Monday, February 13, 2006

Unknown Regions of Photoshop


My fantastic new camera has got me into doing some more in-depth picture editing with Photoshop and I have recently discovered the 'Lab Colour' colourspace. I have never used anything except sRGB or CMYK colour before as I know what they do and Lab always looked scary and far too complex. However, chancing upon a website showing the basics I decided to give it a go.

Where as RGB and CMYK split a picture into separate colours (Red, Green, Blue or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) Lab Colour splits a picture into luminescence (brightness), A and B, the A channel being Magenta to Green colours and the B channel being the Blue to Yellow colours. By manipulating these channels using curves, levels and various other Photoshop tools you can bring out details and colours that you never know were part of your picture.

Actually getting good results however is extremely difficult, as I found out when I had a go, but they were good enough to inspire me to continue. I have been playing with four photographs I took in my garden, which I have uploaded to Flickr. Feel free to have a look and tell me what you think. I admit they are a bit crap but it is only my first attempt.

I will not torture you with such bad examples for long though as I have ordered a book dedicated to Lab Colour techniques from Amazon. It is called "Photoshop Lab Colour : The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures In The Most Powerful Colorspace". With a name like that it must be great!!! :-)

If anyone has used Lab Colour and can give me some advice, then please do.

3 comments:

Chris said...

Very cool.
Have you got the latest version of Photoshop? I've been reading about a very interesting feature called HDR (High Dynamic Range) merge. It's for where you've taken a number of widely bracketed shots of a scene, and merging them together. There's a tutuorial here

Chris said...

There's a Flickr pool here where people have used the technique to the extreme to create some often interesting effects (often crap effects too sadly).

Christian Briddon said...

I do have the latest version of Photoshop but have not tried HDR.

I will look it up and give it a go.

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