Doing More Complex Color Makeovers: Neutrals and Skin Tones (continued)

# Click and drag the middle of the Blue channel curve downward until the Blue value for Sample #2 in the Info palette is = 156.

You want the Blue value in Sample #2 to be the same as the Red value.

Note: You are now working in the midtone area of the image since you have changed locations from a true highlight (the brightly lit collar of the shirt) to an area of the shirt that is in a casted shadow.

$ Using the Color Sampler tool, measure and sample the RGB values on the right (lighted) side of the woman's face.

You'll get figures such as R=205, G=173, and B=159 — after the Blue highlight adjustment — which will be saved as Sample #2. The trouble is, if we apply the 5/4/3 ratio rule, these numbers should be approximately R=205, G=164, B=123. The next step takes care of that.

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The numbers in the Info palette point out a problem — and in this case, numbers don't lie. After neutralizing the Blue value, we end up having to move the Green value quite a distance — from 141 to 156 — if we want to neutralize the darker shirt areas. Doing so will create far too much of a green color cast in this image, making the woman a bit too envious — of what, we are not sure.

Two points to be made here:

1 Be careful of working with neutrals in color-casted shadow areas (as compared with straight tonal shadow areas, although sometimes these may be the same), as they often have color casts that are different than the color balances in the well-lit portion of the image. You will have to look at the image to judge whether you think the dark area is in a casted shadow (as it is here) or whether the dark area is simply a shadow zone in the image. Note that this casted shadow area is not a shadow area in terms of tonal range, it is too light.

2 You should focus your attention on the most important areas of your image — in this case, the white highlight and the facial skin tones. Never mind the color balance of color-casted shadow areas; that's of minor importance. Go to work on the important stuff, such as the skin tones.

% In the Curves dialog box, choose Green from the Channel drop-down menu.

You want to isolate the Green channel here so you can adjust the Green values separately.

0 While monitoring your sampled color values in the Info palette, drag the midtone of the curve until the Green value in Sample #2 is approximately 164.

Here you are working in the midtone region of the image rather than the highlight area of the shirt.

& In the Curves dialog box, choose Blue from the Channel drop-down menu.

The idea here is to now isolate the Blue channel for correction.

* While monitoring your sampled color values in the Info palette, drag the midtone of the curve until the Blue value in Sample #2 is approximately 123.

( Click OK to apply the whole range of curve-based corrections.

Now contrast the starting and finished images. Notice how your makeover image has a brighter, whiter shirt, how the colors pop more, and how the skin tones look healthier.

Doing More Complex Color Makeovers: Neutrals and Skin Tones (continued)

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