How to make glamorous soft skin tones in Lightroom 4

Amelia 2As you may be aware studio photography is now not a great interest of mine. I did a lot of studio photography in my film days about 25 years ago and felt happy in that situation. Since the digital revolution I have not really done much studio photography.

So now I do the occasional studio shoot. I was pleased to be invited to take part in the shoot with Steve and Amelia.

Amelia is currently “Miss Oxford”.

So the principles for processing a colour file to make a black and white picture with glamorous soft skin tones  as shown here:

  • at the taking stage be aware of under exposure and noise in the shadows therefore use the lowest possible ISO rating
  • a low contrast original is always good, this shot was taken with the cheapest form of lighting i.e. natural lighting
  • the background was a light-coloured wall about 6 feet away
  • the focus was on the nearest eye to the camera
  • all my pictures start out as colour raw files and then the black and white conversion is done through a desaturation processing in lightroom
  • Amelia’s skin tone was done by pushing up the exposure by about a stop, and a minor increase in contrast
  • to give the porcelain skin tone look 50% less clarity and sharpening applied to the skin tones with the adjustment brush
  • the hair, lips and eyes were adjusted with plus 50% clarity and sharpening with adjustment brush, a small amount of pre-capture sharpening was added selectively using the Lightroom Sharpening mask at around 85% which only sharpens the features with texture ie eyes, lips and hair.

Don’t forget to take a look at the post I did called “Lightroom for black and white photographers”, and book your place at this one-day seminar at Calumet in Bristol. calumet

A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2013

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