How to Get Good Skin Tones with Canon DPP?

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Graham C F Forum Member • Posts: 56
How to Get Good Skin Tones with Canon DPP?

When I upgraded from a Canon 550D to a Canon EOS R, I started shooting CRAW files, rather than JPEGs. Previously, I had used iMac Photos for post-processing. With the arrival of the EOS R, I also changed to Canon DPP. I have found it to be more powerful and I like the ability to change camera settings such as Picture Style, Auto-Lighting Optimiser, etc in post-processing. After PP, I store the final JPEGs in iMac Photos.

Particularly in outdoor lighting, skin tones usually come out very nicely, even before editing. This is not surprising, as Canon is renowned for its pleasing colours. However, sometimes, especially indoors with flash, the skin tones don’t look so good. I experiment with a variety of techniques to get the white balance right - clicking on something white like the whites of the eyes, a white shirt or dress..., varying the colour temperature, picking a different white balance setting (Flash, Incandescent, Cloudy, Auto-White Balance White/Ambient Priority...)... I also try biassing a given white balance setting with more or less red, green or blue. While doing this, I am also looking at RGB ratios, though I am not very precise in judging what a “good” ratio would be.

Even after trying all these different white balance techniques, sometimes I just can’t get a skin tone that I am happy with. Interestingly, sometimes after importing into iMac Photos, I try the Skin Tones white balance setting and click on somebody’s face. This often gives a result that I prefer, at least on the shots that I have difficulty with. However, using two editing tools complicates the workflow, so I would prefer to use only DPP.

Is there a better approach that I could use to getting skin tones right in DPP?

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Canon EOS 550D (EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4)
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