So many thoughts. So little time.

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Fundamentals of Light, and the Photoshop L*a*b Color Space

Way back in 2005, rutt posted the best summation of how colors work as light I’ve ever seen, at DigitalGrin.com.

Rather than force you over there to read that post, I am replicating it right here, as it required a few edits for clarity.

“In order to understand the relationship of LAB, RGB, and CMYK, we have to understand that the colors are actually defined in terms of one another.

  1. Red is a primary in light.
  2. Cyan is the pigment opponent of red. It is defined as the pigment that reflects green and blue perfectly but no red at all. So in light, cyan is composed of equal parts green and blue, but no red.
  3. Green is a primary in light.
  4. Magenta is the pigment opponent of green. It is defined as the pigment that reflects red and blue equally, but no green at all. So in light, magenta is composed of equal parts red and blue, but no green at all.
  5. Blue is a primary in light.
  6. Yellow is the pigment opponent of blue. It is defined as the pigment that reflects red and green equally, but no blue at all. So in light, yellow is composed of equal parts red and green, but no blue at all.

Given these definitions, we can see why the pairs green, magenta and blue, yellow are called opponents. There can be no green at all where there is magenta, by definition. Shine a green light on a magenta surface and you see black; nothing is reflected. Magenta is defined in terms of what it doesn’t have, namely green. Continue Reading

Some Color Theory and Photoshop LAB mode – Warm-up for Full Article

This is an open-letter to a co-worker that I thought might make a nice warm-up to the full-blown Color Science and Photoshop LAB Mode article that is upcoming. Enjoy and watch for the article!

(Join the newsletter to be notified when I release those big things – this Color Theory one as well as an Actions tutorial video series and a full-on L*a*b series of videos are forthcoming!)

———————————————————————————->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Dear Libby,

The other day I mentioned colors used in the
L*a*b color mode and which were opposites.

Naturally, being an ART student, you countered me (a former graphic arts college
professor, yet!) in my definition of what opposite colors were. Well, you were right…
historically speaking at least. I didn’t have time to go into it then,
recognizing it as a near universal problem when addressing color science to
those trained in the traditional ways that Art schools portray the issue.

Check this article at Wikipedia to understand what I’m referring to! Continue Reading

Sneak Peek – L*A*B Color Mode
Image Improvement Techniques

I’m busy working on a series of articles and videos I’ll release here soon on using the LAB mode for improving images (or L*A*B mode as some prefer to write it, myself included!)

A friend, Fred Vaughan, has agreed to allow me to use his beautiful photographs taken in Colorado and elsewhere in the western U.S. as my subjects.

Below is a sample done using just some fairly simple curves – all work being performed in the L*A*B color space!

By increasing color contrast (not merely by increasing saturation), we can bring out the natural coloration that the light presented to our eyes, and restore that which is lost by the static interpretation of the camera lens.

Before (Click image for full-screen versions – you can load both into separate tabs to A/B compare them):

Fred Vaughan Image - original

And after having the curves shown beneath the image applied (Click image for full-screen version):

Note how the vibrancy of the full daylight is restored from the above version where the camera had “flattened out” the color’s dynamic range.

Watch this space for some nice full tutorials soon! But in the meantime, please try some L*A*B mode moves on your own!

Fred Vaughan image - with LAB Curves Continue Reading

HutchColor offers great desktop background for Photoshop

I’ve used this desktop background for years! Over at http://www.hutchcolor.com/Images_and_targets.html, they’ve given public access to download many of their print-specific and monitor calibration-specific targets, images and tools. One that is a standout is their desktop background, called “CMS 30 128.JPG” (36 K – RGB) (I cannot simply provide a link to the image download due… Continue Reading

Rutt at Dgrin offers another gem – Dan Margulis Portrait Action

I mentioned a very prolific poster at DigitalGrin.com naming himself “rutt” (I believe John is his real name). He is a follower, as I am, of Dan Margulis. rutt has offered up his own “DanMargulisPortrait.atn” (link is often dead – see below) — a Photoshop action — in the thread  of the Chapter 16 of… Continue Reading

Black and White discussion at Dgrin turns up nice PS action!

So… I’m reading this great tutorial by rutt over at Dgrin (Digital Grin, folks!) called “B&W Conversion Workflow“, and I’m reading through it and see he has included a little Photoshop Action set. As rutt puts it: “I have an action which aides to to getting to this point. Pick it up here.” Brief and… Continue Reading

CamStudio Settings to Keep Audio and Video in Sync

I just created this video after a bit of trial and error (and research!) that demonstrates how to set up:

CamStudio 2.6 Beta (official download link)

so that the audio and video stay in synchronization throughout the length of the video.
(Or download the Most Stable Camstudio 2.0 release)
Getting CamStudio to synchronize the video to the audio requires that
the “Playback Rate” in Video Options divides evenly into 1000 milliseconds,
with the result being placed in the entry that goes in the box above it, “Capture Frames Every”. This must be a whole number (no fractions).

This basically means that you have five options for playback rate/frames per second
(as CamStudio does not allow fractional entries in the “Capture Frames Every” box).

You must use, therefore, 40 milliseconds with 25 frames/sec, or
50 milliseconds with 20 frames/sec, or 100 milliseconds with 10 frames per second,
or, if you are a mad scientist, 20 milliseconds with 50 frames/sec or 25 milliseconds with 40 frames/sec.
The first two settings mentioned are plenty adequate for 90% of applications, though.

Any other settings will cause a lag to develop in the audio that will get worse and worse as time passes.
Continue Reading

“I don’t want to learn Photoshop!” optikVerve’s free offerings

OK, I live to show people how to get the most out of Photoshop.

I taught at the college level three semesters deep on Photoshop alone!
However, I realize not everyone is into the same journey as I am, and would
simply like to get some results from their own photographs they’ve taken with their digital camera!

There are plenty of Photoshop actions out there…

(do a Google search for “Free Photoshop Actions Download”),

as well as Photoshop Filters…

(do another Google Search for “Free Photoshop Filters Download”),

but maybe you don’t even own a copy of Photoshop. After all, it is rather
expensive! I still use Photoshop CS for everything at home and to make my
free actions and tutorials, though admittedly, at work we have CS4 installed.

There is a solution, and it is from the
remarkable optikVerve Labs, home of the FREE

VirtualPhotographer Filter plugin

for Photoshop CS4 and EARLIER.

(or Photoshop Elements, or Corel PhotoPaint, or IrfanView,
or PaintShop Pro, or any other program that can use Photoshop .8bf plugins).

But more importantly for those not owning Photoshop,
they are also the creators of the ALSO FREE software called

VirtualStudio

which includes not only the VirtualPhotographer plugin, but additionally
works with any and all plugins that you can find using a Google search for free plugins.
It can be installed on Windows 7, Vista 32-bit, Windows XP, 2000, ME or ’98 operating systems!!! WOW!!!
Continue Reading