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Photoshop CS3 Mastering Lab Color

with Deke McClelland

Video: Your doorway to better color

Deke McClelland explores how to use Lab color to make bad photographs great and great photographs even better
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  1. 23m 30s
    1. Your doorway to better color
      2m 18s
    2. Lab and the untreated JPEG image
      6m 15s
    3. Lab and Camera Raw with a JPEG file
      6m 4s
    4. Lab and Camera Raw with a raw photograph
      8m 53s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Don't fear the Lab mode
      1m 4s
    2. Why color is 3D
      4m 21s
    3. Device-dependant RGB and CMYK
      5m 14s
    4. Device-dependant CIELAB D50
      5m 32s
    5. Color by the numbers (mixing Lab values)
      5m 34s
    6. The Hue/Saturation color wheel
      4m 0s
    7. The slightly skewed Lab color wheel
      9m 55s
    8. Lab's wide world of "imaginary colors"
      6m 40s
    9. Examining RGB and CMYK channels
      6m 36s
    10. The strange (but powerful) Lab channels
      6m 47s
    11. How RGB and CMYK channels blend
      6m 45s
    12. How channels blend in Lab
      3m 53s
  3. 1h 17m
    1. Bad becomes great, great becomes better
    2. Cheapening a perfectly good image in RGB
      5m 2s
    3. Making a great image even better in Lab
      8m 9s
    4. Saving a Lab image file
      2m 12s
    5. Favoring yellow to balance skin tones
      6m 11s
    6. Dropping out the blues
      5m 33s
    7. Correcting a very bad image in RGB
      7m 19s
    8. Sharpening luminance independently of color
      5m 21s
    9. Correcting a very bad image in Lab
      7m 34s
    10. Sharpening the Lightness channel
      5m 47s
    11. Finessing the Lightness channel with Curves
      8m 27s
    12. Applying Curves to the a and b channels
      7m 52s
    13. Sharpening for effect, blurring away noise
      7m 14s
  4. 57m 20s
    1. The convergence of all things nondestructive
      1m 26s
    2. Correcting saturation and color cast
      8m 5s
    3. Fading the oranges and reds
      4m 32s
    4. The secret power of Brightness/Contrast in Lab
      5m 4s
    5. Smart Objects and sharpening
      3m 32s
    6. Fixing chromatic aberrations in RGB
      8m 50s
    7. Adding clarity with High Pass
      3m 13s
    8. Reducing color noise with Median
      4m 35s
    9. Protecting the sky with a density mask
      5m 48s
    10. Nondestructive cropping with Canvas Size
      6m 23s
    11. Convert to RGB, flatten, and save
      5m 52s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Images with bigger issues
      1m 6s
    2. Fixing a color cast
      6m 14s
    3. Exaggerating a color cast
      5m 22s
    4. Quantifying and correcting a color cast
      8m 11s
    5. Sharpening an image with the Emboss command
      4m 38s
    6. Introducing a more complicated color cast
      3m 42s
    7. Drawing a custom contrast curve
      7m 20s
    8. Performing a gross color cast compensation
      3m 48s
    9. Fine-tuning a color cast compensation
      5m 52s
    10. Restoring neutral highlights
      6m 8s
    11. Masking away aberrant hues
      5m 16s
    12. Sharpen, save, convert to RGB, and crop
      6m 17s
    13. Applying a Shadows/Highlights Smart Filter
      5m 1s
    14. Tweaking Shadows/Highlights in Lab
      5m 25s
    15. Rendering Shadows/Highlights in Lab
      7m 57s
    16. Correcting color cast and contrast
      6m 16s
    17. Completing a low-frequency portrait with High Pass
      5m 22s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Changing some colors, leaving others as is
      1m 6s
    2. Rotating hues in RGB with Hue/Saturation
      5m 0s
    3. Modifying colors in Lab with Curves
      5m 47s
    4. Blending colors with Underlying Layer
      6m 7s
    5. Changing colors in wardrobe shots
      6m 1s
    6. Blending the Red and b channels
      8m 4s
    7. Developing a base mask
      8m 8s
    8. Colorizing an isolated area
      7m 33s
    9. Revealing complementary highlights
      3m 18s
    10. Repairing strangely colored shadows
      5m 37s
    11. Tanning and deepening skin tones
      4m 13s
    12. Exposing bright eyes and teeth
      4m 39s
  7. 1m 8s
    1. See ya
      1m 8s

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Photoshop CS3 Mastering Lab Color
Video duration: 0s 6h 25m Intermediate


Based on the device-independent CIE specification from 1976, Lab color is frequently misrepresented as a techy, labor-intensive color space. In fact, Lab color performs certain types of color modifications more quickly and with better results than RGB. In Photoshop CS3 Mastering Lab Color, Deke McClelland explores how to use Lab color "to make bad photographs great and great photographs even better." He demonstrates image manipulations that are best suited to Lab, and walks through a typical, non-destructive Lab correction. Deke also shows how to correct lighting, apply selective color modifications, and reverse the effects of color cast. Exercise files accompany the course.


Your doorway to better color

Hi! I'm Deke McClelland, best selling author of book and videos on computer graphics, digital imaging and electronic design. I'm here to introduce you to a command, just one command that most of you have never noticed, let alone chosen. This command is a doorway into an alternate version of Photoshop, one that has the power to make bad photographs great and great photographs even better and it goes by the inauspicious name Lab color. Now before I go any farther, I call it Lab color. Others swear by L-A-B. More on that later but no, agree or disagree, my decision to call it Lab is entirely deliberate and I believe the better way to roll.

Lab color is not new. Pre-dating the founding of Adobe a company, Lab made its way into Photoshop more than a decade ago. So why aren't you using it? My guess- because you don't have to. The other color models, RGB and CMYK, those are half do spaces. Your image starts off in RGB, there is no getting around that and if it is bound for pre-press, you have to convert it to CMYK. By comparison Lab color is entirely optional. There is a not a reason on earth to choose it, well unless you want to save time and you want your images to look better.

Lab offers the upsides of less artifacting, less banding, and more vivid colors. In just a few minutes you can take this image and turn it into this and here is the thing, Lab can be a little more intellectually demanding but you can fix an entire image with a single command, usually Levels or Curves, or you can target an image's luminance and color information independently. And once you come to terms with Lab, it is faster. That's right. Lab let you achieve better result in less time. You just got to know what you are doing, which is where I come in.

In this brief introduction I'm going to show you when Lab is helpful and when it isn't. If you have a RAW digital camera file for example, there is no sense running the Lab, but if you have a JPEG or TIF image, Lab is perfect even in concert with Camera RAW. In subsequent chapters I will show you what Lab color is and what it can do. By the end of this series you will know how to work in Lab and your images will look much better for it. Enjoy.

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