Apart from using Flash, does anyone feel they get good skin tones indoors?

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by WT21, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Apart from using Flash, does anyone feel they get good skin tones indoors?

    I do a lot of pics of the kids, and consistently find myself a little frustrated with the indoor skin tones I'm getting. Some of it's inside in incandescent, some in mixed lighting, some at say gymnastic events under gas lighting. So, it's all completely understandable. Just wondering if anyone has a "trick" for better skin tones.

    I swear my old 12MP sensor did a bit better than this newer 16MP (Oly) sensor, but I'm open to just missing a trick or two. The other option, of course, is to start using flash where I can, but that means mounting a bounce/swivel head on an EPL5, lol.
  2. JStheoriginal

    JStheoriginal Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    Maybe turn off the "Keep Warm Color" system setting in Custom > G.
  3. JStheoriginal

    JStheoriginal Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    And of course, if you're using Auto WB, you could manually pick the correct white balance to match the lighting instead.
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    Color checker passport. Then I use the slightly cool grey box with lower degree light sources that tend to give me a magenta cast. Of course flash has it's own problems, When bounced I always get weird cast's because almost everyone I know seems to love odd colored walls...
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Actually, I just turned it back on, because I decided I prefer the "warm glow" over the odd color haze that I'm currently getting. Kind of megenta.
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Well, I guess I can start using my grey card. That's probably the logical next step.
  7. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    Actually both my Olys (12&16mp) do a much better job at getting skin tones right than my previous Panasonic cameras (12mp).
    I always stick to auto WB for the shot and set it right in post. Normally there isn't much to correct anyway when it comes to the OM-D and WB. But to be safe I place a white/greycard in my first few shots and repeat that whenever the nature of light changes.
    I use the huelight profiles for my cameras, though which especially for portraits work wonders.
  8. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    If you are talking about trying to improve your RAW output to make post easier, I can't help much, save to suggest dialing in some positive exposure compensation (+1/3 to +1, depending), especially if you are using evaluative/matrix metering in low light.

    But it sounds like you're talking about JPEG output, since you made a comment about using "keep warm color". I get differing results from *that* setting, but sometimes use it under fluorescent lighting. But I'd strongly recommend using the SCP to select "Portrait" photo style in the top right box. It does a much better job of skin tones (than Natural or Vivid or whatever), especially in incandescent lighting, in my experience.

    You might also experiment with "Light Tone" photo style, too, for some casual snaps.

    If all this is vastly beneath your level, which I expect is pretty likely, feel free to ignore. :)
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    lol. All suggestions are helpful. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already know :)

    No, I'm a RAW shooter, but I'm looking for a workable starting point in the WB. Also, I'm finding if I get the skin tones right in post, the other colors are off, or vice-versa. A bit frustrating.
  10. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    I've been experimenting with my new OM-D and it seems to really like over saturating Reds if I let it.

    So far I've been pretty happy with this:
    1) Shooting RAW and leaving the "Keep Warm Color" option turned off.
    2) In Aperture, after importing the file I go to the Color adjustment, click on the Red box, and move the Red saturation slider to -25 or -30.
    3) Later I'll increase the overall image Saturation a little bit in Nik Vivezia to balance the color where I like it.
  11. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    If the lighting is uniform, and the walls a neutral color it's usually not too bad. But "mixed light" (say outdoor light mixed with artificial light), or a white ceiling but off-color walls can really create a lot of work.

    I was very excited when Lightroom introduced "white balance" as one of the items you could use with the brushes. It allows you to balance out the light colors from different directions much better than trying to apply transparent washes or whatever.

    Fluorescent lighting (traditional type) is the worst especially if you shoot at much over 1/100 of a second. That light is actually pulsing and changing color 120 times a second (it pulses with each 1/2 cycle of the 60 cycle power) and if you shoot higher shutter speeds you don't know WHAT color you're going to get exactly and it can be difficult to correct. Those curly bulbs that replace incandescent lights and the modern electronic ballasts that pulse at a high frequency don't create the problem so much if at all.

    When I shoot fluorescent lighting indoors I try to stay at 1/100 second or slower. When I use flash same deal and I gel the flash with a green gel to match the tone of the lighting. I carry a couple of densities to get the correct match.
  12. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    If you are a Lightroom user and want better skin tones (and less overblown reds) from Olympus cameras try the Huelight profiles - made a real improvement with my OMD.

    Not had any major issues with white balance on my OMD under difficult lighting situations on auto WB and keep warm colours off.

    Panasonic user please free to comment if you have used Huelight profiles with your camera.
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