My next f.a.q. from a photographer comes from Aizat. He asks a great question about skin tones. I do have some strong opinions on skin tones. I know that the choices photographers make in this area can be somewhat subjective but in my subjective opinion, they should look as natural and clean as possible. Unfortunately, as I scan through some blogs out there I grimace at some photographers' color correcting choices. In this area, I think actions have hurt us more than they've helped us. We think that we can just run an action that we like on any photo and it will look good. Not so much the case.

First of all, I shoot everything in RAW on auto white balance so I can make my choices for white balance when I have more time on the computer after the shoot. I shoot a Canon 5D and the auto wb actually works pretty darn well. Then I color correct my images in Camera RAW in Photoshop. These two little sliders are the only things I use to adjust the skin tones:
I'll now give you some examples to show you what I think is the good, the bad and the ugly in skin tones and show you how I fix the ugly with these fun and o-so-easy-to-use sliders. This is a little tough to do on a blog because each of your monitors is calibrated a little differently than mine so it's hard to know if you are seeing what I'm seeing with these little changes. But we'll give it a go if you will note this disclaimer :).

The most common faux pas I see on blogs these days is the too-warm image:
Not so clean and natural looking. In this case, I would bring the temperature down just so:
The one situation in which I like my images a little warm is in the reception when using flash:
A second less-common blunder is to have too much magenta in an image:
In this case I would bring the tint down a tad:
To get this:
The opposite of too much magenta is too much yellow/green:
This is the case in which you should bring the tint up:
To attain this:
This final case I rarely see but thought I would mention nonetheless. This is what an image looks like that is too cold:
To add warmth bump up the temperature (but be careful not to go crazy as this is where many photographers slip up):
The result:
That concludes Color Correction 101. All comments, questions and snide remarks are welcome below. :)

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