Enhance image colors using LAB colors and curves


So tutorial time. I want to show you a quick and dirty technique to make those colors pop out with a curves adjustment layer and a quick switch to LAB colors. And I’m going to show you with one of the images I took with my phone. Here’s what I ended up with.

Final flower retouched

And this is the original.

The original

So let’s get going. The first thing you need to do is change your color space to LAB (Image – Mode – LAB color). Then you make a Curve adjustment layer (Layer – new adjustment layer – curves) and in there you chose you a channel and push the top right point to the left and then you take the bottom left point and push it right by the same amount (Confused? look at the image below). You now change the channel to b and do the same.

Curves in LAB

Now press finish and set the opacity down on the curves layer to suit your taste. I further did a bit of sharpening by selecting the lightness channel in the channel panel and applying a smart sharpen filter to it. After that I did a bit of gaussian blur to the background and I ended up with this.

Final result

And there we have it. An easy way to get some more color in your image. Try it out and ask if you have any question on how to do this.