I have seen many pictures like this recently, and would like to know how to achieve the look of the sky like this and skin more golden. What tools and actions to use?
You can achieve this using flash, gels, and white balance.
Set your WB so that the background (the clouds) has the desired colour tone, this will probably involve a lower WB setting than the one AutoWB would select. (By selecting a WB which is warmer than reality, the image gets colder).
Light your subject with flash, with a warming gel on the flash to get that "golden look".
The background will be exposed by ambient light, the subject by the flash. Balancing the two, you can achieve any colouring and lighting ratio you desire.
Doing the same in post processing in eg. Photoshop or GIMP would involve creating a mask for the subject and then applying different WB or any other colour / brightness / contrast adjustments to background and subject.
In addition to ways to shoot this, I want to talk a little more about how to post-process this in lightroom or photoshop.
In this example I exaggerated the blue in the sky and gave the skin a bright red/magenta tone to demonstrate.
- Choose a primary element, in this case I used the sky first
- Adjust the photo until the sky has the effect/colors you want (white balance)
- Use an adjustment brush and paint the skin (see more here if unclear on this step)
- Adjust skin to compensate for white balance of background, to your own liking
- Duplicate the background layer, and make adjustments until the skin is as desired
- Duplicate the background layer again, bring it to the top of the layers panel, and make adjustments until the sky is as desired.
- Add a layer mask to the sky layer, starting with the mask being completely white
- Paint the layer mask with a black brush over the skin until all of the skin is showing through. If you make a mistake or go over an edge, you can re-paint an area with white to undo.
I've achieved a similar effect with an LED light that allows a custom color temperature to be set by mixing a bank of cool (5600K) LEDs with a bank of warm LEDs (3200K) that allows the desired color temp to be "dialed in".
Used outdoors, auto white balance (at least on a Canon body) seems to pick the cooler temperature as the reference point, leaving the sky with a natural color and the subject with a warm cast on them. Of course, you can set the white balance manually if you don't like the results.
LED lights are easy to work with, but if you are working in bright ambient light you'll need a flash (likely with a gel to color it, as @ths suggests).
A cheaper, simpler method is to use a golden reflector. It's essential to have a solid stand to hold the reflector, or (better) an assistant that can direct the light of the sun onto your subject.
Even if you want a consistent color temperature overall, reflectors are very useful for softening shadows and filling dark areas on your subject.