The tenth-anniversary edition of Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace is now available for pre-order here; the supposed publication date is 25 July. I attended the pressrun in late June, which came out well. It’s now just a matter of when the bound copies get to the warehouse.
The first edition of Canyon Conundrum held up better than any of my other works, with the possible exception of Modern Photoshop Color Workflow, about which it is too early to tell. Its basics are all sound and there were not too many misconceptions.
Ten years, however, is ten years. We’ve made a lot of progress in that time. When Peachpit Press approached me to do this edition, my preliminary assessment was that a third to a half of the first edition should be replaced. It wound up being close to 80 percent, and it’s a considerably longer book as well.
Being completely LAB-centric, it is not intended to replace Modern Photoshop Color Workflow. There is inevitably some overlap, particularly in use of the LAB-based actions, MMM and Color Boost. Certain concepts are mentioned briefly in one book and in extended form in the other.
If you already have and like the first edition then the second should be worth it for you. If you are considering the new CC book vs. MPCW, here is a summary of how they differ. I would summarize that if you are unfamiliar with what LAB can do you will get more immediate gratification out of CC. Also, if you are a top expert, LAB offers some enticing possibilities. For those in the middle, MPCW shows how to grind through a lot of images with a major increase in quality.
EXTENDED COVERAGE IN BOTH BOOKS
• The concept of intentionally creating too much color in order to cut back.
• Blending multiple versions to create a better result than any one of them.
• Using LAB to evaluate whether a color is “wrong”, even if the file itself is not in LAB.
• The uses for and options within the MMM action.
• Strong coverage of Blend If (which usually is executed in LAB).
EXTENDED COVERAGE IN MPCW ONLY
• The PPW defined.
• Walkthrough, time and again, of the entire workflow.
• How humans perceive color.
• Uses and misuses of a gray card.
• Thorough coverage of the PPW panel.
• Long discussions of sun-shade and similar situations where the image is divided into two parts by the lighting.
• Thorough coverage of RGB channel blending to gain contrast before moving into LAB
• Explanation of the inner workings of the MMM action.
• The Shadows/Highlights command.
• The H-K action to selectively darken neutrals.
• Handling of skies.
• Portrait considerations: when is contrast needed?
• The Bigger Hammer action in detail.
• Multiplication through layer masks, including treatment of false profiles.
• The choice of channel to use as a base for a mask.
• Camera Raw/Lightroom considered in the context of a workflow.
• The sharpening action deconstructed.
EXTENDED COVERAGE IN CC2E ONLY
• The basic LAB curve form and how to vary it.
• The concept of simultaneous contrast and its ramifications.
• Thorough explanation of LAB’s structure, including channel-identification quizzes.
• When changing the original hue is acceptable to the viewer.
• Extended discussion of what color-blind people really see (picked up from first edition)
• Elimination of casts using LAB.
• Thorough discussion of sharpening, including half a chapter on LAB’s relationship to Neo- Impressionist art, rated by the beta readers as the most stimulating chapter in the book.
• Uses of LAB in forensic imaging.
• How to use LAB to make selections and masks.
• Using LAB to impart warmth to an image.
• Half a chapter on how RGB and LAB achieve different results in Color and Luminosity modes.
• A complete chapter written by the beta readers, describing how they themselves use LAB.
• How to change color of a product (e.g. turn a green product red).
• Uses of imaginary colors in retouching.
• LAB’s overall advantage in retouching.
• How to colorize a B/W photo (i.e. make it look as if originally shot in color).
• An entirely new chapter on LAB noise reduction.
• Advanced LAB curving.
• A chapter on editing video in Photoshop.
• LAB as an interchange standard in color management.
• Using the A and B as blend sources.
• Portrait considerations: can there be a recipe?