Thank you SO much for your detailed critique!
I have a question for you though, for the two images that you said were too yellow when I take some samples I see that yellow is at most 1-3% higher than magenta and quite often equal.. I thought that is correct? I know that in newborns the magenta can be a bit more than yellow and in babies it should be about equal so for toddlers I figured yellow could be a slight bit more than magenta, but I'm just guessing!
It's crazy because these actually look a bit magenta to me on my work (calibrated) monitor, which just leads me to believe that the spyder2express doesn't work at all!!
Skin can be so tough! That 2nd photo...the majority of the skin is right on...but the problems lie in the shadows. There are both yellow and magenta shadows. The yellow background might be fooling my eyes too.
#6 is a much bigger skin color problem. The numbers are way off. I'm getting numbers on the face of: forehead - c4%, m21%, y23% (too much red), cheek- c1%, m15%, y19% (whoa....RED), chin- c9%, m32%, y48% (too much red and yellow). This image also has lots of little spots where the red channel is blown on the skin.
I'd love to have a hand at the processing to better see what's going on..do you have originals of #2 and #6 I can play with?
ETA: Mom is slightly magenta in #6...but her numbers are much closer to correct than the boy's. This happens with my family all the time. Nathan tends to look yellow and DH is PURPLE! LOL...they just require separate processing.
Last edited by AmberBella; 09-09-2009 at 09:35 PM.
Sorry to be such a PITA! Here are the SOOCs (whoa blue!), thank you so much for your help. I hope I have a light bulb moment soon, I'm so frustrated!
So I see where Amber is going with the numbers. Some people say that the cyan should be about half of the yellow and magenta but in this thread on ILP, Damien says that skin can't be too red or not enough red because it is red (read the thread so that makes more sense). He seems to know what he is talking about with this stuff. So I just thought that I would throw that into the mix.
Steph, what Damien says is that you shouldn't de-saturate red...not that you shouldn't add cyan...does that make sense? When you use saturation to try and fix color imbalance you remove color which can make an image look grey...when you use color balance you are adding the opposite color of the color wheel to improve the balance of color.
The low percentage is cyan...which means there is not enough cyan making the skin too red and part of the reason why the red channel is blown. Cyan should be aprox half the number of the magenta...so I tend to look for something like c=10, m=20, y=22. Those numbers would indicate a well exposed, fair, Caucasian in normal lighting.
Ariana, you are absolutely NOT a pain! I'm gonna have a look at those SOOC's.
Okay...I hope you don't mind...but I'm going to process this one and make a post after every step.
Original...I'm seeing a very very cyan little boy. Mom is a touch magenta, but not too bad. They cannot have the same processing here...you'll just have to do some masking to get these skin tones to look like they belong together.
Step 1 - Color balance layer to improve boy's skin. I'm not really trying to get it perfect right now because I can see it's going to be difficult...I'm just trying to get it closer. I do a color balance layer and make the following adjustments.
Shadows - +16 towards red, +3 towards green, 0 for yellow/blue
Midtones- +20 towards red, +5 towards green, -5 towards yellow
Highlights - +24 towards red, -2 towards magenta, -1 towards yellow
This adjustment doesn't work for mom, so I use the paintbrush at about 50% opacity and mask out mom, the rocks behind and the water, and the boy's right side forehead...where it's a bit magenta.
Last edited by AmberBella; 09-10-2009 at 02:08 AM.
Next I do a curves layer to brighten the photo...levels would work just as well...but I used curves this time. I picked a point in the middle of the line and raised it to output 198 input 97. It's not very far. I don't do an S curve...this picture looks like it has enough contrast to me so far. I'll bump contrast if I need to later.
The adjustment makes the boy brighter than the mom so I use my paintbrush at 25% opacity and mask the boy and the background until they look even.
I get that part but then why does he say this:
"I've also seen it advised for Cyan to be one third of Magenta, or something like that, but that's absolute bunkum. If you try to uniformly match the Cyan Value to the other values, you'll drive yourself mad. Cyan represents the Red channel, and as I discussed above, the Red channel varies depending on how much light is on the skin. The Cyan value will operate completely independently of the other values."
Sorry to divert the thread but I really wonder this stuff and it seems to be related.
I find that in certain situations the cyan level is really important...it depends on your lighting circumstances...but in general, I find that the number rules are pretty good. I don't stress too much if I have a bit too much red, but if the numbers are way way way off and its not sunset or something, then it is a symptom of a problem to me. But if the numbers are off and the picture looks right (on a calibrated monitor) then don't stress over it. But if the colors look off....work with those numbers too. I do very rarely add cyan to a photo...but I have done it.
I tackle the lips. They were really washed out..so I used the hue/sat layer, chose the red channel from the drop down menu, used the eyedropper to click on the brightest red of the boy's lips, and then used the minus eyedropper and clicked on a few spots on the boy's face.
I moved the hue slider -4 (which adds magenta) and I moved the saturation slider +19. I intended to only saturate the lips, but I noticed that the boys all over look improved when I did that, so I first inverted the mask, then unmasked the boys lips at 100% and then unmasked the boy's face at about 40%. I did a little more unmasking of the boy's lower face and cheeks at about 25%
I also used the paintbrush on color mode to paint in a little more color on the bottom lip. I just stole the color from the upper lip and painted just a touch.
To me...this is a pretty good place to start the actual edit from. The color is fairly consistent and natural looking on my monitor now...and I'd proceed with my "artistic" post processing.
Last edited by AmberBella; 09-10-2009 at 04:11 AM.