Tip of the Week: Working with Lab Color


Techniques that take Lab color to the next level
By Stephen Romaniello, Sign & Digital Graphics

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Lab” thrown about more than once. The September 2006 issue of Digital Graphics magazine featured my article about the advantages of sharpening and enhancing Lab images in Photoshop. This article focuses on a couple of techniques that take Lab color a few steps further. If you missed that article, here is a brief explanation of how this versatile color mode works.

Lab is more easily understood by comparing it to other color models. Like RGB, Lab images contain three color channels. Unlike RGB the information is divided into an L channel and two color; a and b. The pixels in the L channel are assigned any of 100 potential levels of brightnessi with dark values represented by lower numbers and light values by higher numbers. Absolute blacki equals 0 and the pure white equals100.

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