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Quick Skin Tone Fix

In photos of people, the most important thing is that the skin tone looks good. That’s because it’s really hard for someone looking at your photo to determine if the grass is exactly the right shade of green or if the sky is the right shade of blue; but if the skin tone is off, it sticks out like a sore thumb (which would be red if it were really sore). Here’s a quick fix to get your skin tones patched up in a hurry:

Step One.
Open an image in which the flesh tone looks like it needs adjusting. In the example here, I photographed him early in the morning. As you can see, the skin is just too warm, so it definitely needs a fix to look right.

Step Two.
Go under the Enhance menu, under Adjust Color, and choose Adjust Color for Skin Tone.

Step Three.
When the Adjust Color for Skin Tone dialog appears, move your cursor over an area of skin tone and click once to set the skin tone for the image. If you don’t like your first results, click in a different area of skin tone until you find a skin-tone adjustment you’re happy with.

Step Four.
You can also manually tweak the skin tone by using the Tan and Blush sliders, and you can control the overall tint of the light by dragging the Temperature slider to the left to make the skin tones cooler or to the right to make them warmer. Note: This skin-tone adjustment affects more than just skin—it usually warms the entire photo. If that creates a problem, use one of the selection tools (even the Lasso tool) to put a selection around the skin-tone areas first, add a 2-pixel Feather (under the Select menu), and then use the Adjust Color for Skin Tone command.

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