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Photoshop Lab Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace Paperback – 8 Aug 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (8 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321356780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321356789
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

With a mantra like “There are no bad originals, only bad Photoshop operators,” you know best-selling author Dan Margulis is serious about exposing people to the magic of Photoshop. Nowhere is that magic more apparent than in its LAB color processing capabilities, which can make even the subtle canyon colors of rock, sand, and dirt come to vivid life. However, you may be wary of taming the complex beast. Here’s your guide! In these pages, Dan shows that you can derive enormous benefits from just a few simple tools and techniques. He also demonstrates that you can take these techniques as far as you wish, employing the power-user features he describes in later chapters. Starting with canyons and progressing to faces, you will see just how quickly you can begin improving your images by following the “recipes” included here. Each chapter includes a sidebar with review questions and exercises as well as a “Closer Look” section that examines some of the principles behind the techniques. A CD includes exercise files.

About the Author

Dan Margulis is known as "the experts' expert on the logical and effective ways to make any image look its best" (Design Tools Monthly) and "the father of digital prepress" (Scott Kelby). In 2001, he was one of the first three individuals—and the only writer—to be named as a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame. In announcing this election, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals said, "Dan's ability to reduce complicated concepts to words that users can understand and his insistence on dealing with real-world relevance have made him today's most influential voice in color reproduction."

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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By allan on 9 April 2006
Format: Paperback
When I started this book I found it quite heavy going, due in the main to the constant references to illustrations and curves being either on the previous pages or next page. After a while I found this very frustrating. However, all the frustration has been well worth it as the content is simply awesome!
My previous excursions into LAB were simply to use the Lightness Channel for sharpening. Not any more!! I am now half way through the book again on my seventh read, and suspect it will not be my last, because as I said earlier, it is not an easy read, but it not only brings a new meaning to LAB it puts a new perspective on Photoshop. (of all the books I have on Photoshop, not one goes into any detail on LAB )
As Dan points out several times in the book it is not the answer to all colour problems, but where it is, it really is!! The impressive thing for me is that once you have understood and mastered his techniques it only takes seconds to transform drab, flat uninspiring images into vibrant works of art. Fantastic!!
If you have images which are flat, need colour correcting, need a colour shift, noise removal, better sharpening, blending......... I could go on and on, then this is the book for you. It is packed from cover to cover with examples of various techniques plus of course a CD of images to work along with.
You may find it heavy going to begin with, but stick with it as the rewards are more than you could ever imagine
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. H. Starling on 3 Oct 2005
Format: Paperback
I've never been moved to write a review here before but this book forces me to make the effort.
This book teaches you how to correct photographs using techniques that are available through LAB mode in photoshop. There are simple recipies to follow which work and full detailed explanations that lead you a great understanding of colour and how to analyse and manipulate it. The examples are clear and beautifully illustrated and the writing is fluent and entertaining. The only photoshop book I've read cover to cover - and I'm now going through it again to make sure I've absorbed it all.
If you don't want leading through the menus but do want some real knowledge, get this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dood on 7 May 2007
Format: Paperback
I came at this book as a enthusiastic amateur with some fair knowledge of Photoshop based on a lot of reading of the many other books out there. I reckon I am an intermediate level user. I have slightly mixed feelings about the book but definitely think the journey was interesting and worthwhile.

I found this book to be a demanding read and I spent some time trying to figure out why. I came to the following conclusions. Firstly, the book is written by a professional for other professionals. The book's overall approach assumes that the reader has good experience of working in the RGB colour space, and that they are in need of new or alternative solutions to common problems met in that space. Some of the problems discussed I do not have, since I do not face the commercial pressures to produce something publishable from an average original under a time constraint, nor do I get asked by an Art Director to change the colour of a model's jacket on a whim.

Secondly, the LAB colour space requires a rethink on how to approach making changes to a photograph to get what you want. Some of the tools behave differently in that space, most notably Curves. And then there is the split between the luminosity and colour information which is the main reason for going in to the space in the first place. In addition to the complexities of the colour space, there are also the implications for incorporating the techniques into your standard workflow that require some thought.

Lastly, with all due respect to Dan Margulis, I think the book could have been better written. The overall approach is rather old-fashioned, at least to my eyes, in that the main explanation is entirely text based.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DC Crowley on 24 Sep 2006
Format: Paperback
This might look suspect with only glowing reviews, but really this is a great book. I use photoshop for years and have avoided using lab colors. This book will teach you so much stuff. I just can't put it down. Reading this book will teach you techniques which polish up photos with a completely different approach. LAB seperates contrast from color so you can adjust contrast without messing with the color... and vice versa. If you like photoshop this book will take you to a whole new dimension.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Pye on 18 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After seeing some of Dan Margulis's previous work and being reasonably impressed, and after a tutorial on boosting colour with LAB, I finally decided to buy this book.

It's a useful textbook from which I've learned some new and interesting techniques. They won't all be hugely relevant to every photographer, but they're still useful to have up your sleeve in case you can find a use for them.

I feel like I should attempt to dispel some of the criticism I've read for this book in other reviews. This is generally aimed a few areas:

- "He keeps referring to images that aren't even on the same page as the text": this is true, but 90% of the time they're only on the next or previous page. Any textbook will refer to figures at other points in the book, it's unavoidable.

- "It's written in too complicated a fashion": I disagree completely. Even the intro to the book warns that it's complicated and says things along the lines of, "even highly-experienced professional retouchers have needed to reread sections to understand them". Well, I'm not exactly an expert (I've been buried in Elements and then CS4 for around a year now) and I've understood every section so far without rereading. That's not me boasting about how clever I must be - it's just that it isn't necessarily as complicated a book as some people seem to be making out.

- "He labours the point and spends aaaaages explaining everything": OK, this one's true. But it isn't necessarily a bad thing; sometimes he puts a little reminder of a previous point in a few chapters later, or gives 2-3 examples of a particular technique, each a little more complicated than the last.
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