Suggested Book of the Week

Do you use Photoshop? Well here’s a timeless classic that falls into the digital imaging and photo-retouching category, Photoshop LAB Color, The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Color Space written by one of the oldest and most hard-core Photoshop gurus around, Dan Margulis.

This is the best of the few books around on channels and Photoshop’s LAB color space (that’s still in print anyway). Though it was written in 2005, the workflow it introduces is still useful today. Adobe might release new versions of Photoshop every two years, but guess what boys and girls, channel structure and colorspaces haven’t changed almost since the dawn of the program, and they’re not going to.

Among other things, this book shows you how to use and understand curves and channels in the LAB and RGB colorspaces to do various tasks like no other book can. It was from this book I learned the concept of actually separating color information in an image, from contrast (and sharpness) and how to correct for each the proper way to get a better image. The author also uses the info palette more then any other book I’ve seen. His background is in printing as opposed to photography or design, so he does everything by the numbers.

I’ll make one concession to Adobe, the latest versions of Photoshop did introduce some features that get the same or better results quicker, than if you follow the step-by-steps in this book.

Which leads me to a word of caution, it’s not an easy read. This is a hard-core Photoshop textbook. You have to be really into Photoshop and use it everyday to get the most out of this book. You also have to enjoy the authors sometime acerbic tone (which I for one do very much).

Photoshop is a big part of my daily graphic design work. But unfortunately it’s not a big enough part. As a result, after reading the whole thing, I’ve tapped only a small percentage of the books power. I do however have selected zeroxed pages of the book pinned up next to my desk that have helped me put into practice some of the concepts it introduces.

Thoughts or suggestions -  Joe@JoeWinklerArt.com