Adjusting skin tones in Lightroom?

PexiPexi One stroke manPosts: 85Registered Users Big grins
edited August 23, 2010 in Technique
I'm having difficulties in finding correct settings for balanced skin tones in Lightroom. The photo below was shot last week in Milan motorcycle exhibition in mixed lighting conditions and it is probably my worst case from there. Specific questions:

1. When I did the post-processing in my Dell laptop, colors looked strong but not eye-hurting; now I'm looking at the photo in my office and it's oh la la! How does it look from your average monitor?

2. Can you advice me where to go with LR for balanced skin? How do YOU approach skin tones in LR?

220014757-M.jpg

Thanks a lot in advance,
Pexi
Life is pretty straight without motorcycling

Comments

  • hamsterhamster Major grins Posts: 361Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 12, 2007
    Pexi, this may or may not help, but I find that the Skin presets provided in this set work really well for me. They are free. Good luck.
  • IcebearIcebear Major grins Posts: 4,015Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 12, 2007
    Oversaturated??
    My first impression isn't of wrong color balance, but of oversaturation. Maybe you and I both need to calibrate our monitors:D
    John :
    Natural selection is responsible for every living thing that exists.
    D3s, D500, D5300, and way more glass than the wife knows about.
  • GiphsubGiphsub Major grins Posts: 2,684Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 12, 2007
    I have found LR saturation which looks fine in LR to come out well oversaturated when printed. I have an imac too though, so the glossy screen certainly doesn't help.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 14, 2007
    Maybe a bit oversaturated in the reds. Like you said though. Your lighting was horrid. Not much you can do about that. I can see three different light temps on her leather pants alone.

    Is you monitor calibrated? Doesn't matter how much you work on it. If your monitor isn't on point, your not going to get good results. Even moving from a dark room to a light room while editing will change how you make your adjustments in Lr. So having a routine where you run post on all your shots in roughly the same ambinet light environment (while not critical) is pretty important.

    Do you have any other examples that have natural light? In this specific case your trying to have lightroom give you a miracle. Adobe is good at pixels and vectors, not miracles.

    I have a few other thoughts on this. I'd like to know what you say about the above before I say those though, since I don't want to guess to much.

    Cheers,
    -Jon
  • PexiPexi One stroke man Posts: 85Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 14, 2007
    Thanks for comments everyone!

    SloYerRoll, your questions:
    Is you monitor calibrated?

    A: No, neither of the monitors I'm staring is calibrated. Actually, there's a huge difference between the two - the laptop screen is obviously really dull, office desktop LCD is ... something else. I doubt that the laptop monitor can be calibrated at all.
    Do you have any other examples that have natural light?

    Sure I do, yet I'm not quite sure what you're after, so I might post something irrelevant, but here are two outdoor examples, imported to LR with def parameters and then cropped:

    221467101-M.jpg

    221466697-M.jpg
    In this specific case your trying to have lightroom give you a miracle. Adobe is good at pixels and vectors, not miracles.

    I'm just trying to learn, I'm not blaming Adobe LR here! I understand that the lighting was far from optimal, but in a way, that's why this is a good chance to develop new skills. I don't think I'm looking for a miracle, but I stand corrected.
    Life is pretty straight without motorcycling
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Posts: 1,751Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 14, 2007
    I keep a copy of the [url]http://www2.chromix.com/ColorSmarts/smartNote.cxsa?snid=1126]Getty Test Image[/url] in my lightroom database as a color reference. The nominal caucasion skin tone in that photo is around R=80%, G=70%, B=60% in the highlights. I don't always try to match that exactly, but I do usually shoot to have G be about halfway between R and B.

    Here are some general guidlines:

    If B is less than about 3/4 of R, your skin tone is probably oversaturated.
    If G is too close to B, you probably need to adjust the Temp control
    If G is too close to R, you probably need to adjust the Tint control

    It can be tricky because if you move both Temp and Tint to the right and saturation to the left, you can end up with nearly same skin color but change everything else in your image. If you have a problem image where the skin seems about right but everthing else is off, try adjusting the saturation and recorrecting your skin with the Temp and Tint controls.

    Finally, there are some cases where the ACR engine just plain screws up the color. In particular, I often have issues with images which have saturated reds. Sometimes I can sort the problem out with the red, orange, and yellow hue sliders. If all else fails, that is something to try.

    Now on to your image:

    It looks to me like your model is picking up a red reflection from the motorcycle. Because of the relfection, you have a mixed color cast in your image which means you need local control over the color. Sometimes you get lucky and you can straighten it out in Lighroom, but many images like this require Photoshop.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Posts: 2,788Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 14, 2007
    Pexi wrote:
    Sure I do, yet I'm not quite sure what you're after, so I might post something irrelevant, but here are two outdoor examples, imported to LR with def parameters and then cropped:
    I was asking for an image so there would be some sort of benchmark to work off of. If it's natural light and they look way to red or green. We know there's a problem in your workflow. If it looks pretty good, then your dealing w/ crappy light and that's the end of it.
    I think this is a case of bad lighting on your model and your day to day shots look fine. A bit off, but nothing to speak of.

    I'd be interested in seeing what the guys in Finishing School would do w/ this. Either way LA is correct. Lr just doesn't have the flexability to select certain areas to correct this.
  • PexiPexi One stroke man Posts: 85Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 15, 2007
    bowdown.gif

    Thanks! beer.gif
    Life is pretty straight without motorcycling
  • LittleLewLittleLew Major grins Posts: 368Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 15, 2007
    LiquidAir wrote:
    I keep a copy of the http://www2.chromix.com/ColorSmarts/smartNote.cxsa?snid=1126]Getty Test Image in my lightroom database as a color reference. The nominal caucasion skin tone in that photo is around R=80%, G=70%, B=60% in the highlights. I don't always try to match that exactly, but I do usually shoot to have G be about halfway between R and B.

    This seems to be gone from the web.
    The site liks to a non-existent page at Getty images.

    Would you be willing to distribute your copy?

    Lew
    New pictures at LewLortonphoto.com
  • Glenn NKGlenn NK Major grins Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 16, 2007
    I think I read in Martin Evening's book on LR that Saturation will tend to increase the oranges in skin tones too much, and that Vibrance is preferred.
    "There is nothing that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey". John Ruskin 1819 - 1900
  • dmmattixdmmattix Major grins Posts: 341Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 17, 2007
    They probably just reorganized the site
    LittleLew wrote:
    This seems to be gone from the web.
    The site liks to a non-existent page at Getty images.

    Would you be willing to distribute your copy?

    Lew

    Here it is: http://www2.chromix.com/ColorSmarts/smartNote.cxsa?snid=1126&-session=SessID:468E296F1b45b123E5lnyk3FB26D


    Regards,

    Mike
    _________________________________________________________

    Mike Mattix
    Tulsa, OK

    "There are always three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth" - Unknown
  • dmmattixdmmattix Major grins Posts: 341Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 17, 2007
    dmmattix wrote:

    My apologies I found a blank page at Chromix and found the correct page I did not follow it down to the Getty site before I posted. You are correct the Getty images site seems to have either taken down or moved that group of postings.

    Again Sorry

    Mike
    _________________________________________________________

    Mike Mattix
    Tulsa, OK

    "There are always three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth" - Unknown
  • LittleLewLittleLew Major grins Posts: 368Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 17, 2007
    dmmattix wrote:
    My apologies I found a blank page at Chromix and found the correct page I did not follow it down to the Getty site before I posted. You are correct the Getty images site seems to have either taken down or moved that group of postings.

    Again Sorry

    Mike

    THat's OK.
    Would you be willing to put your copy on a free ftp site (like yousendit.com) for download?

    Lew
    New pictures at LewLortonphoto.com
  • dmmattixdmmattix Major grins Posts: 341Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 17, 2007
    LittleLew wrote:
    This seems to be gone from the web.
    The site liks to a non-existent page at Getty images.

    Would you be willing to distribute your copy?

    Lew

    Sorry. I lost it in my last computer move, forgotten where I got it, and was glad when this thread showed up but alas...

    Mike
    _________________________________________________________

    Mike Mattix
    Tulsa, OK

    "There are always three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth" - Unknown
  • photocatphotocat camera crazy kittie Posts: 1,334Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 17, 2007
    Went to an adobe day couple of weeks ago, and they specified that if you want nice skintones, you want to use the vibrance slider instead of the saturation one. Vibrance will put a good color into the photographs, but will leave the skin tone alone.
  • Glenn NKGlenn NK Major grins Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 18, 2007
    photocat wrote:
    Went to an adobe day couple of weeks ago, and they specified that if you want nice skintones, you want to use the vibrance slider instead of the saturation one. Vibrance will put a good color into the photographs, but will leave the skin tone alone.

    From "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book by Martin Evening", Page 149:

    Both the Vibrance and Saturation sliders can be use to boost the saturation in an image. The difference between the two is that the Saturation slider applies a linear adjustment to the colour saturation, whereas a Vibration adjustment uses a nonlinear approach.

    In plain English this means that when you apply a Vibrance adjustment, the less saturated colours will get more of a saturation boost than those colours that are already saturated. This can be of real practical benefit when applying a saturation adjustment to a picture where you want to make the softer colours look brighter, but don't want to brighten them at the expense of losing important detail in the already bright colours.

    The other benefit of working with Vibrance is that it has a built-in skin colour protector that should filter out colours that fall in the skin colour range. This can be useful if you are editing a portrait and you want to boost the colour of someone's clothing, but at the same time, you don't want to oversaturate the subject's skin tones.

    My personal experience bears this out. I find that flowers in the orange to red range can easily be over-saturated with the Saturation slider, resulting in loss of detail. For these, I primarily use Vibrance (unless they really need some boost).
    "There is nothing that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey". John Ruskin 1819 - 1900
  • GiphsubGiphsub Major grins Posts: 2,684Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 18, 2007
    interesting tidbit of info there! I will lock that one away in my memory! thumb.gif
  • rickprickp Major grins Posts: 346Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 23, 2010
    I second that!!!
    Canon 5DMk II | 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM | 24-105mm f4.0 IS USM | 85mm f1.8 prime.
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