Tutorial Tuesday – Fix Skin Tones with CMYK

This tutorial is something I recently came across and have found it to be SO useful in fixing skin tones that have a color cast to them. I think this is only good for Full version photoshop (because it uses Curves) but I’ve heard you can get a Curves plug-in for Elements so who knows 🙂
This is a photo of me when I was about TJ’s age – being a monkey just like she is 🙂 Notice the awful yellow color cast to the photo (this is a scan) after it had been sitting in one of those awful old albums. This is a prime candidate for this techinique. 1. Open the photo you need to fix (you will need to use a photo with a person in it, since we’re working with skin tones ). You will change the mode from RGB Color to CMYK color by going to Image>Mode>CMYK Color.
2. Click Ctrl+M to bring up the Curves screen. Change the Channel from CMYK to Magenta. When adjusting skin tones, we are mostly concerned with the relationship between Magenta and Yellow. We want (in skin tones) the yellow to be about 3% more than the magenta. We need to see what the balance between magenta and yellow is in this photo, so we are going to click on a sample of skin here. Oh, and make sure your info palette is open to the right of your screen (it’s the little box that shows a C, M, Y, and K with numbers beside them). Okay,with the Curves Channel changed to Magenta, press and hold “Shift+Ctrl” and click once on an area of the skin, which will then add a black point to the Curves line.

3. In the Output box, you’ll see a number. Take note of that number and change the Channel from Magenta to Yellow in the drop down menu. Now look at that number in the Output box. What is the relationship there? Remember, yellow should only be about 3% higher number than the magenta. Now, simply change the numbers up or down (both on the yellow and magenta channels) to reflect the proper balance. This photo needed to have the yellow reduced quite a bit, and the magenta brought up in number. You can see the preview as you change the numbers so you can make minute adjustments.When you’ve changed the numbers and are happy with the results, click “OK” and change the mode back to RGB Color by going to Image>Mode>RGB Color.
The difference is obvious! I love to use this technique to get great skin tones every time! P.S.
I need your creative ideas! I was just assigned to head up the decorating for our upcoming Stake Relief Society dinner. The theme is “Peace” and we’ve got to decorate the gymnasium at the Stake Center. We’ll be setting up 16 round tables, and they possibly want the dessert to be the center peice – so that’s great. But what should I do to decorate?? I’ve got a budget of maybe $175 or so. *sigh* Any ideas would be VERY appreciated! Thanks in advance you smart women, you!

5 thoughts on “Tutorial Tuesday – Fix Skin Tones with CMYK

  1. How about anything that symbolizes peace. A dove, olive branches, etc. I think it’s the dove anyway….maybe a different bird, but you get the idea. I am sure there aren’t that many olive branches around, but you could get some twigs and decorate them in some beautiful way. Up on the walls, or on the table settings.Let me know how it goes!


  2. Oooh, I have an idea for you that is a major wow factor and easy to do…decorations-wise. If the theme is “peace” (I like the dove idea above”), then you could make a bunch of the tissue paper flowers (in white!) that Kim and I used for GNO. You just hang them with clear thread or fishing line. Very beautiful, and cheap, too to buy white tissue paper. Here’s the how-to:http://www.marthastewart.com/article/pom-poms-and-luminariasTal:)(and P.S…thanks for your comment on being stay-at-home-mama’s…I, too, feel like we have to apologize for that for some reason, which is just ridiculous. If only everyone knew how rewarding it is to be at home with our kiddies!)


  3. When I think about a theme, I think in terms of colours. When I hear “Peace” I see: pure white, soft cream, hint of baby blue and green, and mild grey. You could use the Church’s white table cloths for an easy start 🙂 You could get help making those pretty tissue paper flowers. Make them look like lilies. You could have 1-3 at each table in the centre, with ribbon tied around them. By Emphasizing Christ, you could go to the Dollar Store, and purchase a whole bunch of standard photo size frames. (One for each Sister, at each table setting.) Spray paint the frame white, and put in a Black and White photo of Christ, with the Hymn title: “Where Can I turn for Peace?” As a thought suggestion in the corner of the picture. Try this image: http://www.christcenteredmall.com/stores/art/dewey/prince_of_peace.htmIt would work great along the “dove” idea… Hmmmm that’s all that comes to my mind! Good luck. Can’t wait to see photo’s and hear about the event!


  4. I’m already outed on this one… But Q for ya. Does it also work for yucky florecent lighting. It seems like it would. Dunno. No good ideas for you either. BUt I am looking forward to what you come up with.


  5. I know each culture has a different things that goes along with peace like flowers, symbols, or animals. If there are ladies in your ward that are from other parts of the world perhaps you should look at doing something at different tables that include their heritage.The other ideas sound great too. You’ll have to let us know what you comes up with and post some pictures of the final decorations!


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