Useful Photography Tip #123: How to Deal with Skin That’s Too Orange

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There are times in portraiture where your camera will render a person’s skin as way too orange. This tends to happen a lot during the golden hour. But getting rid of that problem is very, very simple and it can be fixed in less than 10 seconds. It has nothing to do with the desaturation slider–at least the one all the way at the top in Adobe Lightroom!

To start, the most obvious way to prevent this problem is to manually white balance. But that isn’t always possible and sometimes you just don’t have time to do so. After you’ve got your white balance just right, it’s time to work with the skin tones.

The secret is to work with the color channels specifically. We recommend turning up the luminance a bit to brighten the orange color channel and then slightly desaturating it to give the skin tones a more natural look. But to be sure that the program sees it as orange to begin with, we recommend choosing the dropper tool. Sometimes, Lightroom can see oranges as yellows or reds.

If it isn’t working for you, then take the adjustment brush and touch up the areas by brightening them a bit and desaturating them as well.

The results of this project are after the jump.

 

Before

Before

After

After