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Mar 20, 2014

How to Correct Red Skin Color in Photoshop Quickly

It’s time to correct red skin captured in your images quickly.

One of the problems you will encounter when photographing people is skin redness. It usually shows up around the nose, close to the eyes and on the cheeks. Skin that looks too red can make people look tired, sick, old, or just bad.

Thankfully there is a simple fix that will work every time.

Using a Hue/Saturation Layer
In this episode we show you how to use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to pinpoint the redness and get rid of it for good.

We start by selecting REDS from the drop down menu that is on MASTER by default. After selecting the reds we bring up the saturation as high as possible to see what colors we are actually effecting. Then we use the slider on the bottom to narrow in the focus of color and move it left and right until only the area we want to change becomes highlighted.

After the selection is bright red, bring the saturation back down to 0 and adjust the Hue slider to the right. In this image we use a +25 Hue but that will change depending on the colors in your image. Once you set the Hue correctly you are done!


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Guests are limited to images that are no larger than 1MB, and to only jpeg, pjpeg, png file types.

  • user image

    Phlearn has changed the way I work with my images in post. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

    • user image

      Wow, that’s what we love to hear! You’re very welcome Alexa. Do you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in future tutorials?

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        Pierre Vignau

        The simplest of tricks with the Hue Saturation Brightness dialog. I actually used it on an impromptu photo that my boss needed of himself today… pfew!

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    r grepo

    Aaron you’re the best! I’ve been struggling with red for sometime and I never knew how to isolate them. Awesome!

  • user image

    I’d love it you’d spend a whole week of tutorials discussing how to achieve/measure pleasing/realistic skin tones … as well as pleasing creative skin tones.

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    Tahir Register

    I’ve used a technique similar to this one, but i’m glad I watched the video because that exacting effect is much quicker. I often shoot Afrikan Americans and the camera often captures a redness that makes the brown skin look muddy, saturated, and unnatural. Most people cannot tell the difference, but I can. I wanted to share a photo with you so that you can see what I mean. Here’s a before and after, I shot, and edited. What’s interesting is that I don’t see the redness when I take the photo. I assume through a great custom balance, or a neutral balance that the photo will look how its suppose to once taken out of the SD card and placed on the computer. I see on my MAC that the CR2 is exactly the perfect color, but when I open it in ps5 the color is distorted and the lighting etc. Thus causing me to do more work. I don’t know how to fix that, but here is an example of what I did, as far as removing the redness.

  • user image

    I saw this technique demonstrated by a pro retoucher a number of years ago, but could not remember exactly how it worked.. Ive been racking my brain trying to remember where I saw that tip, but never fear, Phlearn to the rescue. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. :)

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    Rob Murszewski

    Thanks so much for this. I had a photo I took as a Xmas present for my Mother In Law and the skin was very red and I couldn’t figure out a good way to get just that red out. Just tried this technique on the image and it worked great. Thanks!

    • user image

      Hi Rob! Thank you for the kind words and glad that everything worked out!