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I'm pretty new here and I asked this earlier but I realized I wasn't any help on what I was trying to ask. So anyways.

I'm trying to figure out how to edit like these photos, they're pretty different so its kinda different questions. I know about how the lighting is shot and I have images that are shot the same way and how the model is supposed to be tan and all but its the editing I'm trying to figure out for each one.

Some of these models aren't tan cause I've seen behind the scene shots. So how does the skin tone end up like that ( with the super dark skin ones )

I pulled down the orange luminance and it would look sorta the same but it would look dirty and how does the color grading go about for each one to end up like that? Does that make sense?

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    Just because a girl "is not that tan" does not mean that she can't be made to look tan by controlling the light before it hits the camera as well as altering the color in post processing. You might be surprised what a bit of oil on pale skin and a gold reflector or other very orange light source (i.e. gelled flash) can do. If you are truly trying to learn, perhaps you shouldn't load your question with so many assumptions that seem to imply you think you already know that it can "only be the editing" when that is not entirely the case. Remember, many of these techniques were developed back... – Michael C Nov 13 '18 at 5:51
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    ... in the film days when extensive "postprocessing" was much more time intensive (and therefore expensive) than it is in the digital age. – Michael C Nov 13 '18 at 5:52
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    Please post one or two of the "behind the scenes" photos that you mention. – osullic Nov 13 '18 at 9:38
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    I would if I had them saved, but following these photographers and the people they work with I've seen how they shoot and have an idea but obviously I don't know enough and maybe the oil thing works but post process is still a big deal and that is what I would like to learn more of and how the colors are created. – jay Nov 13 '18 at 9:47
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    Look all I want is help and advice so I can learn cause I've been trying to figure it out – jay Nov 13 '18 at 10:01
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Firstly, there is no easy and simple way to achieve a natural looking tan in Photoshop.

The method below is one that I have used previously, but it does require a lot of patience to build up the skill levels to be able to see and judge what is a natural looking Tan and what isn’t, and saying that, it still does not work for every kind of image.

The idea is to introduce the Tan in separately for the Shadows and Highlights. Otherwise, it can make the Shadows even darker and a bit “Dirty”.

Once the Tan has been applied evenly, then you need to selectively color grade the image.

There are 3 steps to the process

Step One – Highlights

  1. Create a solid fill adjustment layer – choose a natural looking orange of your choice (remember it can be fine-tuned later)
  2. Change the blending mode to Color Burn
  3. Next, click on “fx” to work on your Layer Style
  4. Ensure Color Burn is selected in Blend Mode
  5. At the bottom of the panel, ensure “Gray” is selected next to Blend If.
  6. Now, holding down the alt key, slide the right side of the Left pointer of the underlying layer from Left to Right
  7. This will now split the pointer and remove the blending effect from the Shadows and only effect the Highlights
  8. Now Click back on the Solid color and adjust the color to fine tune. (This requires patience to build the skill levels)

Step Two – Shadows

  1. Create a solid fill adjustment layer – choose a natural looking orange of your choice (remember it can be fine-tuned later)
  2. Change the Blending Mode to Multiply
  3. Click on “fx” to work on your Layer Style
  4. Ensure Multiply is selected in Blend Mode
  5. At the bottom of the panel, ensure “Gray” is selected next to Blend If.
  6. Now, holding down the alt key, slide the left side of the right pointer of the underlying layer from Right to the Left
  7. This will now split the pointer and remove the blending effect from the Highlights and only effect the shadows
  8. At this stage, you may also want to slide the second underlying Layer from Right to Left to fine tune
  9. Now Click back on the Solid color and adjust the color to match to fine tune

Step Three – Color Correction

Here you have to remember the Rule about Opposite colors

  1. Cyan is the opposite of Red
  2. Magenta is the Opposite of Green
  3. Yellow is the opposite of Blue

Once again, you will need to build your skill levels.

  1. From the Adjustment Layers – Choose, Selective Colors
  2. Starting with Red, work on the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow
  3. Move the sliders until you have reached your desired color effect

Remember, you can always go back to each Solid Color Layer and adjust the Hues as you wish. Same applies to the Selective Color adjustments.

Once you have achieved what you feel is the best you can do for now, Save it as an Action for future.

Hope this Helps

  • How far am I sliding the underlying layer? Because I am kinda confused about that. When I slide it all the way to the left it takes away the effect but when I slide it halfway its just orange. Am I suppose to lower the capacity ? – jay Nov 15 '18 at 4:47
  • and also pressing the alt key does nothing for me? I feel like I'm missing something or im just stupid right now – jay Nov 15 '18 at 4:55
  • Okay - I should have made it clear - When hold down the Alt Key, Click on the right of the Pointer. This will split the Pointer and only drag across the right side of the pointer. You are most likely dragging the whole pointer. Hope this helps – Abdul Quraishi Nov 16 '18 at 13:48
  • I have updated this in the answer – Abdul Quraishi Nov 16 '18 at 13:53
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Normalize your white point and black point using levels. (A)

enter image description here

Make a dramatic curve darkening the image (B) You will notice how the image gets a saturated look. This is normal, but we want to get rid of it.

enter image description here

Desaturate your image. You can probably play with different desaturation on different regions of the spectrum (C)

enter image description here

We now have a similar look on the skin and that is the overall process, but you want to play with different curves, for example, an "S" shape, probably mask some colors and desaturate colors if different amounts.

enter image description here

We have some similar questions How to set camera to get a tanned look? But that one is asking about the photoshoot, not editing.

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