Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 8: Skin Issues

Hooray! It came! I ordered a 50mm 1/4 Nikon autofocus lens in November. And it finally came yesterday. It's the new lens that autofocuses on a Nikon D40, so I, too, can joined the ranks of the "nifty-50", and so far, I'm loving it!

But I'm having skin issues.


Well, obviously, in these 2 above photos, there IS no skin! And the issues don't really have to do with the lens, as it does in getting "perfect" skin tones in , well, skin!


f/1.4 ~ 1/40
50mm
ISO 400
manual
RAW
hand-held, no flash
tungsten wb, adjusted in ACR
uncalibrated monitor

I did so many things to this photo, I don't even know where to begin! I keep changing my mind about what "works". I first open the photo in Camera Raw (ACR) and then adjust the white balance. I didn't use a gray card, but DH had on a gray shirt that I already knew would come close. I decreased contrast in ACR so that I could deal with it in photoshop. I increased clarity and vibrance slightly, sharpened slightly, including in the color and luminance channels, and opened it. Then in photoshop, I adjusted curves, slightly increasing contrast. My DH's face was too red, so I "lasooed" his skin in an adjustment layer, used the red channel, and decreased the saturation. I just moved it about until it looked "right", but it's the "right" that drives me nuts!

Finally, I picked up a portrait book, looked at the faces, and thought, "what the heck, they look all wrong!" and am beginning to come to the conclusion that I'm chasing after a chimera, a thing that doesn't exist. There is no right skin tones; just something that looks relatively good, for the person, with the colors all around them. And that's it. ?

HHCC desperately requested and most appreciated!

24 comments:

Cari said...

Congrats on the news lens. I have the canon one and should get it out! Great shots and I have skin issues too!
Cari

Raechel said...

Can't help with skin:( But I really like the pic of him, he looks so relaxed and friendly!

melissahattaway said...

Yea for you for your new lens! I bet you are going to have a lot of fun. Nice shots, I think the skin looks fine.

Jena Photography said...

That looks so cold. Nice shots. TFS!

Liz said...

Sadly I cannot help with the skintone issues. But Congratulations on your new toy!!!! you will love playing with it even if your skintones aren't perfect for now.

Reds said...

You are too funny! Congrats on your new toy! Love the relaxed shot after the work shots! and the skin looks great! ;)

Jason said...

You will love that lens! Sorry I can't give any info on the skin tones. TFS

Sharon said...

I think he looks good. I think this is where tech transforms into art. It really is subjective and you should be happy with what you see.

Nicole said...

I completely agre about the POTD! so many new and old faces. I laughed out loud at your first photos though, sorry, it's amazing we live in the same country, I was wearing shorts today.

pakosta said...

congratson the lense! i love mine! i love that last shot>! he has the sweetest face EVER!
tara

Inkspots said...

Congrats on your new lens! I'm sure you're going to love it. Great shots, I really like the composition in the last one. (Good luck with the skin issues too.)

Maria said...

That is a fabulous picture of Doug. It captures, I think, so much of his personality - a man comfortable in his own skin, intelligent, with a sense of humor. I don't know about skin tones, but you have the soul of an artist.

Lauren said...

Skin tones, the bane of my existence I tell you! I think you did a pretty good job with it.

Glad you're enjoying your new lens!

Rachel said...

Congrats on your lens. I so want that lens. I'm in the same boat as you with skin tones. I thought the photo of your Dh looked great though.

Rachael said...

Great shots! His skin looks pretty good to me! I am on a laptop, though...so I'm probably no help.

Margaret said...

I think the skin tones look great, and I love that expression on his face!

Loved what you said about it being Homecoming on POTD. So true!

janett said...

You're going to loooove that lens, it's popular for a very good reason.

Mandy said...

WOOO hooo on the new lens. I love the canon 50mm 1.4! I couldn't live without it. I am going to rent the 1.2 next week to see if I like it better. I think you did great with the skin tones. He looks very natural and its an enduring portrait.

CindyTykie said...

Congratulations on the new lens, have fun playing with it. I can't help w/ the skin tone issue but I gotta say all the pictures look great to me

Jeanne said...

Can't help you with any skin tones or whatnot, but I wanted to say that the first two pictures are hysterical after reading the title of the post. But that last shot...to me at least...looks absolutely PERFECT!

Good luck with the lens and chasing the skin tones.

pat said...

Angela, I love that shot of your DH. That expressionof personal satisfaction and the afterglow of a job well-done...so fun! And you are going to go to London? You LUCKY LUCKY lady!!!

Tori said...

congrats on the new lens! I wish I could help with skin tones, but I'm stinking at them myself lately...

Amy said...

Congrats on the new lens, how fun! I have skin issues too, so I'm of no help there. I like the pic of your dh though, it's very relaxed. :)

Jackie's Shot said...

Beautiful photos. Looks like a great new lense. ~Jackie