It's a question about photo editing : What would be a trick to reduce the visibility of the white stains of the skin due to "vitiligo" (Vitiligo is a strange illness(?) that make the skin been totally white @ some places).

The editing method will effectively depend on the real natural skin color. In fact, it's a quite personal request : It's about my wife and she has white skin... ;-)

Actually what I am looking for is an "how-to-use" a tool like the "Bucket tool" to fill the "blank areas" or any other tool or tip to smooth or reduce the color difference between the skin areas.

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    Clarification: is this a question about color correction, to get the picture to look like the subject appears; or about photo-retouching, to make the photograph look as if the subject had typical skin coloration? – mattdm Dec 21 '10 at 14:57
  • Sorry about my English ;) A : Yes, indeed, it is a question about photo correction. The question is How to have an uniform skin color ? – Pierre Watelet Dec 21 '10 at 15:20

Depending on the extent of the bleached areas, you may find that something like Alien Skin's Image Doctor can do the trick without spending a huge amount of time on the cleanup. You can test-drive a limited-time trial of the software to make up your mind (click on "Demo" in the menu) before committing to any expense. My experience is that good plug-ins tend to be better at this sort of thing than the built-in tools, if only because they handle a lot of the details (feathering selections, matching surrounding reference areas, etc.) for you, and they usually have presets to handle your specific problem rather than making you work from the general case every time. I'm not a huge fan of spending money, but when balanced against the time it takes to do things with native tools in image editors like Photoshop, the GIMP, Pixelmator or Paint Shop Pro, it's often the lesser of two evils.

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    And I do realise that the brand name is unfortunate given the problem under consideration -- it made sense back when Eye Candy first came out and adding weird textures was what their software was all about. – user2719 Dec 21 '10 at 23:34
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    Whoo, I will have to keep this software carefully hidden from my wife ! "Alien Skin" ! Man, do you want me to be divorced ? ;-) – Pierre Watelet Dec 22 '10 at 9:22

I guess this may be a bit of a naive suggestion, however I'll offer it anyway. Why not just use makeup? You can try to fix such a photo with post processing, however it will either take a lot of time to produce an ideal result, or it will never be quite ideal, and may look a bit odd in those spots. If you have your subject use makeup before taking the shot, you should be able to produce a natural matching skin tone in the necessary locations, and simply take a "natural" shot without the need for extensive and complicated retouching after the fact.


I'm not an expert at all, but I wonder if shooting in black and white might help to mitigate the problem. On the other hand it might just make it worse, but it would be interesting to experiment with different lighting.


More than one of my "old-timer" photography mentors has given me this advice:

Lighting an obvious flaw on a person (scars, skin problems, etc.) will de-emphasize that flaw and make it fade into the picture. On the other hand, pushing it into shadow will deepen and emphasize the flaw. It seems counter-intuitive (at least it did to me), but I've seen it work time and time-again in my own portrait work.

'Back in the day' photographers mostly had to get it right in-camera... Maybe what you're really looking for isn't a post-production tool at all, but a technique for photographing your wife such that you don't have to spend a lot of time after the fact correcting things. Just a thought...


Though there may be easier ways, I'm pretty sure that you should be able to correct it in post using frequency separation.

This is IMHO a pretty good introduction to the subject: http://fstoppers.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-the-frequency-separation-technique

But there are a lot of tutorials on the subject on youtube as well.

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