta will also be mildly affected.

    I tried reading the pixels on the faces and they seem reasonable in my edit for Caucasian coloration. One Thumbs seems pretty accurate and as expected.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

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  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CARegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 19,160 Major grins
    edited December 21, 2006
    pathfinder wrote:
    Dave,

    Here is my try.

    I downloaded your image, duped it with ctrl-J and then did a Color Select with color select on his nose and cheeks and feather of 10 pixels. I lassoed the rest of the image to deselect it, and used a Image > Photo Filter > Green filter at about 40% _ You choose the amount. The opacity of the upper adjustment layer can then be blended with the background layer to final taste.

    Green kills magenta right?? This really dials back the nuclear red and yet leaves it looking legit to my eye ,

    Here is my effort. Quick and easy, you could even build an action..... If you need more you can season to taste.

    Not bad, PF. I'll keep your method in mind when I get to processing the shots.
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  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,518 moderator
    edited December 21, 2006
    Here is the version done with a cyan filter - the shirts even begin to display cyan but the skin still is not right

    Rutt might suggest moving to LAB and modifying the a curve in the affected areas, but using a green filter in the selected areas seems pretty simple, and probably faster than a pass through LAB.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

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