Using  Photoshop Lesson 2Return to ScubaReturn to Main

One of the challenges of underwater photography is preserving / correcting true skin color.  Fortunately, Photoshop has a couple of great
tools to make this possible.  We are using Photoshop Elements version 7.  However, the tools, shortcuts etc will be identical or at least
similar in other versions. Once again I would encourage you to download the demo picture in order to practice the processing.

Correcting Skin Tone:
Step One: Right click and download the picture below and open it up in Photoshop
 (note the pic is in full resolution of 5.9 megabytes to allow you to fully edit).
Demo Picture 02 for skin tone correction
I took this picture on the Intova IC12 with dual flash.  I wanted to record that the Intova IC12
really is good to the maximum depth of sport diving.   The flash did a good job of bringing out the
colors in the coral beyond my hand.  However, my hand was not in either flash area and therefore
is left with the unfortunate and unnatural blue color.

Step two: In the Edit mode "Full" Tab (see right arrow) you need to select the tool called
"Quick Selection Tool" from the tool bar on the left side.  It looks like a magic wand.
Screen 01

Step Three: Use the tool to highlight the area of only the hand.  After selecting the tool, place your mouse
pointer at the top of the hand by the top arrow.  Click and drag your mouse down to the bottom arrow. 

It will create a dotted outline of the area that will be processed.
  If you make a mistake just hit "esc" and it will
unselect allowing you to start over.
Screen 02

Step Four: Select the "Guided" tab under EDIT.  Then select "Correct Skin Tone".

screen 3

Step Five: Once over the selected area of the picture, your mouse pointer will turn into an eyedropper. 
Click on the selected area and the hand color will change slightly.  You can also adjust the levels on the sliders.
If you would like to see a before and after comparison, click on the button by the bottom arrow. 
Because of the significant level of tonal change we will need to repeat the process.
At this point you can now click on "Done". 

screen 4

Step Six: Repeat the "Correct Skin Tone" in step five until you achieve your desired results.
screen 5

Step Seven:  Now that you have learned the basics of the process, let's take it a step further.    Go back to the
"FULL" EDIT tab.  We need to correct the skin tone by my wrist and throught the slot of the computer strap.
In order to do this you need to zoom in on the spots.  Use Ctrl + to zoom in or Ctrl- to zoom out.
You will use the same magic wand selection tool.  However, notice in the upper left there are three different
magic wands you can choose from.  The first is used to select a new area.  The second will add to the area
already selected.  The third will subtract from the srea.  Play with the three different wands.  You will find that
you can highlight multiple areas to correct at one time.

screen 6

Step Eight: After selecting the areas to process, go back to the guided area and repeat step five.  The completed
skin tone correction even close up looks natural.
screen 7

Step Nine:  Using the Correct Skin Tone tool to correct the color of sand.  Note that in the above picture there
in the lower left the color of the sand is blueish.  You can use use the selection tool to change just the sand area
or you can use the tool to adjust the entire picture.  In the picture below I have used the tool and adjusted the
entire picture by clicking on the blueish sand with the Correct Skin Tone tool. 
screen 8

Warning: If you use the tool to correct the blue haze over the entire picture you can easily overdue the
correction and end up over processed like the picture below.
screen 9

The before and after results with proper processing

One More Little Tip:
Using the Magic Wand Selection Tool, I selected just the dial of the computer.  I did a "Smart Fix" and adjusted the contrast to improve the
readability of the computer.  Notice the before and after below. 

Suggestions for further help.  You can change the size of your selection tool by selecting on "Brush" to the right of the three magic wands and
changing the diameter.  If you have further suggestions or questions you can email me. 

Dr Mark

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