Skin tone management


New Member
Jul 30, 2013
Singapore, Orchard
Hi Guys,

This might seem like a very basic question but I wanted to see how you mainly manage accurate skin tones when you are editing pictures in light room.

Just wanted advice on/or if any of you have specific techniques to ensure skin tones are relatively accurate to reality? When editing my pictures I tend to boast or adjust some settings which sometimes affect the skin tone colors. How do you all preserve accurate skin tones and do you reference this to something?

Thanks in advance for the advice, I'm kind of really new to this and normally edit pics to my likely but wonder if there is a technique I should be using to preserve more natural tones for people.


Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
Punggol, Singapore
first thing, you need to light your subject properly and get correct exposure.
if it is not, it is hard to correct the skin tone without affecting the rest of the picture.

secondly, there is no exact figures on editing skin tone, you just need to see more and do more, so always look at good photos, once your eyes are train to that, you will notice what is wrong and what should you do to correct it.

Jun 2, 2012
Singapore when back at home
Hi Ming. Unless you are really good & have a lot of experience in editing & tweaking colors it is very difficult to get pleasing skin tones.

Here is what I do to help me a long.

1) Calibrate my monitor periodically with a color calibrator.

2) Take a pic of a neutral gray card at the scene, this is to correct for the WB when I do PP later. Most of the time the skin tones will look much better with custom WB.

3) A color correction card that is used to generate color correction profiles, white point & black point. A pic of the color correction card is taken on site with the same exposure settings & illuminated with the same light that will be used for the subject.

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New Member
Jul 30, 2013
Singapore, Orchard
Morning Guys,

Thanks a lot for your feedback and guidance much appreciated. Always such a great place and willing people to help here!

Definitely agree that I need much practice. I guess editing is kind of personal thing but what I do want to learn is trying to get more constant skin tones of people I shoot and hopefully a more real life reflection. The grey card and color cards sound like a great idea and I haven't actually tried it yet. I'm guessing you shoot them on screen and then try to match the colors on your monitor next to the card right? Never used them before but shall try you\tube if anything useful.

Thanks again and shall let you know how I get along.


New Member
Apr 27, 2008
For starters, grey cards are helpful for me for white balance correction to get the skin tone right in the first place. I'm not sure what kind of settings you adjust (brightness, contrast?) but that goes down to the purpose of post production-to enhance. :)