Newborn Color Corrections & Editing Tutorial

January 25, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Today I am sharing a glimpse in post production from a newborn session. This beautiful baby had a pretty good case of jaundice which showed strongly in the yellow cast to his skin. My philosophy regarding retouching babies and children is that temporary blemishes like baby acne and jaundice I edit away completely, unless requested not to. For permanent birth marks, these are not flaws but just unique features. I leave them as they are or if requested, reduce their appearance while still keeping them. I treat wrinkles on adults in the same manner. 

 

Here is the SOOC (Straight Out of Camera). You can see the yellow mostly on the left side of this face. We also obviously need to something about Dad's hand!

 

I like to start off by dealing with white balance and color issues right from the start.  I use the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer in Photoshop. I have an older version of Photoshop but it's working just fine for me.

1. Use the drop down menu to select "yellows".

2. Use the dropper and select any area on the face that is quite yellow. If the drop down menu remains selected to "yellow", I know I'm on the right track. If "yellow" changes to another color, then the area I selected isn't actually yellow. Our eyes can deceive us and the dropper will tell no lies about what color it is actually picking up.

I know- it's looking weird but it's all part of the process. 

1. Slide the Hue slider completely to the left. Your image will turn all kinda of crazy colors.

2. Slowly pull the left do-dad-thingy on the bottom color temperature slider. As you slowly slide, you will be able to restore much of the image to normal colors, leaving only the overly yellow areas in funky blues and purples. Now we have isolated the areas we want correct. 

With the overly yellow areas high lighted in the crazy blues and purples, we want to bring them back into normalcy but with more magenta than previously was there. In Photoshop the solution for too much yellow is adding magenta. To correct too much red, the solution is adding green. I often use this same process to reduce red where needed.

1. Slowly bring the Hue slider to the right. Stop when the color is not too yellow and not too pink.

As is usually the case, we may not want these color changes on the background. Invert the Layer and paint on the effect only where desired. When using this method to reduce red, I like to leave lips red, and use a brush at a low opacity to keep a little of the red on toes and places where it would naturally occur.

Once I'm satisfied with color and exposure, it's time to deal with Dad's hand. In this case, I opted to simply clone.

Tips for successful cloning are to always work on a layer, and zoom in very close. Use different clone sizes and opacity until it looks how you like!

The finished image!

 

In some images, I will actually create a composite image. I take a shot of the pose with parent's hands in 2 positions, while trying to keep baby in as close to the exact same position as possible. Using layers and a brush tool, I combine to the 2 images. And yes that is what you think it is in the "before" images. It's the risk I take every session! =) 

 

I hope you enjoyed a look at my editing processes! I do aim to get as much of the image just right in camera. Good light, and appropriate camera settings make a world of difference. Some poses , however, are just not safe or possible without a little editing magic.


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