OK, are you ready for some color correction here in Photoshop? This is again one of those big areas on Photoshop that people want to know all about and as always, as is sort of my style, what I'm going to do is I'm going to start you off using sort of the fundamentals of color correction, we'll talk about some fundamental ideas in terms of correcting the color inside your images and understanding the color inside your images and then very quickly we'll start getting into more intermediate and advanced methods for getting the best out of your photos. So in this exercise, what I'd like to do is address the issue of color modes or color spaces and as always, I'm going to go after a sample file here, a Project File. So go ahead and double click on your gray background, of course into your Project Files and look for a file called Barn1Detail.jpg. Go ahead and pop that fellow open. Now, what I'd like you to do is I'd like you to open up your Channels Palette. If you don't see your channels over on the right-hand side of your screen as I see mine, then of course you'll have to head to your Window Menu and then look for Channels. You may recall from our discussion on saving selections and working with alpha channels, we had a quick look at the Channels Palette and I gave you kind of a very brief kind of overview of what the Channels Palette is and how it works and what I'd like to do is I'd like to talk about the Channels Palette a little bit more in a little bit more detail but as a brief recap, here's the deal with the Channels Palette. What I see inside the Channels Palette at the top is what we call our Composite Channel. So what I see here is an RGB channel. That's because I'm in an RGB image or I'm inside an image that is in the red, green and blue color space and I can tell I'm in an RGB image of course from the Channels Palette but also don't forget from the Document Tab right up at the top there. I can also see there. So as soon as I open up an image I know if I have an RGB image or a grayscale image or a lab image or a CMYK image, right? And then below the composite channel inside the Channels Palette, I have individual channels for each color inside my image. So I have red, green and blue. Now, what's interesting to note here is if you really want to go far, I mean to a professional level with color correction, a lot of the super pros, what they'll do is they'll isolate for example all of the reds inside their image. So if I click on the red channel, now what I see inside my document window is obviously a black and white image or what we would call a grayscale image and all of the darker areas have red in them. All of the white areas don't have any red in them and all of the gray tones have partial red in them. So if I wanted to isolate the reds inside my image, maybe there's a bit of a color cast on my image, a red color cast, I could isolate my reds and just correct for the reds. And of course I can do the same for the greens and the same for the blues and then of course I can go all the way back to my composite channel all the way up at the top, which essentially gives me all three colors all at once, red, green and blue, which to the human eye gives us a full-color image. So that's all fine and well but what happens when I want to change the color mode of my image? Maybe I'm going to wind up putting this image into a brochure and that brochure's going to get printed on a commercial printing press. Well, in that situation I would have to convert the image from RGB to CMYK. Imagine you're translating from Italian to Japaneseright? You're actually changing the way the color is being described inside Photoshop, right? So in that situation what I would do is I would head up to the Image Menu and then down to Mode and you can see we have several color modes to choose from. Again, right now we're on RGB Color. I can choose CMYK, Lab, Multichannel, Indexed, Grayscale and there's two others that are grayed out right now Duotone and Bitmap. I think for now I would concern myself with RGB and CMYK. If you're kind of new to this stuff I think sticking with those two for now would be a good idea. So to switch the color space, essentially I'd go to the Image Menu, down to Mode and then simply choose CMYK. So go ahead and do that if you like. You might get a warning here. I'm going to go ahead and click on OK. Now my image is being described by cyan, magenta, yellow and black. That's what CMYK stands for. So the K stands for black and check out the Channels Palette. Now we have a CMYK Composite Channel and then individual channels for cyan, magenta, yellow and then of course finally black down at the bottom. And again, I can click on my Composite Channel up at the top to get the full-color image. Now, here's the tricky part and here's the part that you kind of have to wrap the old noodle around. Even if you're working on an image that's going to wind up inside a brochure, what's always recommended is that you stay inside the RGB color space up until the last minute when you're finally ready to output your file for a printing press. So do all of your color correction in the RGB color space. It's a heck of a lot easier working inside the RGB color space because the computer monitor that you're looking at right now has red, green and blue phosphors in it so even though we have a CMYK image here inside Photoshop, we're seeing a CMYK image as interpreted by an RGB device; your computer monitor. So we don't really have a good sense of how this actually looks until we look at the piece of paper that came out the end of the printing pressright? So again, it's always recommended to stick with the RGB color space. And then, finally you might want to convert your image to black and white or again, as we call it, grayscale. To do is in a, what I would call a destructive way or a permanent way, we'd simply go to Image, down to Mode and then choose Grayscale and Photoshop is going to say are you sure you want to get rid of all your color. I'm going to say OK and I wind up with a grayscale image and now inside the Channels Palette I simply have a gray channel, a single channel. So now my image is simply made up of shades of black, right? Different tones, different shades of black. Later on what I'll do is I'll show you some non-destructive ways to create black and white images but anyway, there you go. That's kind of a quick run-through anyway on the different color modes that we have available to us inside Photoshop and as far as the others there, we have Lab. Lab is a little bit more advanced, Multichannels is more advanced. Indexed, you saw that. That's more of a specialty color space that's used for example by the GIF file format and a few other file formats. And there's some other in there: Duotone was in there and Bitmap was in there. Again, those are a little bit more specialized. So I think for now, again, if you're just starting out, sticking with RGB I think is going to be the best.
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