What Is Lab Color Space? (And How to Use It in Photoshop)

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What Is Lab Color Space? (And How to Use It in Photoshop)

You’ve most likely heard of RGB and CMYK. These are the 2 mostly used colour areas.

However they’re not the one colour areas. Lab Coloration house, for instance, is probably the most correct one. Right here’s how Lab Coloration works, and easy methods to use it in Photoshop.

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What Is Lab Coloration?

You’ve most likely heard of CMYK and RGB colour areas. As a photographer, I’m guessing you’re most aware of RGB (‘Purple, Inexperienced, Blue’). Cameras and laptop screens use this colour house. CMYK, however, stands for ‘Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black’ and is usually utilized by graphic designers to print art work.

Photo of containers with different color liquids
© Pixabay

Lab Coloration is a extra correct colour house. It makes use of three values (L, a, and b) to specify colours. RGB and CMYK colour areas specify a colour by telling a tool how a lot of every colour is required. Lab Coloration works extra just like the human eye.

It specifies a colour utilizing a 3-axis system. The a-axis (inexperienced to pink), b-axis (blue to yellow) and Lightness axis.

Illustrative photo of Lab Color space

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The very best factor about Lab Coloration is that it’s device-independent. That signifies that it’s simpler to realize precisely the identical colour throughout totally different media. It’s primarily used within the plastics, automotive, and textile business.

Right here’s an instance of how Lab Coloration can be utilized.

If your organization desires to place their brand on a cup, a T-shirt, or a banner, it might be a good suggestion to make use of Lab Coloration. That method, you’ll make sure that the colours look precisely the identical.

The way to Use Lab Coloration in Photoshop

It’s very straightforward to vary from RGB to Lab Coloration in Photoshop.

Step 1: Convert to Lab Coloration

Open any picture in Photoshop. Go to Picture > Mode and select Lab Coloration.

a screenshot showing how to use Lab Color in Photoshop

Or, go to Edit > Convert to Profile and choose Lab Coloration.

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a screenshot showing how to set Lab Color in Photoshop

Step 2: Examine Channels

When you’ve transformed your picture, open the Channels panel. If the panel is just not seen, go to Window within the prime menu and select Channels.

In RGB mode you’ll see the Purple, Inexperienced, and Blue channel. In Lab Coloration mode, you’ll see the a, b, and L channel. The ‘a’ channel reveals you the values on the pink to inexperienced axis, whereas the ‘b’ channel reveals the values on the blue to yellow axis. The ‘L’ channel reveals no colour information in any respect. Right here you’ll be able to see how mild or darkish every colour is.

a screenshot showing how to use Lab Color in Photoshop

The Benefit of Utilizing Lab Coloration in Photoshop

As a result of Lab Coloration house is such a large colour house, it lets you do issues you’ll be able to’t do in RGB. You’ll be able to really make the colours in your images look extra vibrant and energetic with out transferring the saturation slider and going excessive.

You may as well use Lab Color to paint grade and shift the colours in your images. The three axis simply opens up numerous prospects.


Despite the fact that Lab Color house is just not well-liked amongst photographers, you must undoubtedly learn to use it. It affords much more selection which can assist you when enhancing images with vibrant and energetic colours. Go forward and take a look at it out!

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