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Sharpening RGB Or LAB Mode  
User currently offlineGarry From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 186 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4568 times:

I've been reading some interesting articles that advocate the use of LAB mode and with it the Lightness channel for use when applying sharpening - USM. I know from other threads it's a topic of frequent debate so i thought I'd share my findings.

The benefit seems to be that rather than sharpening the colour channels (RGB) and risk introducing colour artifacts, you apply the sharpening to the Lightness channel, which is black & white, and then convert back to rgb.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has experience of this method of sharpening and their findings as its benefits seem to be excellent over and above the 'normal' rgb method.

For those who want to try it you change the image mode to LAB, apply a duplicate layer, select channels palette and then lightness, then apply your usm at whatever levels normally used. Once complete convert back to rgb mode. If your familar with layers and can get around photoshop it's easy enough to do.

Views/comments welcome.

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSluger020889 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 456 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4563 times:

I saw a dramatic increase in noise when I sharpened the lightness layer in LAB mode.

But I do use lab mode to aid in my selective sharpening. I duplicate the lightness channel, find the edges, blur it with gaussian blur at about 2, and then I use the magic wand to select areas I don't wont to sharpen, sky etc. Once I have my selection I just click over to the layers tab and sharpen away.


I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4531 times:

Scott Kelby, at his International Society for Aviation Photography talk last March, recommended sharpening the lightness channel in Lab mode. I have been doing that in my workflow ever since. Though I still get a lot of soft rejections here, I like it on my overall photography.
Cottage Grove, MN, USA

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