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Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace Paperback – August 18, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
But there are some interesting gems buried in here that might improve your digital output. To me the biggest discovery was the idea of using curves in LAB color space to increase color variability. We are not just talking saturation here, but rather color separation. His explanation for why we want this is that cameras lack the sense of simultaneous contrast common to most human beings. When we see a lot of similar colors in close proximity, we break them apart. He shows how we can do that in Photoshop. It makes a big difference on some images.
His writing style is quirky, intelligent and often funny. That helps for such complex ideas. I think this book should only by used by advanced readers.
He relishes taking positions that are against the mainstream. For example, he argues that for photographic images high-bit editing is worthless. Likewise, he does not illustrate the use of Adjustment Layers or Layer Masks which are part of the standard workflow for most advanced users.
What is so wonderful about all his ideas, which go against the current accepted wisdom, is that he makes you question what you are doing. He presents his arguments using concise logic. It made me frequently pause and question my workflow.
Bottom line: This book should be at the top of the reading stack for Advanced Photoshop users. Learning how to increase color variability alone makes it worthwhile.
Also, this isn't an absolute beginner's book but it doesn't pretend to be, and warns you that this can be a subject that requires a lot of thought to grasp completely.
Here are a few pluses and minuses as I see this book:
1. The author has a sense of humor, and most of the time he's funny. This is well-balanced and the book doesn't rely heavily on humor to get you through it. If you prefer dry manuals full of bland statistics and dusty white-page explanations on theory and history, though, this ain't a book for you.
2. IMO this book is well-organized. The author starts with the basic concepts of LAB color, using simple changes to photos using LAB and shows you the differences between changes to the same photo using the RGB and CMYK color spaces. As the book progresses, the examples of problems become more and more complex so the solutions also become more complex.
3. The author uses lots of photos to show you what he's talking about, and they often take up lots of room on the pages. This book is about photo editing in LAB color, so this shouldn't be a big surprise to most people, and it's a definite benefit to SEE what the author is talking about.
4. If you are relatively new to Photoshop, there are many excellent techniques the author uses in conjunction with LAB that apply to good Photoshop editing in general, and you'll get a lot out of this book even if LAB color makes your head spin.
5. The book comes with a CD full of the original (unaltered) photos the author used in the book. This is cool, because you can take the photos into Photoshop and try them out yourself using LAB corrections. Of course, it's great to have the CD but if you don't sit in front of a computer while you read (I've read this book often on the bus to and from work every day) the pics in this book are invaluable as examples.
6. LAB Color is densely packed, but the type-face is large enough that you won't destroy your vision trying to read it. It will definitely take you a while to get through it, but it'll be very much worth your time.
7. Compared to the price of many other Photoshop books out there, this one is cheap and more than worth the price for what it offers.
1. The Forward and author's Intro are unnecessarily long and self-congratulatory, but you can decide that for yourself and skip a few pages if they bore you. I skimmed through both, got the gist of what they were saying, and moved on to Chapter 1. Not a big deal.
2. Example photos occasionally end up on different pages than the text that refers to those photos. It isn't always the case, and the problem is easily solved by turning back or forward a page or two. Sometimes irritating, but big deal!
Err, that's all I could think of, because I found this book to be very valuable overall. This one is definitely worth your time and money!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm big into advanced masking techniques, and there's some absolute gems in here, like "impossible...Read more
Congratulation to the author!
Had much fun with it.