Whether you are a notice shutterbug or an experienced photographer, you have probably noticed that sometimes it can be a bit difficult to get the skin tone and coloration of a subject just right. This can often be the case with those who have a naturally fair skin tone. So, how do you handle making the skin color “pop” if you will? Well, here are three simple and highly effective tips that can make a major impact on any images you take.
1. Bump up the saturation
Find the saturation tool on your photo editor and slowly move the slider or number higher. Be careful not to go too far because the image can start to look unnatural.
2. Burn the dodge/burn tool
To darken light skin a bit, use the burn option starting out on a fairly low opacity, maybe 25% or so. You can increase the number if needed.
3. Add a warming filter
Adding a warming (probably orange-ish) style filter can add that sort of sun kissed vibe to a subject’s skin.
Using your program’s exposure tools, if there is an option to do so, increase the Gamma Correction slightly.
Taking one or more of these steps can really make a big difference in the quality of your photography.
There are any number of things we can do with a good photo editing program.
And while that is always cool, isn’t it generally a good idea to try to do as much as you can to minimize the need for editing? For example, if you can properly adjust your exposure or white balance during the shooting there is no reason you will have to go back and mess around with it on your computer. The same concept applies to the use of depth of field.
If you’re not sure what I mean, think about the images you see of people, animals, plants…that provide a wonderful clear image of the focal point but sort of seem to blur everything else out.
Cameras are built to automatically allow the sensor to take a shot providing the most crisp and sharp clarity as possible to all elements of the image. Sounds good right? Well, not always. When either the background (or in rare occasions the foreground) can actually distract from the main focal point in the image, you may want to blur if you will, the parts of the image that are not the main subject. This is where depth of field comes in.
If you aim for a shallow depth of field, the foreground will be in focus with the background out of focus to some degree, see the second shot below. Conversely, if you use deep depth of field to blur the foreground and showcase the background.
Take a look at the image of the flowers above as opposed to the one below. The top image is one shot with a camera’s standard settings while the one below blurs the background to emphasize focus on the primary subject by making use of a shallow depth of field.
So, what’s the trick? Well, it’s all about your aperture settings. Basically, the lower the F# (or more widely the opening of the lens) the more you will be able to achieve an effect something like the one above with this stunning pink orchid. So naturally, the higher the F# (or more narrow the opening of the lens) the more you will produce the oppose effect.
For more tips, check out my e-books on digital photography on my official author website.
We’ve all seen those photos. You know the ones. They contain essentially an entirely black and white image with the exception of a small amount of color showing through like a beacon of beautiful light. This is called a spot color effect. And while it may seem like something that might be highly complex, that doesn’t have to be the reality in many instances.
Here I will explore two methods to create stunning spot color shots. One for beginners and those with a less demanding color need and the other for more advanced users or ones willing to be a bit adventurous.
Quick saturation adjust
To use this method for spot color, use your editing tool to find the saturation controls. In Photoshop, they are under the IMAGE TAB > ADJUSTMENTS > HUE>SATURATION select the MASTER option and adjust the individual colors to the left on the slider to remove them. This works great for all colors except variations of red being that red is what makes up most of a person’s skin tone and you can’t keep it if you want the body to be in black and white. Other programs should have similar tools.
Layer and erase
So, if you have any variation of red you want to keep in the shot or want to be a little more picky about the specific locations in the shot that you want to keep in full color, you can start by creating a new layer on top of the original. Then, go to the aforementioned HUE/SATURATION tool while on the top layer and drag it all the way left to remove all color. Next, get your eraser tool and simply go along the areas you want to show through in color. This is harder and more time consuming because you have to be more precise. This can be done is pretty much any decent photo editing program as well.
Give it a shot for yourself, I bet you’ll like the results.
Ask us about the site Image Aids to access great video tutorials on topics like this and more.
During March, I completed my latest effort in e-literature and am excited to share it with you.
Just like my other e-book from 2011, “Making Beautiful Photography,” this one is something of a how-to guide when it comes to the art of photography.
The new work is called “Pesky Shadows, Pretty Shadows” and is available now. Among other things, it focuses on the use of light and how it pertains to the issue of shadows, both good and bad, within a given image. There are also tips and tricks on how to make the most of soft shadows while doing your best to avoid the harsh and unflattering ones.
If you are interested, check it out!
Now that Spring is here in my neck of the woods, it can really be a great time for making incredible photos. Here are a few of my artistic photos with a bit of a Spring feel to help get you into the season.
For a complete look at this season’t Top 24 contestants, check out this Hollywood Reporter Article. But for this post, I just wanted to go over the ones I consider a few of my favorites.
As any reader of this blog knows, being a photography enthusiast, I tend to think that cell phone photography is generally a poor substitute for the real thing if you will.
Sure, there are some exceptions but usually a good old traditional camera or SLR is light years better than even the latest mobile phone in this area.
But, given that there are some exceptions, it only stands to reason that this would be the case with mobile editing apps as well. Enter Photoshop Express. Yes, the first name in photography has done it again.
Recently, when I was having a very difficult time editing the coloration of an image, I figured I’d give PS Express a shot. I uploaded the image from my SLR to my camera’s Micro SD card and went to work. The results where fast, easy and incredibly effective.
Check it out, I bet you be glad you did.