Alan Hartmann's Skin Tones Action

Get the Red Out

When printing photos of people, color accuracy may not be what you want. People viewing photos of themselves may be unhappy if they see reddish-looking skin. Getting pleasing skin tones is easily done, however.
Before and After

Before adjusting skin tones, it would be helpful to read this article at SmugMug.

To make it easier to get the red out of skin tones, I've made available an action that I use.

Getting the Action

  1. Download the action set, save it to your PhotoShop actions directory, and then unzip it.

  2. Click and drag the Skin Tones.atn file from that folder to your Photoshop window. If you look in the Actions window in Photoshop, you will see the action set appear there.

Using the Action

This action will help you "get the red out" of skin tones in your photos.

  1. If your image has multiple layers, select (highlight) the layer on which you want to apply the effect.

  2. Run the action. The action will create a duplicate of the highlighted layer, and will apply skin tone adjustments to it. You won't see any difference at first, though, because a mask will be applied to the layer.

  3. Set your foreground color to white and then select the Brush Tool. Use a soft brush at about 65-70% flow on the areas of the image that contain skin to let the new skin tones show through.


Before the Action

The only processing that was done on the original was minimal exposure tweaking in Lightroom. Yellow values are well below magenta in large portions of his face, the cheeks in particular.
Before the Skin Tones action

After the Action

I actually ran my action twice to produce the 'SkinTones' version, the first covering most of the face, the second just some additional touch-up on the cheeks. There may still be a few reddish spots where yellow dips below magenta, but they greatly reduced from the original.
After the Skin Tones action