Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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I googled some tutorials on "creamy lightroom", but most of what I found ended up turning my photos' skin tones too orange, too "vintage".

I tried desaturating Orange to counter this, but the results are not that great. What is the best way to get some film-looking, non-digital, creamy skin tone that doesn't change much of the overall color in Lightroom?


Skin tones are nice here. Not too sharp, not blurry either, not too "digital" with natural creamy tones.

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Example pictures are always appreciated! :-) – Craig Walker Jun 7 '11 at 14:28
Do you mean creamy as in a color or creamy as in a texture? One can soften/blur skin by decreasing the Clarity slider. – ahockley Jun 7 '11 at 15:30
Examples added :) Thank you – rabbid Jun 8 '11 at 2:59
Those examples don't look like they have been heavily edited. One common theme I see, though, is soft light. – Evan Krall Jun 8 '11 at 8:10
Actually I know for a fact that the photog uses a combo of Lightroom and Alien Skin Exposure to process all his photos. Just trying to figure out the right process here... – rabbid Jun 9 '11 at 12:12

I find reducing clarity, far to the left, works wonders. Use the adjustment brush to paint the areas you wish to smooth, and then slide the clarity slider to the left. Then , you can also use the brush to apply selective sharpening to eyes, lips etc so it does not look entirely fake.

Note that when you select the brush, you can also choose 'soften skin' in the Effects list, which does essentially this same thing

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Terry white did a face retouching vodcast utilizing lightroom.

He used a clarity brush to clean up the subject's face:


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In the Adobe Lightroom tutorials, they explicitly say that "clarity" is not to be used on babies or pretty young women.


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I love the example images that you provided and I too wonder about how to get skin tone like that.

The adjustment brush works with skin texture but not color so much. My tip is to perfect your white balance and then play with the Saturation and Luminance of the orange and red. Desaturate and boost luminance will lighten and brighten the skin tones.

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have you tried the advices in the other answers? Those are actually explaining how to achieve them, so I don't think that it's a case of secrets-being-kept... – Francesco Sep 6 '12 at 3:44

I'll let others speak about the colour adjustments, which is probably the major component of what you're looking for.

What I love doing for skin is is smoothing out skin (wrinkles, texture, and freckles) using combinations of Sharpness, Clarity, and Noise Reduction. Reducing the first two (whole-picture or just in areas using the Adjustment Brush) and increasing the latter really helps even out the texture of skin. In turn this gives a "creamy" look which can take years off your model.

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Thanks, I'll try your suggestions. Although, what I'm looking for is not necessarily to beautify faces. Instead I am looking for a creamy natural skin tone that doesn't look to "digital" nor too "vintage." – rabbid Jun 8 '11 at 3:03

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