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22 March 2013

Goodbye Greens ~ Hello Beautiful Skin

GOODBYE GREENS We all love our greens? If you're anything like me you probably spend a great deal of time getting the little ones to love their greens too! I water my lawn in summer to keep it green and I recycle to be green! Yet if there is one color cast I loath when working outdoors, it's GREEN! 

This is a big problem here in England especially in the late Spring and Summer when our greens become almost luminous! The lush vibrant green green fields of England do not make a great combination with the porcelain skin tones of the English rose complexion! Even with blankets to sit on, reflectors, shade from walls and not trees...grey / green color casts get in on the picture. So what do I do about it? I recall following a tutorial once on how to remove colour casts which took twenty minutes and I almost lost the will to live! You can try using filters and tweak your white balance to help but these options have an effect on ALL the greens in your image and that may not be an option. I most certainly love the vibrancy of green just not all over the faces of my subjects! 

Actions to the Rescue! (quite literally) 

Within my new Beyond the Lens Photoshop Actions I've included 17 Rescue Actions to help specifically with problem areas just like this one. For this example we are going to look at using the Skin Highlighter. Before we begin there is a question of how real you like to keep things? Whilst I love to transform my work into little pastel gems, I'm also very mindful of keeping things real. I don't want my subject to end up looking like a plastic manikin, my aim is more to tone away the grey-green color casting and give her a healthier rosier glow. 

Step 1 ~ Workflow PreProcess I with Intensity at just 13%.
You can see the grey-green cast around her nose and the central area of her face, (a green cap probably wasn't a great idea either!

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Step 2 ~ Rescue Skin Highlighter. Run this Action and paint~on the effect over her skin only (avoiding the whites of the eyes). 

TIP: If you find the 'tone' is too pale you can darken it down by reduce the opacity slider for the Super Soften Toning adjustment layer within the Action itself. To reduce pink tones further you can also switch off, or reduce, the Luminous Highlight. These tweaks will help you create the perfect skin tones right for the image you're working on. You'll now see that the grey-green cast is still there but the overall effect is more tonal and less patchy, all the details, like her sweet freckles remain visible. 

TIP: You can also use the Rescue Actions, Blush Burst and Whitelight Wand to paint~on more vibrancy, glow and highlights to cheeks, nose ridge, forehead and lips.

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Step 3 ~ Creative Action, La Rosa at 50%. To finish I've selected to use Creative Action La Rosa to add vibrancy with a touch of warmth. The grey-green tones have now almost gone. 

TIP: If you're like me stay mindful of not overdoing your processing and retain a little of the difference in her skin tones from her cheeks to her nose and forehead. If these tones where to all be the same she'd look like she was made out of plastic! (and that's never a good thing!)

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Styling the Creative ~ Lets now take this image a little further into pastel prettiness. I can successfully do this because I've warmed her skin tones initially. 

TIP: If I'd jumped straight to this step her face would now be overly white and washed out. Adding in tone and depth at the start is the key to achieving this look. It also helps maintain tonal balance for a final B&W conversion. 

Step 4 ~ Light Fill Action Rainfall, Creative Action Southern Bell 60% & Chinawhite 25%

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Step 5 ~ Black & White Conversion Action 35 Film.

These steps took just a couple of minutes and the more you do them the more you'll see the benefits to be had by paying skin a little more attention from the start of the process. By the time I've now converted this image the entire background is soft and light with the face and eyes the main focus. The tones, slight shadows and freckles on her face are still visible making the image look natural and authentic.
 
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Have a great weekend...and if you haven't yet purchased my NEW Beyond the Lens Photoshop Actions please visit my website store here. Take a final look at the step by step transformation...

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