October 23, 2014, 08:56:33 AM

Author Topic: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone  (Read 5735 times)

rlarsen

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Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« on: September 25, 2013, 10:53:13 PM »
I love my 5D MK lll bodies but I often struggle with getting high quality skin tone even though I use a custom white balance. Too often I am challenged to reduce excess magenta, red and pinkish tones from skin color and also deal with too much yellow.

I'd be much happier with more brown tones in caucasian skin. I see those wonderful tones from large format digital cameras. I have a hunch the 5D can pull it off, I just need to learn how, either with camera set up or post production Photoshop techniques.

Tell me it's possible

Thanks

Rex

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Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« on: September 25, 2013, 10:53:13 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 11:04:01 PM »
Get an X-Rite Colour Checker Passport and make some custom camera profiles, you will be shocked at how out of align some camera profiles and response curves are.

I don't use the X-Rite profile program either, I use Adobe's DNG Profile Editor, it is free and I think has much more control and visual aids in adjustments.
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JaxPhotographer

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 11:06:08 PM »
Have you tried using a colorchecker Passport by X-Rite?

Ack, Private beat me by a few seconds, but it does an excellent job for color control.
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Kristofgss

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 05:22:34 AM »
+1 on the x-rite. I use one of these when going for exact color replication.
In addition, when it is more of a grab-and-go-shoot occasion, I really like the lightform picture style from cineplus. For the ffew euro's it costs, it's a great addition to the camera. You also have a free studio picture style from canon itself. http://www.canon.co.jp/imaging/picturestyle/file/studio-portrait.html

YuengLinger

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2013, 08:29:27 AM »
What situations are you shooting in?  Indoors with mixed or consistent lighting?  Outdoors?

Might you be over-complicating things with a custom WB?  Shooting in RAW with Auto WB, if the lighting is consistent, not, say, tungsten mixed with window light, or flash fighting with different colored walls and overhead lights, my 5DIII seems to be just right most of the time when I view in LR5 or Canon's DPP.

Sometimes in fluorescent lighting, though, African-American skin can get a little too mahogany (reddish brown) if my exposure is a little dark, and a little yellow if too bright.  But Oriental and Caucasian, skin tones seem accurate if the subject is healthy.

I do start with a neutral gray card for location portraits and indoor events--but the Color Checker looks even more helpful.

chauncey

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 08:37:47 AM »
Why worry about skin tones...when ya shoot in RAW, you adjust skin tones in your PP software using the methods previously mentioned.
 Aah...you do shoot in RAW...right.

rlarsen

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 11:15:57 PM »
I appreciate the help from my friends here, thanks a lot.
I purchased the Passport and look forward to seeing how it can help skin color quality and accuracy. Creating a new camera profile is something that will be great to learn about.

I'm still surprised by the color cast, heavy in reds and magenta, and some excess yellow I get using the 5D with a carefully created custom white balance in jpegs.

Are the RAW shooters here getting great skin color just using the PS yellow-blue and magenta-green sliders, and white point, or are there other controls I should be using ? I struggle with the two sliders in the RAW converter.

This is a great message board, thanks for helping out.

Rex






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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 11:15:57 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 11:33:50 PM »
No don't use the two white balance sliders. In Adobe Camera Raw, ACR, you need to go to the Camera Calibration tab, click on that and you get the panel below. I have arrowed the camera calibration tab, and the sub tab where any new profiles will reside, having said that if you click on that second tab you will find Adobes version of Canons Picture Styles. Try them, some are much less magenta/red.
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rlarsen

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 01:39:59 AM »
Really nice of you to share that color control option. Thanks a lot !

For years while working as a newspaper photographer I would do a quick color correction of jpeg files, crop, size and send.
Never had any PS training. Now that I'm freelancing and doing more critical work I need to up my quality control.

I'm working to master or at least improve control of skin tone.

Thanks a lot for your help.

Rex

dirtcastle

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 03:38:30 AM »
There are lots of tricks for improving skin colors. I tend to use a combination of the following three tools in Lightroom, when working with RAW format (or even hi-res jpegs):

1. white balance
2. split toning
3. hue/saturation/luminance

I tend to go back and forth between these controls, because changing one usually requires changes to the other two. They all work in concert. While it's true that using color cards can help, a color card doesn't guarantee that you had good lighting. Ultimately, you are using these controls to create what would have been the optimal lighting.

rlarsen

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 02:31:33 AM »
I consider the 5D MK lll a very high-end camera, capable of impressive files in the right hands.
I'm here to learn and find the best resources.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Rex

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rlarsen

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2013, 05:42:03 PM »
I've followed the generous advice here and purchased the Xrite Color Checker Passport. I'm using it with PS CS6, not Lightroom, so I converted to DNG, created a profile, loaded and activated the profile. I see the helpful change in color with the custom profile, but what doesn't make sense to me is that when I click the white balance eye dropper on the middle gray patch the color changes. Wouldn't it stay the same ? How can I have two different looks that are accurate ?

Thanks again

Rex

privatebydesign

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2013, 09:23:56 PM »
I've followed the generous advice here and purchased the Xrite Color Checker Passport. I'm using it with PS CS6, not Lightroom, so I converted to DNG, created a profile, loaded and activated the profile. I see the helpful change in color with the custom profile, but what doesn't make sense to me is that when I click the white balance eye dropper on the middle gray patch the color changes. Wouldn't it stay the same ? How can I have two different looks that are accurate ?

Thanks again

Rex

Rex,

Welcome to the rabbit hole that is colour management!

The profile that is created, by default, is a single illuminant profile, that is, it calculates all the colour values based on a pre determined D number/white balance/ºK, I can't put my hand on the value that X-Rite use for a single illuminant profile but lets say it is D65, or 6,500ºK. When you open your image, by default PS will use the As Shot WB number. If that As Shot ºK is different from the profiles 6,500ºK then your center white square will have different values. When you eye drop the center white square you will shift the profiled numbers in relation to that WB to profile difference.

The center white square will only be "correct" if the shot WB and the profile WB match. There is a way around this, you can profile two differently illuminated images and create a single, variable, profile, this will extrapolate the WB selected so your center square stays neutral across, in theory, any WB shot at. These profiles are called Dual-Illuminant profiles.

I find the single illuminant profiles work fine for most uses, the colour response is better (you lose that magenta caste) but you still have the artistic freedom of WB control for ambiance.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2013, 09:23:56 PM »

rlarsen

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2013, 10:14:37 PM »
Thanks PBD, I was hoping you'd add your two cents worth. Just when I think I understand color management you raise the bar to the next level.
I'm going to read your note a few times and let it sink in.

When I look at a couple Passport training videos I'm puzzled by the suggestion to set a white balance (with the color checker), then create the profile and then to assign the profile to the image or batch. It strikes me as redundant.

Then I see the "As Shot" option in PS and think, wait, I want the custom profile, not "As Shot."

I'm trying to let this stuff sink in and not make it harder than it has to be.

I'm excited about the control and consistency the Passport can provide once I understand the little details you are nice enough to explain.

I have the DNG converter and want to check out the DNG editor you mentioned.

Thanks a lot !

Rex
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Drizzt321

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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 12:38:40 PM »
You know, I keep seeing the Colour Passport being recommended, but I never looked up how much it was. I actually expected it to cost a bunch more! Guess it's time I finally got one :)
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Re: Improving 5D MK lll skin tone
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 12:38:40 PM »