Photoshop Skin Tones

Much of Adobe Photoshop’s versatility comes from its ability to adjust and improve photographic images. For example we may have a good quality portrait image in terms of tones and composition, but is less than vibrant when we consider the skin tones. Photoshop allows us to record the skin tones of one image and apply them to another. You can learn all this technique by enrolling in our photoshop training course visit us now.

Open two images, one with good and one with less than good skin tones. First select the good skin tone image. Next choose the Eyedropper tool and change the options in the top Control panel to 3×3 Average or 5×5 Average. This will allow us to select an average skin tone from an area rather than having to zoom in to one pixel in particular. Then click on an area of Medium Brightness. Click on the foreground colour to record the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values, for example 200, 180, 80.


Next select the image with the poor skin tones, and select the Colour Sample tool which is stacked behind the Eyedropper tool. Again change the settings to Average 3×3 or Average 5×5. The next step is to click on an area of medium brightness in the image. Open the Info palette from the Window drop-down menu and click on the small eyedropper arrow to change the colour mode to HSB (Hue, Saturation, and Brightness). Note and record the Brightness setting here, for example 75%. Reset the eyedropper arrow to RGB before the next step.


Double-click on the foreground colour at the bottom of the toolbox to open the Colour Picker dialog box again – we want to use this colour but not its brightness value. So in HSB change the brightness to its value two steps ago (75%). Note the new RGB Values (eg.190, 130, 70) and hit OK.

Now we select the skin tones in the problem image, for example in the face area. Then go to the Select drop-down menu and choose to save the selection. If you have any Adjustment layers already created choose the topmost before proceeding. Then choose the Curves adjustment layer icon. Go to the Red channel; press the Control key and click on the colour-picked spot on the face. This will add a point to the curve. Change the Red channel’s Output to 190. Go to the Green channel and change the Output to 130. Go to the Blue channel and change the Output to 70, and hit OK. Toggle the adjustment layer’s visibility off and on to view the result, adjusting its opacity if necessary. You can also press Alt and click to remove the source point if necessary. The mask may also be adjusted with a black or white paintbrush. In addition a Levels and a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer may be added to make final adjustments.

In this way we can see how easy Photoshop allows us to copy the vibrancy of one image’s skin tones to those of a poorer quality tone image in just a few simple steps.