Home APS Tutorials Make your images POP with LAB Color Mode

Make your images POP with LAB Color Mode


Ever notice how the color in some photos seems to be more lively and almost pop off the screen?  This is a technique that seperates amateur’s images from professionals. Read below to learn how to use it!

In photoshop, there are different color modes that are based on the channels of color.  The standard is RGB or Red, Green, Blue.  This is the most common mode and the one that you will save all images in.  It is possible, however, to convert an image to another color mode, modify it using that mode, and convert it back.  This is where LAB color mode comes in.  It’s LAB for Lightness, A, and B channels.  It just handles the colors differently than RGB or CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK).

Using this mode to make an image pop is actually quite simple, just follow these steps below, and watch the tutorial video at the bottom to see it in action.

1. Convert image to LAB color mode by selecting Image, Mode, LAB.

Selecting LAB color mode

2. Create a new layer from the background by pressing CMD+J on a mac, or CTRL+J on a PC.

3. Convert layer to soft light mode and adjust opacity to desired look in the layer’s palette.  Don’t overdo this or the image will look fake and you’ll lose detail.

Adjusting opacity for new layer

4. Flatten image by right-clicking on layer 1 and choosing flatten image.  Head back to Image, Mode, and choose RGB.

5. That’s it!



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