Oh My God I Love It

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Alpha, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Just when I finally mastered editing in RGB and CMYK...I have a new love, LAB color. I'd toyed around with it a bit in the past but after reading Dan Margulis' book "Photoshop Lab Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Color Space" I want to run out and retouch the entire universe.

    :heart:

    I would, however, advise that if you don't have a pretty masterful grip on color theory and editing in other color spaces, this will be largely over your head.

    Oh god the temptation to try and teach this to my mentoring students is killing me.
     
  2. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :biglaugh:
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    is this an ad for more students in disguise? ;)
     
  4. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    uuuummm....what is color theory any ways?
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    No. If there are people here with really strong understandings of editing in other color spaces, they're few and far between. They also may not stand to learn too too much from me at this point. Though by the time I finish teaching my current students how to edit in RGB, I'll be well practiced enough in lab to teach it reliably (No offense to you guys if you're reading this! You're doing great!)
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    What colors are, how we perceive them, how they combine to form other colors, etc...
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    This poses an interesting dilemma, however. If I'm asked to help edit an image taken by a student or for that matter anyone else on the board, and I know it can be done far better and faster in lab mode, then what? Further, It's clear after reading the book and conducting my own experiments with the color space, that there are things one can do in lab that are basically literally impossible to do in RGB. What then? I could correct the image, but at a great cost to the photographer, who would have no idea how to replicate my workflow, and it would take a very considerable amount of time to teach them how to do it.

    So...

    The temptation is powerful; to make an image that much better at the risk of knowing I won't be able to satisfactorily explain. Or the contrary, editing the image in RGB and providing a workflow, knowing its nowhere near as good as it could be in the inexplicable color space.

    :raisedbrow:
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    And my favorite quote from the book (more to come as I re-read it):

    "That's a godawful stupid-looking horse"
     
  9. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    Oh easy, red+blue = purple ;)
    :er: sounds....interesting
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I'm intrigued. I use LAB to convert to B&W, but that is as far as I have ever gotten. How does the book relate to a LightRoom workflow? Which brings to the (totally unrelated)question? Am I banging my head against the wall by working exclusively in LR? Is it just a passing fade?

    )'(
     
  11. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Except lab has "imaginary" colors due to the fact that brightness and contrast are separate from color. Therefore, you can have for example, a completely pure blue that is also completely black. You can change colors without making them darker or lighter and vice versa.

    To give a more illustrative example of imaginary colors, consider the following (not from the book). You're looking at a monitor that is not backlit. The images on the screen are as if they were the real thing. There's only one light in the room. Let's say you're looking at a yellow school bus. If that light in the room turns off, objectively speaking the bus is still yellow, but as you perceive it it is also completely black. This would be completely ridiculous and useless if it didn't have so many brilliant practical applications.

    But like I said, having a solid understanding of the way colors exist and are represented in the lab color space requires a significant understanding of color in general.
     
  12. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I don't use lightroom much, though I feel it would be rather limiting. Aside from some of the complicated uses for lab mode itself, further processing involving multiple interconversions between lab and rgb or cmyk I feel would prove remarkably uncontrollable without Photoshop. To be clear, using lab mode in no way obviates a lot of other retouching and finishing applications of Photoshop.

    Edit: Another important point is one of understanding the limitations of other color spaces. I think it's important that one have a very solid understanding of what exactly is and is not possible in other color spaces before they can begin to understand the real uses for lab color. That is, what it's good for and what it's not. What's faster and what's slower. etc etc.
     

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