Color Space

Measuring color

Light is a wave with a wavelength. Like any wave, light waves can be combined for interesting effects. Colored light combined with other colored light makes a different color. If you combine just the right combination you can get white light. There are models that show all these relationships.

Color triangles, wheel, or circleFREEColorWheel4

These models show these interactions. Combine Red light with Blue to get Magenta. Combine Magenta light with Green to get White. Combine Red, Green and Blue to get white.

Color Space

Color has to be measured to be written down. Any map you use though will be limited to holding a finite amount of the colors. The system used to describe color is a color space, or gamut. Each are different because they were is designed for a specific purpose.

lab

LAB

  • Created to mimic the eye
  • Has all possible light colors
  • Because it’s the largest it’s used in the background of major post processors when switching color spaces.
  • Coordinates – Like X, Y, Z coordinates system. A and B for X and Y, L for luminance. This coordinate system allows inclusion of all possible light. As values change the color changes proportionally to have important that change would be to the perceived color difference. This, and it’s inclusion of all possible color is the basis for it’s best approximation of human vision. Wiki link for further reading

To remember: LAB mimics the eye therefore has the most color

Select one of the other color spaces below to learn what’s important about it or back to Concepts.

CMYKAdobeRGBProPhotosRGB

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