How To Easily Match Skin Tones In Photoshop

Use this simple Photoshop process to match skin tones in uneven areas. This method also works particularly well for matching lighter facial tones to the rest of the body’s color. Aaron Nace uses just a few adjustment layers and levels to quickly create a cohesive look:

How to Match Skin Tones in Photoshop

  • Start by analyzing your colors. Create a new layer. Grab a paint brush and sample (alt/opt+click) the colors of the skin—from darks to lights,  from both the desired color tone area and the one to adjust.
  • Paint each color in between selections, creating a sort of swatch. This will create a simple visual representation of the color tones to help you determine what adjustments need to be made in terms of warm and cool, light, and dark tones.

match skin tones in photoshop

  • When using this procedure to match face tones to body tones, you will need to darken and add warmth (with oranges, usually a combination of yellows and/or magentas). However, all skin tones are different and it’s best to experiment with your image.
  • Create a new layer. Go to adjustment layer and create a new Levels adjustment layer.
  • In properties, change the channel to Blue. The opposite of blue on the color spectrum is yellow. Pull the right hand side of the slider inward (to the left). This will slightly darken and add yellow to the highlights. Play around with the slider to get the desired tones.

How to get sharp photos when using a telephoto lens

Do you ever find some of your shots look quite blurred like the one inset in the image below? In this tutorial we’ll show you step-by-step how to achieve sharp photos when shooting with a telephoto lens.

How to get sharp photos when using a telephoto lens

The problem if you’re shooting with a telephoto lens is most likely camera shake, which can degrade sharpness and, in some cases, produce a ghostly secondary image within a single photo.

Photography Workflow Tips – From Memory Card to Computer and Beyond

Discover the best workflow protocol for safe long-term file storage, and efficient file retrieval.

“Be willing to give that extra effort that separates the winner from the one in second place” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

MemoryCards 1

All images copyright Gina Milicia – Playing your cards right means having a consistent workflow, which leads to safer long-term file storage and efficient file retrieval. Photo credits: Promo shoot for Fat Tony and Co. Image courtesy Nine Network Australia

“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood

It’s very easy to become lazy and a bit sloppy with post-production workflow protocols. If you are like many people I know, then you are currently downloading your files to a folder marked “downloads” or “photos” or “John”. Inside this folder you may have hundreds, perhaps thousands of images with file names like 5U9D2496.jpeg or 5U9D2497.CR2. This is all perfectly fine if you never want to see those images again but what if in five years time you need to find those images again?

Following a constant workflow protocol will save you hours of valuable time and also prevent potential heartbreak caused from lost files.

MemoryCards 2

An overview of the workflow tips:

  1. Import the images from your camera (first backup)
  2. Backup to portable hard drive (second backup)
  3. Backup to external hard drive (third backup)
  4. Editing
  5. Final backup
  6. Delivery

Workflow tips – step by step

6 great photo projects you can do without leaving your home

6 great photo projects you can do without leaving your home

Let’s face it, there are times you probably don’t feel like getting up at stupid o’clock or braving biblical weather to go out and take photos.

Rather than beating yourself up for being lazy or a wuss, why not channel some of that creative energy into getting some great shots around the house or garden.

Interesting imaging possibilities are everywhere, and if you look at the work of some abstract or fine-art photographers (Ralph Gibson for example), they aren’t always driving to amazing locations or waiting for big dramatic events to unfold.

To prove that home is where the ‘art’ is, here are some inspirational ideas for creative, domestic digital photography.

6 great photo projects you can do without leaving your home: 01. Household objects

1. Household objects

Even mundane items such as tools or kitchen implements can make for interesting photographs, particularly if you zoom in on intriguing details or do some creative post-shoot processing.

This requires similar skills to macro and product photography, so make sure you have a nice clean, non-distracting background.

Try using a white or black tile or even a sheet of white paper to save time, but watch out for shadows (unless you want to use them creatively).

A macro lens will obviously come in handy and consider using off-camera flash, using your flashgun through a speedlight or umbrella, for nice lighting effects.

At the editing stage, try a black and white conversion or split toning.

READ MORE:  The post 6 great photo projects you can do without leaving your home appeared first on PhotoVenture.

[syndicated from PhotoVenture]

A Quick Way to Make your Autumn Photos Pop (Video Tutorial)

If you love capturing the bright hues of autumn, chances are many of your attempts had ended with heartache. Modern cameras, even with all the latest technology, are not nearly sensitive enough to capture all the dynamic range in a typical autumn landscape scene. So, how do you make your autumn photos pop? Hopefully you haven’t thrown away those unprocessed RAW files, because in this video tutorial, photographer Serge Ramelli shows us exactly how to salvage them in Lightroom:

First things first. Let’s clear out a few things to get the basics right. Landscape photos require that you use a tripod, shoot at the smallest aperture you can get away with, expose for the highlights, and shoot in RAW.

Two Quick and Easy Photoshop Head-Swapping Techniques


Sometimes you get that photo that is almost perfect. If all it takes to make it great is a little head swap, well, today is your lucky day! I’m going to show you two techniques, for quick and easy head swapping. I’ve even included a demo video at the end, if you want to watch the tips in action. I am using Photoshop CS6 for this demonstration. If you are using a different editing program, these methods may not work for you. If you are using an older version of Photoshop, the techniques should work the same, but your screen may look slightly different.


4 Tips for Taking Better Holiday Photos

With the holiday season just around the corner, many of us will be toting our cameras to festivals, parties, and family gatherings to preserve our precious memories for years to come. Unfortunately, you might look back at some of your pictures and wonder why they were blurry, out of focus, or just not all that interesting. Whether you have a smartphone or DSLR, here are a few simple techniques you can use to make your photos not only stand out, but help you learn a bit more about photography along the way.

4 tips for taking better holiday photos


#1 Get down to eye level with the kids

While you might be tempted to pass the time visiting with adults and catching up with friends at holiday gatherings, some of the best photos years down the road often end up being the ones of kids. It’s fun to see them grow and change over time, and when browsing photo collections people will often linger on photos of children for all the memories they bring back. When you have your camera out, though, remember to get on eye level with the little ones! It can feel a bit strange to squat down or sit on the floor to get a good shot of your three-year-old niece while all the adults are visiting in the other room, but the results will be well worth it. It’s tempting to shoot down at kids from your eye level, but this often results in unflattering pictures that seem cold and distant. Putting yourself physically at the same level as the kids offers a much more interesting view of their world, and makes for photos that are far more personal and memorable.

Changing the Sky in an Image Using Photoshop Elements

(Photoshop Elements users:

to use some of the techniques in this tutorial, including Layer Masks & Channels, click over to the Graffishop and grab Graffi’s Handy Actions! . This pack is like your Swiss Army Knife for Elements, and will give you the power of Layer Masks and Channels – a lot of additional bits of functionality to power up Elements.)


Sometimesthe image you have to work with doesn’t really fit with the mood of the article or story it’s to accompany.

For example, an article about the evil and brooding Count Oscar, who resides in an old abandoned warehouse on the “other” side of town really doesn’t call for an image like the one below – a bright, sunny cheerful converted warehouse in the redeveloped & renovated part of town. But it’s also the perfect locale for the setting of our story, so we’ll have to do what we can to make this image fit it.

Start with an image you want to darken and make a bit more moody…

To start, the entire image needs to be darkened to make it look like a stormy night – or at least a darker, more brooding type of atmosphere..

Create a new layer and fill it with black. The fastest way to do this is to press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[N], then press the D key to reset the palette to black & white, then press [Alt]+[Backspace] to fill it with black.

Quick & easy, huh?! Took more time to read it than it would to do it.

Now change the blend mode of this new layer to Soft Light. You can adjust the opacity of it a bit if you feel the need, but it’ll probably look the best just as it is right now:

That sky is entirely too bright, blue & cheerful – not at all the look we need for our dark, sinister cigarette warehouse. It’s got to go….

Make a selection of the sky using the Magic Wand, the Select>Color Range command, a Threshold Adjustment layer, or using one of the channels. I’m using channels because of this really cool technique I got from a DVD by Photoshop Guru Russell Brown.

Choose the Blue channel in your Channels palette and drag it into the “Create New Channel” icon at the bottom ( it looks exactly like the “Create New Layer” icon in the Layers palette) to duplicate it – you don’t want to work on the original blue channel, as this will really mess up your image….

With this new channel active, use the dodge & burn tools to create your mask.

Select the Dodge tool, set the range to Highlights with an exposure of about 50%, and brush away the highlight area – all the sky parts. Then choose the Burn tool with the Range set to Shadows and paint away the darker areas. You will probably need to switch to the midtones exposure a few times to get rid of some of the more stubborn areas.

You should, after some dabbing and brushing, wind up with a channel that looks similar to this:

Now for some clouds:

Still in the Channels palette, create a new channel. Press to reset your foreground & background colors, and choose Filter-Render-Clouds (duh – what else would you use to make clouds…?)

Now the cool part: Hold [Ctrl] and click the channel thumbnail of the clouds you just created to select the luminance of them. This selects the grays of the channel with all the levels of opacity present.

Click the RGB channel at the very top to bring back all colors to your image, click back over to the Layers palette, click the “Create New Layer” icon (or press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[N]) and, with your clouds selection still active, press [Ctrl]+[V] to paste it in place (yes, you could also just click over to Edit-Paste, but keyboard shortcuts are for the REAL users… !).

Deselect ([Ctrl]+[D], or Select-Deselect) and click back over to the Channels palette again.

Make a selection of the Blue copy channel you dodged & burned earlier by [Ctrl]+Clicking the channel thumbnail. Click Select-Modify-Expand, and choose a value based on the size of your image (this image started out at 1712 x 2288 pixels, so I Contracted it by 3 pixels – for smaller images, you may not need to contract at all….)

Click the RGB channel again to bring back all your colors, then highlight the clouds layer. Click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a mask based on this selection.

The clouds need to have their perspective changed, but you don’t want to transform this mask. To accomplish this, turn OFF the link between the clouds and their layer mask by clicking the little link icon between them.

Now transform the clouds: Press [Ctrl]+[T] to open the Transform tool, right click inside the bounding rectangle and choose Perspective from the menu.

Drag the top corner handles out as far as you need to to get the perspective of the clouds looking right; you may need to zoom out in order to see the whole thing.

Change back to Free Transform by right clicking inside the bounding box and choosing it from the menu; then drag the bottom of the clouds layer up a bit to create the effect of clouds fading away into the distance.

Before Transforming Clouds

After Transforming Clouds

Add a layer style to the clouds layer – a Gradient Overlay (from dark blue to a very light blue, or a black to medium gray) and a Drop Shadow. You could also play around with the Bevel & Emboss styles, with a Shadow Mode of Color Dodge, and try the color red or green or gold…)

Finally, click the Bottom layer (the Background layer) and add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer.

Pull down the Saturation slider until you reduct the amount of color in the background to an acceptable level, and also pull the Lightness slider down a bit.




My final image image came out as dark and forbidding as I had hoped – a far cry from the sunny blue skies I started out with:

Creating a Foggy Morning with Photoshop or Elements

Aclear, crystal cool autumn morning by the lake. What a great way to start the day, sipping coffee and gazing across the water…

The only problem is that the weatherman called for light to heavy fog this morning, and we sure don’t want him to be disappointed. Here’s how to help Mother Nature out a little bit…

It really is pretty simple to turn a clear day into a foggy day with Photoshop. Here’s two different methods to try:

I’m starting with the image to the right – I already did a little bit of adjusting already – I added a Layers Adjustment and pulled down the Saturation a little. I also added just a bit of yellow to it, using the Variations tool, under Image>Adjustments.

For the first method of adding some fog, I’m going to paint a large stripe right across the middle of this image using the waterline as a guide.

Create a new Layer, and name it “Fog” (or name it “Earl”, or name it “Loretta” – it doesn’t really matter….).

I chose a large (very large!) brush so I could add my fog in one pass. This is important for this technique, since we’re using one of the additive blend modes on our paintbrush…

You can see how large my brush was when I started; I actually wound up redoing it after I took this screenshot, and made the brush even bigger:

Select the paintbrush tool and get a large round soft-edged brush (to increase or decrease the size of your brush on the fly, press the ] or keys on your keyboard; to soften your brush, press or {). Change the blend of this brush in the tool area along the top of the work area to Dissolve, and lower the opacity to about 50 or 60%.

Now choose a medium – to – dark grey color, and while holding [Shift], paint a single line across the center of the image:

The Dissolve mode makes it sort of “speckly”, which is good, and holding [Shift] helps us draw a straight line (I have a little trouble with straight lines, especially later on into the evening…):

Now it’s just a matter of adding a Gaussian Blur to this fog layer:

I added a mask, and ran the Clouds filter on it to break up the clumps a little bit (Photoshop Elements users could do this by adding a Levels Adjustment, leaving the levels sliders alone, and running Clouds on the mask – then clip the two layers together.)

I also dragged a Reflected Gradient across the mask to make the fog fade away at the top & bottom – again, PSE users can do this on the Levels Adjustment layer’s mask.)

I grabbed the Eraser tool and a soft brush and erased a few places here & there, then went back over them with the Smudge tool. A final pass with the Dodge and Burn tools in a few areas finished it off:

For the second technique, I first made a rough, feathered selection where I want the fog to be:

You can do this on the same image without having to open another copy of it – just turn off the “Fog” layer you created, and create another new layer above it.

Press to reset your to your default foreground & background colors – Black & White.

On a new layer, run the Filters>Render>Clouds filter a few times until you get a good “foggy-looking” blend.

It doesn’t look like much now, but change the blend mode of this layer to Screen and reduce the opacity to 60% or 70% or so, and see how it looks…

Hmm, well, OK, it still looks a little bit not-like-fog. But that can be fixed:

Fog generally lays across the water, not in big puffy blobs on top of it – it needs to be flattened out.

Press [Ctrl]+T to open the Transform tool, and then press [Ctrl]+- a few times to zoom way out.

Grab the middle side handle on either side and pull it way out. Now pull the middle side handle on the other side and pull it way out. Press to accept the transformation:

A little more Gaussian Blur and it’s getting close:

I duplicated this layer, and added a bit of Noise to it (Filters>Noise>Add Noise, using gaussian, monochromatic, and the slider at about 15).

I reduced the opacity of this new layer, and ran a Filter>Blur>Motion Blur on it, to add a little density to the fog. I wanted it to be subtle, so I kept the opacity down, and the strength of the blur fairly high.

Quick Folder Organizing Hacks in Adobe Lightroom

Sometimes our hard drives become a mess of misnamed folders and misplaced images. We don’t know how it happens, but it does. Luckily, Lightroom gives us a few options for quick and easy folder discovery and organization. Ben Willmore shares a few of these hacks:

Before you begin, make sure the little square or “light” beside the hard drive is colored.

  • A green light means the drive is hooked up.
  • An orange light means the drive is hooked up but nearly full, resulting in potential difficulties while importing.
  • No light or a grey square means the drive is not hooked up.

How to Find a Missing Folder