5 Things That Could Ruin Skin, And How to Fix Them! with Lindsay Adler

Lindsay Adler is a high end fashion photographer and educator. She has been named one of the top ten fashion photographers in the world, so when she shares her insight, it’s probably best to take notes. In this free one hour webinar, Adler goes over five things that can ruin skin, and how to fix them.


1 - Incorrect White Balance

Auto white balance isn’t always best because it is affected by all the colors in the environment. Adler gives the example of someone on a neutral grey background wearing bright red. The camera is going to think there is too much red in the image and will therefore shift the color temp to a cooler temperature in order to even out the colors.

2 - Color Contamination

Color contamination comes into play when dealing with reflective environments. Most people see this when shooting portraits in the park on a sunny day. The sun reflects off the grass and causes a green cast onto the subject. This can also happen with colored walls, colored clothes, colored vehicles, etc.  

3 - Color Management

This part boils down to color consistency between devices. Making sure that the color you are seeing on your computer monitor is the same color you are going to see when printing. Another part of this is making sure that you are working in the same color space throughout your workflow.  

4 - Wrong Quality or Direction of Light

Here Adler points out the three things to consider when choosing your light; quality of light, direction of light, and intensity of light. In general, the softer light will be more flattering to your subjects skin. Likewise, the flatter and more centered the light is, the better your skin texture will look.

5 - “Bad” Retouching

Some common retouching problems that Adler talks about are things like skin being too smooth, obvious cloning, and removing freckles. When using plugins or the wrong tools to smooth skin, you end up with no texture and the retouch looks overdone and fake. When cloning out blemishes, you need to make sure that you are being careful and not leaving behind repeated patterns that can show what you have done. Lastly, people have a hard time smoothing skin and removing blemishes without also removing freckles.

This webinar was for the company X-rite and they are the creators of the color checker and a few different models of screen calibrators. While the video does talk about these products, I didn’t feel like I watched a sales pitch by the end of it. There is definitely a lot of useful information throughout the video.

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Tomash Masojc's picture

I have one question and i think it's important. Most of us have cheaper monitors like Dell and so on, not professional Eizo (for example). Cheaper monitors can't show/see all RGB space colors, so what the point is working in RGB even if from beginning of photo edit you can't see all colors, because of the monitor?

Jeff Rojas's picture

I'm going to assume you mean working in Profoto RGB? If that's the case, you're absolutely right. You don't have the ability to see the extra color space that present because of your monitor limitations. If you were ONLY showing your work online, I would say, stick with sRGB throughout the whole process. If you were going to print, Adobe RGB is still the standard I'd recommend so that you can convert into the necessary color profile you need. I did a whole article two weeks ago on color management that you can find here: https://fstoppers.com/education/complete-guide-color-management-color-ma...

Tomash Masojc's picture

Yes, i meant that, Adobe RGB and sRGB. I wanted to tell, that cheaper monitors can't see/show even Adobe RGB color space. And i already watched your videos, they are great :)

Jeff Rojas's picture

Thanks Mate! p.s. There are some really affordable EIZO monitors being launched VERY SOON. :)

Lane Shurtleff's picture

The only time this is important is ONLY when your final output is accurate color for printing. Only calibrated monitors will see the colors the way you intended. Every person in an office, home or on a laptop (PC laptops especially!) will never have their monitors calibrated. Same goes for web images. Every monitor will show your image differently.

Greg Taillon's picture

It sounds like she's lecturing/chewing someone out through this whole thing, kind of grating.

Anonymous's picture

Really terrific video, thanks Lindsay! I hope they'll eventually make that Passport Plugin for CaptureOne Pro. Its so much better in my opinion for correcting different skin tones than doing it in Lightroom, Photoshop or Affinity.

Genaro Villarreal's picture

Where's the video?

Jason Vinson's picture

sorry Genaro, it looks like X-rite has blocked their video

Janine Doporto's picture

Hello, I'm brand new to Fstoppers and the video is showing as private. How does one gain permission to watch?

Jason Vinson's picture

Sorry Janine, it looks like the uploaded has made thier video private. This isn't an fstoppers thing.