The process of color correcting and color grading in filmmaking is an art of its own. Even if you do not work with video, such techniques can bring your photographs to the next level. The goal of this short tutorial is not creating an orange and teal look, but rather teaching you how ambient light affects highlights, midtones, and shadows of the skin. Knowing this technique you can color grade visuals the way you see them in many films.
Avery Peck shares a great advice on color correcting skin tones in DaVinci Resolve. Known for its great color features, the software can help you achieve a very cinematic look relatively simple for a single scene. But if you need to color grade a feature film, you know why it costs so much. As I said above, you can apply that technique in Photoshop or in any other software that supports color selecting and masking. The basic idea is that shadows are always more saturated and have a little bit of red in them. The midtones are the reference point to the color we want to be on display, while the highlights contain the majority of the ambient light color. In order to color correct or grade the skin, we need to apply those principles when working with the color channels. In order to apply the hue changes only over the skin you need to make a, so called, qualifier. This is the same as making a mask based on a color. The adjustment nodes then are told to use this qualifier to apply the filter on the right places of the image.
For more tutorials like this, visit Avery Peck's YouTube channel.