The Golden Pavilion Photo Correction in Lab Mode

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Tutorial: AKVIS Enhancer

The Golden Pavilion: Correction in Lab Color Space


The author of the tutorial is Manfred Zobrist.

The photo of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto/Japan was processed in the Lightness channel of the Lab color space.

"The original photo of the Golden Pavilion is too dark. I tried to keep the delicate cloud pattern in the sky, but consequently the photo came out underexposed. It was strictly prohibited to use tripods, so I could not take several shots with different exposures. The Highlights/Shadows in Photoshop did not deliver the desired effect. Finally I tried the AKVIS Enhancer plugin and it was able to cope with the problem and improve details both in dark and light parts of the photo."
Original Image Result
Original Result

  • Step 1. Install AKVIS Enhancer on your computer. The author used the plugin version with AliveColors. Open the photo to process.
    The Golden Pavilion, Kyoto
  • Step 2. You are working now in RGB color space. To achieve the best result, switch to the Lab color space and choose the Lightness channel. In this way we will avoid color and luminance noise. As we work in the Lightness channel, the photo is displayed in black and white.
    The Golden Pavilion: Lab-color space
  • Step 3. In Improve Detail mode, set Preview Size to 1 and the image will scale to 100%. In this way you can fully control the influence of the filter on the image. The workpace should be opened to the full size.

    To check the result on individual parts of the image, press the space bar (the cursor will convert into a Hand tool) and scroll the image with the left mouse button pressed. If you want to compare the result and the original image, just left-click on the result.

    Adjust the parameters as you like. You can save your settings as a Preset, if you want to use them in the future.

    Result in Enhancer Plugin
  • Step 4. Once you have chosen the settings, click on the check mark to apply the filter to the image and close the plugin. Then switch again to RGB Mode (the command Image -> Mode -> RGB). Now the photo is displayed in color.
    The Golden Pavilion after AKVIS Enhancer Plugin

Here is the result. Not only are the green plants on the left visible, the woods in the background are easier to discern. The gold of the pavilion shines and even the lower part of the pavilion (not gilded) is visible too. What the author likes about the result is that no details in the sky have been lost.

How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Improve Detail — Improve Detail
   — Prepress Processing — Prepress Processing
   — Tone Correction — Tone Correction
   — Comparison of Modes — Comparison of Modes
   — Post Processing — Post Processing
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
   — Preferences — Preferences
Examples Examples
   — Lighten a Dark Street Photo — Lighten a Dark Street Photo
   — Crystal Clear: Prepress Mode — Crystal Clear: Prepress Mode
   — Fresh Strawberries: Tone Correction — Fresh Strawberries: Tone Correction
   — A Child in the Garden — A Child in the Garden
   — Neuschwanstein Castle — Neuschwanstein Castle
   — Ancient Town — Ancient Town
   — Increase Image Clarity — Increase Image Clarity
   — Dark Picture of a Church — Dark Picture of a Church
   — Backlight Photo — Backlight Photo
   — Orange Tree — Orange Tree
   — Technical Illustration — Technical Illustration
   — Remove Smog from the Photo — Remove Smog from the Photo
   — Poet and Doves — Poet and Doves
   — A Black Cat in a Dark Room — A Black Cat in a Dark Room
   — Christmas Market — Christmas Market
   — Exposure Correction — Exposure Correction
   — Correction of a Dark Photo — Correction of a Dark Photo
   — Khan Palace Photo — Khan Palace Photo
   — Lightening a Dark Photo — Lightening a Dark Photo
   — Show Details in Shadows — Show Details in Shadows
   — The Golden Pavilion — The Golden Pavilion
   — An Ominous Way: Strengthen the Effect — An Ominous Way: Strengthen the Effect
   — Perfect Lighting — Perfect Lighting
   — Sleeping Dog: Three Processing Modes — Sleeping Dog: Three Processing Modes


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