Increase Color Saturation with LAB Color Photoshop

Increase saturation of photograph by using LAB color mode in Adobe Photoshop. This technique is good especially for scanned old film photos that is old and its color is not good any more.

See the “Before and After”. You will see an awesome result of this effect.

before-and-after

1) See my photograph and you will see that the saturation is not that good. Firstly , I normally duplicate a background layer by dragging the background layer over a create new layer icon as below because you can go back to see the original photo or if you do something wrong with it you still have the original image.

1-duplicate

2) Change the color mode to LAB (Image>Mode>Lab Color)

2-change-to-LAB-mode

3) Then the program will ask you to flatten all layers into one layer. You must answer “Don’t Flatten”.

3-click-do-not-flatten

4) Then you can see in the channel pallet that there are 4 layers (Lab, Lightness, a and b).

4-lab-mode-shown

5) Select “Lightness” channel and select the curve command (Image>Adjustment>Curves) to add contrast into the photo.

5-image-adjustment-curve

6) Adjust the curve to S-Curve shape to add saturation.

6-adjust-the-curve

7) Select “a” channel and drag the bottom point to the right. So you will see that green tone is added into the photo.

7-adjust-chanel-a---green

8) If you drag the top point to the left, you will see that magenta tone is added into the photo.

8-adjust-chanel-a---magenta

9) Drag equally between the top and the bottom point to balance color tone added into the photo as shown below. You can see that the color saturation looks better now.

9-adjust-channel-a---final

10) Select “b” channel and drag the bottom point to the right. So you will see that blue tone is added into the photo.

10-adjust-chanel-b---blue

11) If you drag the top point to the left, you will see that yellow tone is added into the photo.

11-adjust-chanel-b---yellow

12) Drag equally between the top and the bottom point to balance color tone added into the photo as shown below. You can see that the color saturation looks PERFECT now.

12-adjust-chanel-b---final

13) You may add sharpness into this photo (Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask)

13-sharpen

14) Adjust some parameters until you feel happy about a result. In this case, I use Amount = 50%, Radius = 1 pixel and Threshold = 0.

14-sharpen-adjustment-infor

With Lab color mode, you can add the realistic saturation into you photos. It’s nice and easy method.

after

Any suggestions or recommendations are very welcome.

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4 thoughts on “Increase Color Saturation with LAB Color Photoshop

  1. Interesting and thanks! Just for fun i tried your method on my photo of that same entrance to Doi Suthep and it work out great.

  2. Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of information on your site.

    Im really impressed by it.
    Hey there, You have done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and for my part suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

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