It’s all about expanding your possibilities.
It’s all about expanding your creativity.
To achieve these important goals, you need to expand your toolkit.
With the right tools you can do magic! Just note that this magic works only with Raw files.
Allow me to tell you a true story…
A few days ago, my good friend and fabulous photographer Gadi Ohad, sent me this studio portrait. He was wondering what can he do to improve this photo in terms of color, skin tone and overall look.
Lets see what we did with this portrait.
Step #1 – Select the right color profile
Before you do any processing in Lightroom (or Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw), you must select the right color profile. There are no rules for it – only your wills and preferences. Selecting the right color profile sets the initial color table you will work with. You can’t get this with any other tool in Lightroom or in Photoshop. In this case, we are processing a portrait, so here are some of my favorite color profiles for this kind of image.
To select the color profile, go to the Camera Calibration section:
The “right” skin tone, as any other color, is a totally personal selection. The problem is that Lightroom and Photoshop offer only the “Camera Portrait” profile. This limits your possibilities to… One…
PSKiss offers 3 profiles expansion packs:
Cross Camera Color – Camera model based profiles
Skin and Scenery Color – Custom made, creative profiles focusing on portrait, on-stage and landscape photographs
Faces and Places Color – Custom made, creative profiles with similar focus as Skin and Scenery, offering different color styles
See the difference between the profiles:
Adobe Standard (Lightroom and Photoshop default):
Canon 1Ds mk 3 Portrait (Cross Camera Color):
Leica M8 (Cross Camera Color):
Nikon D3 Portrait (Cross Camera Color):
PSKiss Dark Skin 1 (Skin & Scenery Color):
PSKiss Powered Skin & Lips (Skin & Scenery Color):
Lighter Skin Tone (Cross Camera Color):
Positive Film (Cross Camera Color):
See all 9 profiles, side-by-side (Click to enlarge):
For this portrait, we decided the Nikon D3 Portrait is the right color profile.
Step #2 – Set the right White Balance
Again, no rules… Only your personal preferences.
Since you already selected the right color profile, the WB will be affected by your choice.
Select “Auto” just to see what it creates… Then, fine tune your selection with the Temperature and Tint sliders.
We thought this photo is a little too warm. The Auto WB came out too cool, so we warmed it a little bit, till we got the right tone:
White Balance – As Shot:
White Balance – Auto:
White Balance – Custom:
Step #3 – Process the image
After selecting the right color profile and the right WB, you are ready to process the image any way you want, till you get what you want of it.
This is our process:
Medium Contrast Curve:
That’s it (Click to enlarge):