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Curioso! » Blog Archive » Photoshop LAB Color

Photoshop LAB Color

The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace

This is an extensive overview of the use of the LAB colorspace for colour corrections in Photoshop.

Dan Margulis
Photoshop LAB Color : The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace
Peachpit Press (August 8, 2005)
ISBN: 0321356780

Table of contents

  1. The Canyon Conundrum
    The basic LAB enhancement technique is very powerful—but it always seems to be used on a single category of image.
  2. LAB by the Numbers
    A general description of how LAB is set up, complete with opponentcolor channels, imaginary colors, and positive and negative numbers.
  3. Vary the Recipe, Vary the Color
    Choosing different angles for the AB curves—and making sure that Photoshop is properly configured.
  4. It’s All About The Center Point
    How LAB defines neutrality—a zero is a gray—is the key to its color-enhancement potential
  5. Sharpen the L, Blur the AB
    Separate channels for color and contrast give LAB a decisive advantage in blurring. Often it’s the best sharpening space as well.
  6. Entering the Forest: Myths and Dangers
    Understanding LAB requires discarding bogus preconceptions—and being aware of real risks.
  7. Summing Up: LAB and the Workflow
    How LAB fits into your workflow depends on both your expertise and how much time you have per image.
  8. The Imaginary Color, The Impossible Retouch
    What happens when LAB calls for a color that isn’t just out of gamut, but that couldn’t possibly exist?
  9. The LAB Advantage in Selections and Masking
    With the A and B channels, we can create masks that seem to come out of thin air—or selections of thin air.
  10. The Product Is Red but The Client Wants Green
    The most convincing way to make radical color changes—or to match a PMS specification.
  11. The Best Retouching Space
    In complicated collaging, moiré elimination, adding color to selected areas, restoring older images, and painting, LAB has big advantages.
  12. Command, Click, Control
    Advanced LAB curves can drive objects away from one another without ever selecting them. It only requires a click of the mouse.
  13. The Universal Interchange Standard
    How LAB is (and how it should be) used to facilitate colorspace transfers, and to match PMS colors.
  14. Once for Color, Once for Contrast
    Some LAB techniques can translate into RGB—provided you separate color and contrast in your mind.
  15. Blending With the A and B
    Smashing channels that contain no detail into the L, which does, seems crazy—but it’s extraordinarily effective at creating transitions.
  16. A Face Is Like a Canyon
    Introducing a powerful RGB-LAB hybrid, a recipe that dramatically improves the appearance and believability of almost all portraits.

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