Take Control of Skin Tones Using Curves in Photoshop

We all know what it is like to shoot in difficult lighting situations and to end up with shots where the skin tones of your subjects just look off. If you don't want to spend hours playing with a bunch of controls or spend a bunch of money on fancy actions and presets, then check out out this quick tutorial, which walks us through color grading for skin tones simply by using Curves in Photoshop.

Curves might just be one of the more powerful tools available inside Adobe Photoshop. Not only are they great for adjusting the tonality of an image, which is one of their more popular uses, but they have some incredibly powerful capabilities for adjusting the colors as well. One of the things that I absolutely loved about this tutorial is how Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect takes the time to walk us through understanding how colors play off each other and how that affects what we see when we are looking at an image. Sometimes, our eyes can play tricks on us, and it is important to take a more analytical approach to color grading or color correcting an image.

By watching this video, not only will you learn some very simple and elegant techniques for correcting an image for proper skin tones, but you will also gain an understanding of how to analyze your image and begin with a proper baseline for adjusting your colors. The process illustrated is very simple and can be grasped even by newer users of Photoshop. So, check it out and make the most of those portrait shots by taking more control of your skin tones.

Rex Jones's picture

Rex lives in Saint George, Utah. His specialty is branding and strategy, working closely with businesses to refine their branding, scale internal structure, and produce high-quality marketing efforts. His photography is primarily commercial, with intermittent work in portraiture, product imagery, and landscape photography for his own enjoyment.

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Unmesh's videos and skills are so prevalent on the internet, i already knew one of his vids was going to be featured just by reading the title of this article alone. :) I prefer to work on skin tones in Lightroom, as ACR has the ability to edit orange tones, which for some odd reason, Photoshop still doesn't have.I will say, his method is pretty darn nice.

I still consider myself a PS novice. So, these videos are always fun to watch and put into practice.