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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.
By now you have a pretty broad understanding of how to fix photographs in Lab, convert the image to Lab Color, adjust the brightness and contrast, elevate the A and B channels, sharpen the luminance and you have yourself a great image. See? I told you wasn't that hard. Well, yeah it is. Because there are images out there that defy or at least challenge the approaches I have shared with you so far. Images with intense or hard to identify color casts, images with blown highlights or filled-in shadows, images that are backlit or suffer from harsh contrast.
Such are the problems we'll explore in this chapter. Now I can't guarantee that your photographs will behave exactly like mine. Every image offers it's own unique challenges but I will show you how to identify a color cast, how to adjust for it, how to brighten shadows, how to dim highlights and how to bring out every last ounce of detail that your image has to offer. We are going to squeeze that lemon and make some really, really great lemonade. You're so sweet, I leave to you to lay on the sugar.
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