Portrait Vibrance

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by nathan_young|2, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. So I have been asked to do a few Senior Portraits within the next month or so, and I was wondering how to get the vibrant colors of clothing, background and whatnot but keep the natural flesh skin toning. For instance I have tried turning up saturation and that works BUT the face gets un-naturally red and over saturated.
    Here is an example of what I want to achieve here
    And here is a photo that I've taken
    See how the colors are nice and vibrant but the face and skin is not a natural color.
    And here is one more example.
    Any help is appreciated :)
  2. A lot of it is the quality of the lighting in the photo that you like.
    One thing that I do often is to select the background only and then pump up the saturation. Vibrance is supposed to keep the skin tones natural, but there is only so far that you can go before everything is affected. Just work on the subject and the background separately.
  3. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The photo you reference is heavily processed to make it "pop." For example, the eyes are hardly natural, and the quality of the skin looks like someone has worked this over. You should also use flash at a reasonable fill lev
    Your photo is quickly improved, although it won't get to where the other one is. Fix the white balance and the blue cast goes away. Then lower the red saturation. You will have a greatly improved photo, although it still isn't where the referenced one is. Also, for senior shots, you should have someone with you who can adjust the clothes and hair. You should also use flash at a reasonable fill level.
  4. Nathan, as Franklin and Jeff have said, you main issue began before you even pressed the shutter. Your photos are underexposed and lacking in fill light. In future you must solve that before you mess with vibrance, white balance or anything else. Get your exposure right and you're more than halfway there. You can fill in the shadows by using flash or even a simple reflector. Here's a quick rework in Photoshop just to boost the fill and also correct the colour balance which looked pretty off. I can send you the .psd if you like
  5. I just got Lightroom 3 so I am having some fun with it. I used custom white balance eyedropper on the shirt buttons. Auto exposure, sharpening and noise reduction with a vignette added plus burned the foliage in the background.
  6. Here is the second photo synced with the first. Can't tell if the skintone is OK, uncalibrated monitor.
  7. The example shoot is made with a flash on the model to underexpose the background a bit and make it feel more saturated.
    Jeff is right it´s hevy post processed. If you have photoshop, try to do a mask trough the colour channels go to image /calculations and do a mask with the red channel inverted It will make most of the skin go black in your mask. Now you can play with the saturation in a new layer without efecting the skin too much, but it don´t works if you have a lot of red in the background too.
  8. Here are my takes.
  9. Two.
  10. Main problem is the light on the subject is not that great, and/or the sun lit trees are too bright. The front lit trees increase the contrast of the scene making it more difficult. Look for back lit leaves and trees which have great color and are much less bright. Then balance the exposure of the subject with flash or reflector, or with natural light by putting your subject in the right place. By controlling the exposure so it falls within the range of the chip you can get great color with only small increases in saturation in post. White balance is off, too, and this makes can make a big difference. It helps to shoot with a grey card. To my grey card I added black and white points as well.
    2nd shot would be great with an umbrella off to the side. The first as well.
  11. I'm no expert, but here's my shot at it. It seems that to get the look you want (saturated clothes and unsaturated skin), layer masks are key. That way you can work on the two parts separately.
    After making the mask, I copied the original in Screen mode to lighten the skin, then did it again but with only 50% opacity the second time. Then a Hue, Saturation, Lightness layer to back the skin saturation way down and lighten it a little more.
    Then finally some fine-tuning of the skin tones with Curves.
  12. Here's the layer stack.

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