Tutorial: A Simple Technique for Matching Tones and Correcting Colors in Photoshop

One of the issues talented photographer and retoucher Michael Woloszynowicz often runs into when he’s taking portraits is mismatched skin tones. Using a light modifier of some sort he’ll get the tone he wants in the face, but the tones or colors in another part of the subject’s skin simply don’t match.

You could correct for this using curves, selective color or hue/saturation, but Woloszynowicz has a better way: using solid fill layers and tonal averaging, he’s able to “take the guesswork” out of it and perfectly match tones every time.

The video above shows you how it’s done, and the process looks to be quick, simple and effective. Just as long as you have CS5 or higher, you’ll be able to follow these steps and get results like the ones you see here:


Even better, if you’re not sure that you could reproduce these results on your own, Woloszynowicz (with some help from his friend Brock McFadzean) has also released a free action that does everything for you. You’ll just have to select the tones you want matched.

Check out the video above to get a step-by-step breakdown of the technique, and then head over to Woloszynowicz own blog post on the subject to learn more and download the free action.

(via DIY Photography)

  • Alan Klughammer

    This looks useful, however I would like to know how the action itself works. I guess I will have to download it and dissect it myself…

  • Gregsoc

    Interesting. But how did you get the model to look as though she is made of plastic?

  • eeed

    All he did was use the action and not tell us what that action does

  • Gannon

    It’s called airbrushing and it is done with high and low pass layers. This video shows you how (skip to 4:40 for airbrushing):