Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – The Color Mode Function

Welcome to a series of Photoshop tutorials that will be taking a look at the various features that you will need to understand in order to get the very best out of your Photoshop software.

The color modes and color models of digital imaging seem to be a bit of an enigma to those first experiencing Photoshop. The diversity of color modes can be so overwhelming that novice users many times avoid these features without realizing the impact color modes can have on the end results of the image.

Color modes determine the color model that should be used to display and print digital pictures. Anyone serious about professional quality digital imaging should learn about the color modes and models and how to apply them in Photoshop. Certain color modes are best for particular applications and so on. Most good Photoshop tutorials and training aids will teach user how and when to use which color modes for the best results depending on the particular project.

Before you even begin working with the color modes in Photoshop it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of what the color modes are and why there are different models.

To start, digital images are displayed using several different color modes. This tutorial highlights the basic color modes you will come upon when working with digital images.

RGB

RGB stands for Red Green and Blue. In the RGB color mode colors are produced by mixing these three primary colors. Essentially you are working with three color channels in RGB mode, each of which the intensity level can be adjusted separately to attain various degrees of colors. White is created by combining all of the three colors.

CMYK

CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. RGB produces colors by mixing them together, while CMYK in effect creates color by subtracting varying degrees of each color. For example, to produce white, all colors would be reduced to zero.

Learning about the color modes will result in big improvements in your digital imaging work. Printers use CMYK color while monitors use RGB. This is why there is sometimes a difference in what you see on your PC monitor and what you see on paper. Fortunately there is now software that you can install which will calibrate your monitor colors with your printer so what you see on your monitor is what you get when you print.

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