RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 04-24-2015, 01:12 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,376
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

And you deal mostly with JPEGs? I can't remember the basic image was a JPEG.
Reply With Quote top
  #32  
Old 04-24-2015, 07:49 AM
Shoku Shoku is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 302
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobey View Post
And you deal mostly with JPEGs? I can't remember the basic image was a JPEG.
I don't remember saying that. We do get a lot of jpegs (ugh), but thankfully also a lot of tiffs and PSDs. The most consistent problem with jpegs is the compression, because some client's save them at medium quality or lower to reduce file size. The most frustrating thing is when a client saves an entire booklet layout as jpegs with flattened text.
Reply With Quote top
  #33  
Old 04-24-2015, 08:33 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,376
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

I didn't mean to say anything bad, I was just wondering about other markets. I get to use a JPEG if they want like a desert or a building, a sky or whatever incorporated and buying from stock is the only option. I don't do prepress at all(layouts and such).
Reply With Quote top
  #34  
Old 04-24-2015, 08:36 AM
Alex Bernardi Alex Bernardi is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

I'd like to add my personal POV to this discussion as I see there are misunderstandings on some aspects.
The main point is if LAB is useful or not. Being, since the last 20 years, a professional retoucher and a digital imaging consultant for some companies based in Italy, I'd say yes it's useful, in some cases it's vital. It depends from the kind of work you have to do.

Example #01: an entire department of one of my clients produce a huge number of images, more or less something required by 150-200 fashion and home furniture catalogs per year. As the client doesn't want to reshoot everything, they often pick up old images and the usual request is "change this to color XX or YY" giving them a color sample. How often? 35% of cases I'd say. How many times per day? Dozens.
Now that they know how to do that in LAB they had a big boost in productivity. How much? We have timed many operators doing the same task in RGB, CMYK and LAB. LAB it's faster, we're talking about 50% of the time needed in other colorspaces for producing two color variants instead of one. So, for them it's a really big deal. If you have to produce tens of thousands images every year, can you imagine how many days of work they save?
Can you do that in Camera Raw in the same time and quality? No I'm sorry, don't even try to do that in Camera Raw. Also, what we have demonstrated beyond any possible doubt it's that you have a better image quality. Better shape, better detail and better color fidelity to the client's sample.

Example #02: the same department, me myself and many other colleagues have to face a challenging task in our daily life: masking. And that is the case when sometimes LAB wins hands down. The peculiar structure of the A and B channel have no competitor in any other color space. RGB and CMYK can do the job with some limitations as every channel contributes both in terms of color and luminosity to the final image. But the AB channels of LAB don't have this problem, they only care about hue and saturation so they are different from anything else. Also, masks that are almost impossible to get in RGB and CMYK are just a snap of fingers for LAB, so that's a big time saving for a professional.
Again, can you get a mask like that in the same time in Camera Raw? No, sorry. No way out.

Example #03: color values control. When quality is an issue or is demanded by the client, LAB can give you a pretty fast way to check the file's color values and gives you the right direction to head your moves, if needed. Being involved in the professional market for a very long time, once it was only CMYK. Then RGB came up with digital cameras. But checking the color in LAB it's easier for anyone that is smart enough to understand how it works. Once again, LAB it's faster and lets you control the final result very efficiently.
Can you do this in Camera Raw? In this case, yes! Thanks to Adobe it is possible to set ACR or LR to show LAB values. Big deal, no doubt!

Example #04: color variation. A technique like Modern Man from Mars by Dan Margulis cannot be done in any other color space, no way out. It's something you don't need every day and on every image, but when needed it's achievable only in LAB. Can you do this in Camera Raw? No, nor in RGB and CMYK. It is possible only due to the peculiar structure of the AB channels in combination of a very particular kind of curves.

I could go on with some other points, but these 4 ones are the top reasons to use LAB. The day someone will decide to delete LAB from Photoshop, me and many other professionals will have no other way to achieve the same results. I repeat, NO other way.

As for some other things I've read here, I agree that they can be achieved in RGB with some blending modes, but that's not the biggest deal LAB can offer to us. We must use something for the best it can offer to improve our work, we don't need to use it because we *must* or it's trendy or the doctor said it.
I care about the final result, not only about theory.

Sorry for being so long, guys!

Last edited by Alex Bernardi; 04-24-2015 at 08:44 AM.
Reply With Quote top
  #35  
Old 04-24-2015, 09:10 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

Alex: Thank you for your thoughtful post, but many of your points sound more like Photoshop vs ACR rather than Lab vs RGB. Your points 1, 2, and 4 are workflows that shouldn't involve ACR regardless.
Reply With Quote top
  #36  
Old 04-24-2015, 09:18 AM
genf genf is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 29
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
AFAIK, Dan retired.
At the moment, Dan is writing a second edition of his book "Photoshop LAB Color" from 2005. I suggest we reconsider the value of LAB after this book has come out and we all read it.

His previous book, Modern Color Workflow, describes a complete workflow for color and contrast enhancement. Speaking off the top of my head, the following steps of this workflow are performed in LAB:

- Skin Desaturation
- Modern Man from Mars
- Color Boost
- Sharpen

In my opinion, Color Boost and Sharpen have good alternatives in RGB. For Skin Desaturation I am not sure. MMM is a powerful technique that I expect cannot be replicated in any other color space.

Gerald Bakker
geraldbakker.nl
Reply With Quote top
  #37  
Old 04-24-2015, 09:31 AM
Alex Bernardi Alex Bernardi is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

Yes Doug, you're right. I mentioned ACR as it was named many times as central in some workflows, but it's not IMHO. It's only one step, unless you're able to get in ACR all you need, and this happens mostly for certain kind of photographers.
Based on my experience on the field all the rest of the world, including retouchers, have much more complex needings, and LAB is a powerful weapon in their hands.
Reply With Quote top
  #38  
Old 04-24-2015, 09:44 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

All due respect to Dan M, I've never really seen the attraction of the MMM technique. Over the past 20 years I've interviewed dozens of the top retouchers in the world and never once had this come up. Whatever works for you, works. But MMM always struck me as another "one weird trick" with the voodoo cranked to 11.
Reply With Quote top
  #39  
Old 04-24-2015, 10:26 AM
Alfred's Avatar
Alfred Alfred is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Maine
Posts: 21
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

Dough, your question if Lab is still relevant is rather odd, I thought you would know better!
Lab is a absolute color space and is the underlying space for all other ones, without Lab there would be no other space, so now tell me if Lab is still relevant.
Beside being the connection space for all other color spaces, there are things which can only be done in Lab.
Reply With Quote top
  #40  
Old 04-24-2015, 11:22 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
Re: Is Lab color (L*a*b*) still relevant?

So it's still relevant because it's still relevant? I see your logic, but could use some more details.

Yes, it is the connection space, but that's like thinking about cooking in terms of carbon and heat. You can do it, but is it anything more than an intellectual exercise with all the tools we have available today?

There are things that can only be done in every color space, but do we care in 2015?
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lab damaged cover shot Stonyclaws Photo Restoration 17 11-10-2014 05:41 PM
Plug-In: MBL PRO (Motion Blur Lab PRO) richardrosenman Software 0 08-27-2012 03:30 PM
Printing: help to get great prints in a pro studio lab mantra Input/Output/Workflow 16 05-08-2012 12:45 PM
work in rgb save lab or cymk mask,how can i do it? mantra Photo Retouching 8 12-28-2011 06:40 PM
Color corrections LAB or RAW bart1986 Photo Retouching 18 07-27-2011 09:13 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved