I did a photo shoot last night of a friend and her family. It's my first full family shoot, other than my own. I love the fall colors, but I feel like the skin tones are off. I'm wondering if I should have changed my metering mode. I shot using evaluative metering - and to be honest, I didn't even think about messing with the metering while I was there. I'm thinking that's probably my biggest lesson learned from this shoot. (my second lesson learned is regarding movement and SS - things I know but didn't focus on last night).
My main questions are:
1. how should I have metered? What kind of difference does it make in the WB?
2. when working on fall pictures, is it best to have warm photos? or on the cooler side? I mean, it IS fall, a cooler time of year. I just don't know which direction to go.
Here are a couple that are SOOC with a little WB tweak in ACR, no PSE edits. And since I'm using PSE and not CS4, I struggle with the skin color numbers. I can't seem to find an RGB comparison with good numbers to help me (maybe I'm searching the wrong way for it though).
I neglected to sharpen for web before uploading (as I uploaded when I should have been sleeping last night, so sleepy!). I also forgot to watermark them, so I will probably take them down in a couple of days after I get a few replies to learn from.
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Focal Length: 32 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Focal Length: 67 mm
ISO Speed: 400
yes, I'm aware of the finger chop on this one.
3. This one looks fine in ACR, but so warm here. Is it the teal background messing with me again?
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 400
This one I didn't touch in ACR, just converted to jpg. There are no really yellow leaves behind him, so it's a different situation. He does look cool to me, and I will warm him up when I do get to editing this one. I guess I'm showing this one to show how the background totally changes things (the other two were MUCH more yellow when I opened in ACR, I had to cool them down some).
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Focal Length: 28 mm
ISO Speed: 800
No ACR edits here either (and yes, I know I need to straighten it - this is at the end of the set, and I just hadn't gotten to editing yet - was hoping to understand more about color in a fall setting first)
You'll see more later, once I have the time to spend on it. But any advice/recommendations on a direction for editing would be appreciated (for skin tones specifically).
Metering won't affect your WB all that directly unless you are really underexposing the skin. I looked at the first pic of the two boys in ps and the y and m #'s are about equal. Cyan looks good, maybe a bit too low in a few places but I wouldn't mess with it too much. So it could use just very small warm up to get the yellows up about a percentage. I know fall is a cool time of year but I like for photos to look a little warmer because it compliments the fall colors and gives more ofa warm fuzzy feeling.
As far as metering goes though, I always spot meter. It just allows for better control. Evaluative metering works fine in lots of situations but will fail you in some (like backlighting). Spot metering always works and if it doesn't it is because of a mistake that I made, not the camera.
well I'm far from ps expert esp with skin colour. I dont know how to edit the skin but I'd edit the background with richer colours, fall is beautiful to do that with. While I still need to work on the correct skin colour my recent pics I enhanced the colours on fall on one layer and poorly attempted the skin on another and then masked the skin colours into the fall one
ds1 Evan ds2 Adam
I agree with Steph here. I tend to go for warmer fall pics too. I am at work with a Crappy monitor, but the colors look about right on to me. The first looks a bit too yellow. The location you have there is AMAZING! Im really quite jealous!
Gwen! you should re-read this thread and write down all the important things he points out. I'll paste it here. I have saved it into a document on my computer and have highlighted the things I want to remember. Personally, I like RGB numbers a lot better than CMYK. Doesn't give me so much of a headache!
By RGB numbers
This is less common, but RGB numbers can be used in the same way as CMYK numbers. As a general guide, look for the Green value to be 20-30 points higher than the Blue value in sRGB skintones.
People with Photoshop Elements, who don't have CMYK figures in their Info Palette, should learn to use RGB numbers. Actually, this should be of benefit, because you'll really learn how the three channels interact in skintones. It's fair to say that a lot of people who use CMYK numbers don't fully understand the RGB colours they're dealing with.
Yep, Cyan is the red channel, and as I described, the red channel is critically important to skin.
But, as I stated, the red channel (ie cyan) has nothing to do with the colour of skin - only its shape. The stuff I said about "only adding colour" is only referring to the green channel (magenta) and blue channel (yellow).
If you want to add magenta, go to the green channel in Levels, and move the middle slider to the right. To add yellow, go to the blue channel and move the middle slider to the right. That's simplifying it a bit, but that's it in a nutshell.
I am still learning though but I found this here helpful! I know you've said you read it but thought I'd point this out again. Hope it helps even a little bit!
thanks, Loida. I've read that thread many times, but it still doesn't fully sink in. I appreciate you taking the time to point out that section, that's really helpful!
and thanks for the other comments. I think I will play with masking two versions (one of background, one for people). I just need to hear back from my friend on which ones she wants me to tackle.
Skin tone is the hardest thing for me, but when it comes to fall colors or shooting like that I always meter off the faces. Typically off the skin on the corner of the eye. I agree with the warmer look with fall photos