Explore the tools, techniques, and creative possibilities of Lab Color in Adobe Photoshop. Learn how to enhance and creatively transform images with Lab adjustments and Photoshop blending modes.
- [Harold] Folks often ask me why my landscapes, travel images, and abstracts are so colorful and vibrant. Of course, part of that answer is that one needs to understand and work with light, be in the right time and the right place with one's camera when the light is right, but to some extent, in the case of my imagery, the answer is via LAB color adjustment in post-production. What my images all have in common is that they use LAB color to enhance, sharpen, invert, or to make a whole new genre and category of wild imagery. The creative potential of LAB color is so much greater than retouching and conventional color adjustments, which is normally thought to be the bailiwick of LAB. By the way, to be technically correct, the term is really L-A-B color with each separate letter pronounced, but many of us who work with LAB just use the shortcut LAB color. LAB is something of a forgotten backwater of Photoshop in popular perception, but it's hard to exaggerate the creative power of LAB techniques in Photoshop, particularly as I'll show you when those LAB techniques are combined with Photoshop's blending modes. It's therefore my great and extraordinary pleasure to be your guide into one of my very favorite post-production toolkits in Photoshop into the power, grace, and style of LAB color. I'll start by explaining how LAB fits in with the other color schemes called color spaces, and the concepts behind LAB color. Pretty quickly from there, we'll move on to LAB's implementation in Photoshop, LAB in relationship to your individual workflow, and how to use LAB color to enhance your images in a number of different specific ways. All this would be good enough reason to master LAB, but the icing on the cake is the entirely new framework that LAB presents for creative image making.
- Converting images to Lab Color space
- Applying Curves to Lab channels
- Selective sharpening
- Inverting channels
- Making per-channel equalizations
- Using the Lab action
- Combining Lab Color with blending modes
- Making patterns with Lab images