Help! Skin is driving me batty (pic heavy sorry) - edit post 18

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coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185
Help! Skin is driving me batty (pic heavy sorry) - edit post 18

I did Andrew's 8 year photo shoot yesterday evening. He brought along his best friend, so I got some cool buddy shots too. But I'm in editing hell. I'm taking a break, pending responses from you girls. (I'm physically and mentally exhausted at this point - I need to make myself walk away from the computer after this post).

Here's the one I think I'll use for the wall. I'll crop it 8x10 with mainly his face, but I want to PP it as a whole before I crop in case I want to do more with it later.

1. Total PTE on this - but I'd like to know what you did

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 51 mm
ISO Speed: 200

This is SOOC with some tweaking in ACR ... but it seems too warm (I just did a preview of this post, and it doesn't seem as warm here as it does in PSE - why?)

IMG_8506

So then I brought it into PSE and did my levels play (ala Kelby with the dropper). I'm not sure how I feel about the tones. And I don't know skintones for RGB (I tried googling it with not much luck - I will have to search ilp when I'm not so drained).

After previewing this post before submitting, I am not loving this edit, I'm trying to figure out how to get it right and I trust Kelby's stuff. But I think this is what's draining me ... someone tell me I'm good from the start with SOOC-ACR and that I shouldn't have touched this one.

IMG_8506 levels

2. Andrew and his best buddy ... well, his friend has very light hair, almost white, and very reddish skin. Andrew has dark hair and olive toned skin - I have no idea how to edit this so they both look like they normally do. This is SOOC, other than tweaking in ACR.

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 33 mm
ISO Speed: 400

IMG_8493

3. Is he too bright? I'm not sure I'm going to use this for anything, but I think this is the only full body one I have of him that's decent. Again, SOOC-ACR

Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 40 mm
ISO Speed: 200

IMG_8504

4. The hand chop is bothering me, but it's a nice one of Carson (he's not as red here), so I'm keeping it to print for the boys. Am I seeing green in Carson's hair? ack!

Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 48 mm
ISO Speed: 200

IMG_8515

5. Andrew's favorite - he wants it printed 8x10 for his room. The shadows bug me, but he's happy with it. (the ones after this would have been awesome if I had increased the SS - I blew his face in about a dozen shots after this - his ear is actually blown here)

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 53 mm
ISO Speed: 400

IMG_8575

The following three I'm definitely going to play with texture on. (thanks for that tip Stacey!) I have some great textures, and am looking forward to playing. But I'm still unsure of colors as a starting point. In ACR, it seemed okay but now I feel like something is off in all three of them.

6.

Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 28 mm
ISO Speed: 400

IMG_8627

7.

Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 33 mm
ISO Speed: 400

IMG_8634

8.

Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 400

IMG_8638

(btw, I did get Carson's mom's permission before sharing him here)

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Haven't finished reading the rest of your post, but wanted to quickly say that the color on the SOOC of #1 is lovely!

Seems like you've got the same problem with your PSE that I had with my Photoshope CS4. My color never used to match what I was seeing in Photoshop while I was editing. I finally discovered the "view" -> "proof setup" -> "custom" option which tells photoshop to see the colors the way that my calibration hardware/software has it set up. I don't know WHY it does not do this as a default, but it doesn't, so for every photo I process, I have to go go to view, proof setup, and custom and select the name of my saved calibration profile. I don't know if your program has the equivelent, but there is a nightmare of problems in trying to get your photo editing software to show colors as they truly are. Seriously, for me it was a NIGHTMARE!!!!

becoming-mom's picture
Joined: 02/11/09
Posts: 169

I agree with Amber, the SOOC with tweak is much better than the levels edited one which looks purple.

It's late and I don't have time to go through the whole thing right now, but calibration and PS and browsers are HELLISH.. it took me forever to figure out what was going on..

in a nutshell, what amber suggested will only show you what others (non calibrated people) will see, which is also what YOU will see in all non color managed browsers and applications.

color managed : PS and Lightroom, Windows Vista and Firefox after version 3.5 I think.
non color managed: IE, windows xp

So depending on where you are looking at it, you will see sometimes VASTLY different color. What amber said to do (softproof using your monitor calibration profile) should match what you see in your jpgs with IE, and turned off it should match what you see in firefox.

BUT, you MUST save your jpgs with the "Embedd ICC profile" checked, otherwise your resulting Jpgs WILL NOT look like what you see in PS.

Hope that helps..

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

"becoming-mom" wrote:

What amber said to do (softproof using your monitor calibration profile) should match what you see in your jpgs with IE, and turned off it should match what you see in firefox.

I find all this color profile stuff SO confusing, but this seems backwards to me. When I turn the softproof on, the color matches what my color managed Firefox shows, not my non-color managed IE which matches what PS shows with the soft proof turned off.

I will be forever plagued by this color stuff!

I hope you mean that the "embed ICC profile" thing should be checked when you save, not un-checked...correct? If not, then I've been saving things incorrectly for a really long time.

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

here is a good thread I read that I learned a lot from. Smile it's on skintones.
http://ilovephotography.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=377972

whenever you get some free time you can read. I read the whole thread because he writes replies to people's questions, etc.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I think #1 is my favorite I've seen from you ever. Honestly.:)

And for the color profile stuff...I'm totally lost.I'm SO confused there.

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178

I really like the first photo Gwen. I think your edit is too cool. The first one is great! I don't have any advice on skintones....sorry. Sad I think they look fine though.

As for the last ones with the textures....have you tried them in b&w? I feel like it's the purple that's throwing them off. Maybe that's just me though. Love the texture though!

Joined: 05/02/07
Posts: 214

I have to agree about the colour in the first one, it's GREAT! The second one is WAY TO cool, and makes him look a bit sick! Sad

I can't help much with colours because I'm still learning all that myself but I just wanted to let you know, you're not the only one that is getting frustrated! I hope you start to feel better about these photos because I think they are great! I really like the tough guy look in the last couple! haha to cute! Smile

becoming-mom's picture
Joined: 02/11/09
Posts: 169

"AmberBella" wrote:

I find all this color profile stuff SO confusing, but this seems backwards to me. When I turn the softproof on, the color matches what my color managed Firefox shows, not my non-color managed IE which matches what PS shows with the soft proof turned off.

I will be forever plagued by this color stuff!

I hope you mean that the "embed ICC profile" thing should be checked when you save, not un-checked...correct? If not, then I've been saving things incorrectly for a really long time.

Yes, by "checked off" I meant checked, not off if that makes sense Smile (I edited it to avoid confusion!)

Amber, I don't really know what to say because clearly your set up can't be wrong, your skintones always look great, but I'm almost 100% postive that you are never supposed to use your monitor calibration profile as the one to edit with because it is basically showing you the difference between your profiled and non profiled monitior.

Wait, scratch that, if you don't have your default color profile in windows set to your monitor, then if you softproof using the profile your colors will look correct, but you aren't really using your own color profile then - I mean technically you are just to edit it, but its a very unstandard way of doing things. It would become really obvious if you were using lightroom because color managed apps like photoshop and lightroom reference the windows default profile and set their colors accordingly.. so because there is no "softproof" option in lightroom, you would see all of your colors differently in lightroom than in photoshop, and also throughout windows vista (wouldn't matter in xp because it's not colormanaged anyway) because those programs are not using your calibrated color table.

I hope that makes sense!

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

"becoming-mom" wrote:

Yes, by "checked off" I meant checked, not off if that makes sense Smile (I edited it to avoid confusion!)

Amber, I don't really know what to say because clearly your set up can't be wrong, your skintones always look great, but I'm almost 100% postive that you are never supposed to use your monitor calibration profile as the one to edit with because it is basically showing you the difference between your profiled and non profiled monitior.

Wait, scratch that, if you don't have your default color profile in windows set to your monitor, then if you softproof using the profile your colors will look correct, but you aren't really using your own color profile then - I mean technically you are just to edit it, but its a very unstandard way of doing things. It would become really obvious if you were using lightroom because color managed apps like photoshop and lightroom reference the windows default profile and set their colors accordingly.. so because there is no "softproof" option in lightroom, you would see all of your colors differently in lightroom than in photoshop, and also throughout windows vista (wouldn't matter in xp because it's not colormanaged anyway) because those programs are not using your calibrated color table.

I hope that makes sense!

OH, I'm dying of confusion. All I know is if I don't select that custom option, after I'm finished with my edit, when I open the image in "preview" or upload it to the internet, the color does not look like it did when I was processing it in Photoshop. I'm using Windows XP Media Center edition. CONFUSION!!! I checked my color management settings, and it's set to 1-Plug and Play Monitor which is the name of my calibrated color profile...the same thing I set the "custom" option to in Photoshop.

I thought that since Photoshop was color managed I wouldn't have to do anything to see the colors properly, but maybe it's my Windows that is the problem. Fortunately, right now what I do in photoshop (when I soft proof) is matching what I see in my color managed Firefox.

Anyone know a good article about the topic? Looks like I have some more reading to do.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Oh, Oh, OH!!!! I'm so excited, I think I've discovered the problem. I had set up my photoshop to the specifications of WHCC for printing...and it was NOT using my calibration to color manage the images, but a default! WOO HOO!!!! It was impossible to process colors in RAW, because they never looked the same in ACR as they did in Photoshop.

Folks...it's a PAIN IN THE BUT, but it is really important to figure out how to see the colors on your monitor correctly and consistently from application to application.

I'm so excited!!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I think these are some of my favorites from you, I agree the sooc has better colour than you play. I quickly played with it, added some contrast in levels, and took a tiny bit of yellow out of the shadows in a colour balance.

4010347766_0f914ce1e2_o

And here's a quick urban style play, I love that wall. dont mind the bad masking it was done at 1am. If you like the look it's an action I made and i'm willing to share it.

4009581897_d127639438_o copy

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178

LOVE Andrea's edit on the urban style one!

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3413

COOL URBAN LOOK ANDREA! I'd be interested in that action!

Gwen ... I really like what you've got here. You've captured the age so well. Andrew looks perfectly 8! You are improving so fast (I wish I was doing as well) and you are getting such consistent results. WTG!!!

Like most, I prefer the color SOCC to the edit. I think Andrea's edit is really good. Taking out the yellow really seemed to warm him up. Loli has very similar olive skin, so I know what a pain it can be to get just right.

Thanks SO MUCh for sharing. I can't believe our boys are 8! I still see them as those roly poly little "Treats" from so many years ago. Smile

Best,
GiGi

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

thanks girls! I do use Firefox ... part of me thinks my "problem" is editing with the darker backgrounds in PSE and then posting here with the teal backgrounds. I'll double check, but I'm confident that PSE is using my calibrated profile. I'm using sRGB because that's what I have my images printed with. (The whole aRGB vs sRGB kills me!)

Andrea, digging the edits! Will play with first one and see if I can do what you did. Do you still have my email address? I'd love to use that action. I'm going to play with textures, but I think that's a cool action and I might have to use it. Wink

Loida - I've read that thread many times, it's bookmarked. Damien is really good at explaining. But I still struggle with the RGB vs CMKY since most talk is related to CMKY.

becoming-mom's picture
Joined: 02/11/09
Posts: 169

"AmberBella" wrote:

Oh, Oh, OH!!!! I'm so excited, I think I've discovered the problem. I had set up my photoshop to the specifications of WHCC for printing...and it was NOT using my calibration to color manage the images, but a default! WOO HOO!!!! It was impossible to process colors in RAW, because they never looked the same in ACR as they did in Photoshop.

Folks...it's a PAIN IN THE BUT, but it is really important to figure out how to see the colors on your monitor correctly and consistently from application to application.

I'm so excited!!!

That's great Amber!! I remember how I spent WEEKS - maybe months trying to figure all this stuff out after I calibrated - I even UNcalibrated at one point because it was driving me insane. But now I think I have at least a basic understanding of it (Very very basic Smile and it was like having a huge weight lifted off my shoulders!

One way that I make sure that I'm actually in the ball park is by using WHCC's profile to softproof with.. on my color managed monitors there is some change (not a lot) but if you try that in on an uncalibrated monitor it's like night and day!

becoming-mom's picture
Joined: 02/11/09
Posts: 169

"coolmama72" wrote:

thanks girls! I do use Firefox ... part of me thinks my "problem" is editing with the darker backgrounds in PSE and then posting here with the teal backgrounds. I'll double check, but I'm confident that PSE is using my calibrated profile. I'm using sRGB because that's what I have my images printed with. (The whole aRGB vs sRGB kills me!)

Andrea, digging the edits! Will play with first one and see if I can do what you did. Do you still have my email address? I'd love to use that action. I'm going to play with textures, but I think that's a cool action and I might have to use it. Wink

Loida - I've read that thread many times, it's bookmarked. Damien is really good at explaining. But I still struggle with the RGB vs CMKY since most talk is related to CMKY.

Sorry that I hijacked your thread (with Amber as my accomplice Smile but I think it relates to you too.

I'm pretty sure that you have a setting off somewhere because your edit looked really quite purple, to the point that if you were seeing it right you would definitely have noticed that the SOOC was better.

Make sure that you have your calibrated profile chosen in your color management settings for your computer. In photoshop you should have softproof OFF and general purpose north american and SRGB in your color settings.

You also must always save with the ICC profile embedded.

If you do all those things, you should be good to go.

One way to check is to set up softproof by picking your monitor calibration profile. Then, control Y to switch back and forth. This should be the difference between your calibrated and uncalibrated monitor (the uncalibrated colors are what you see when you softproof with your monitor profile).

One thing that really confused me in the beginning is thinking that PS had to be set to use my calibrated profiel somehow - NOT TRUE. Photoshop does a check of your computer's display color settings and uses those without you ever doing anything. So if you set your PS to "use your calibrated profile" you may have done something incorrect.. I hope that helps!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

well, I have Elements, so I think it's a little different. I need to find this softproof thing, if I even have it.

I did notice the levels edit didn't look right but I think it was one of those things of looking too long and too hard at too many photos. Lol I'm thinking that my elements is set up right with the colors (I'm definitely using sRGB though not aRGB and am not sure if that's making a difference - my printers can't use aRGB so I'm not bothering with anywhere else)

For those still reading ... here's my new edit trying to replicate Andrea's Wink

IMG_8506 reduced yellow copy