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12-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #1
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Help with skin tones needed

Coming from a Nikon D300's to the Pentax K5 I have been struggling a bit with what picure control setting to use.I have found the colours are far more vivid than the Nikon and changing to different modes don't really alter much. For most shots I use Vibrant -1 colour +2 Contrast and Sharpness. For shooting people and to get skin tones right I thought I would use Portrait mode but found this far too over-saturated and on some skin types shows a reddish hue. So I put my RAW photo in Pentax PCU4 I had to nearly turn the colour down to 0 to tone down the skin tones to acceptable levels. Could someone be kind enough what method they use when they edit for good skin colour.

12-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
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This was partially discussed earlier, but dealt with the over saturation of all the colors. I, like others, noted that they seem to be over boosted in most electronic products (TVs, camera, etc). I find a more natural color in the "Natural" setting. I also turn down "Saturation" a notch or two to further reduce them. Reds seem to be the hardest color to get right and one or two down helps a lot. I think Pentax, like others, feel that since we pay for a color image they have to give it to us, which is why they over saturate the colors. Shooting raw also helps because you have more control on the white balance and saturation there too.
12-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #3
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I almost always shoot raw sometimes Raw+. I have my setting at natural most of the time (I have LR set to import without changing settings) Occasionally i change it to BW IR
Mostly I will balance it in LR after if I don't like what i got. Good skin tones need accurate WB is the most critical. the natural (or neutral) settings can always be bumped on Saturation etc. pretty quickly
12-05-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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I find PCU4 really sucks for color saturation sometimes.

However, if your shooting in a controlled setting, you could always calibrate your scene with a color card(that really helps). Other than that, have you considered a portrait color correction tool like icorrect portrait? its not the fanciest looking plugin, but it has saved my butt on more than one occasion and I've really come to enjoy its reliability.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by JohnBee; 12-06-2011 at 01:23 AM.
12-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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I just bought a color checker passport, and it's working wonders already, I'd say that's the best solution for getting perfect color fidelity. I too use Natural setting so that the image on my LCD will look as close to an uncorrected RAW as possible.

A couple other things to try though: make sure your computer screen is calibrated and if you are using an LCD make sure to lower the luminance to 90 cd/m2, make sure the color temp is set to 6500 K (D65), and then try printing and uncorrected image with perceptual rendering intent. Does it look like the image on your computer screen, how about on the LCD of your camera?
12-05-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Thanks guys it seems I'm not alone with my findings, I will try that plugin it seems promising. It's funny but certain peoples faces seem to display a reddish hue others not, my mate is a shocker everytime I take a photo of him I have to really tone the colour down or his face will be really red.
I posted photos here of before and after photos K5 Skin Tones: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
I can understand Pentax wanting Vibrant colourful photos, I do too sometimes but you would think the Portrait setting in the camera would be a lot better than it is. I will have to shoot RAW all the time now and edit in ACR or Lightroom especially when doing wedding as it's where you need correct skin tones. I might keep using my Nikon D300s for crucial things like portraits and weddings and the K5 for Landscape photography.
I do have a Dell IPS calibrated monitor a U2412, it has saved a lot of guess work when editing.
One thing I have found the K5 does a much better job with AWB than Nikon at least now green grass looks green not yellowish warm colour.
12-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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I recommend against auto white balance all together, even though I have heard that Pentax is better about it than some others. The concept of AWB is fundamentally frustrating, I don't care if my RAWs are correct, I just want them to be consistent. That way in LR all I have to do is fix one and apply it to the rest of them rather than making lots of tiny corrections to each one.

I think even if I was shooting JPEG, as long as the color temperature is close, like using tungsten under tungsten lighting or shade in the shade, then there's still plenty of latitude to correct. The only reason to use AWB is if, from shot to shot, your lighting is going to change and you don't have time to stop and fix it, such as if you were doing nature photography on a hike, moving in and out of the sun.

Try shooting in RAW doing a custom white balance from a gray card, then snap some pictures of your friends. Are they still too red?

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