Deke's Techniques 445: Smooth Color Adjustments in Lab Mode

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke dispels the myth that using the Lab mode to adjust color is inherently destructive. In fact, he'll show you how to correct the color of this '70s-esque flower child:

Sure, maybe the Groovy filter effect is what you want, but frankly, despite those perfectly applied blossoms in her hair, those eyebrows don't look very "I just got out of my VW van on a cross country trip to San Francisco" to me. Deke's technique this week ensures that both her skin and her histogram are as smooth as those perfectly coiffed eyebrows:

Using Lab mode to correct color nondestructively

Along the way, you'll see how Deke makes color decisions in the Lab mode in order to bring this girl back to the colors of our modern age (and eventually back to RGB, which is the final trick here).

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to take the refinement to the next level in Camera Raw while keeping it in the Lab mode (which is impossible!) If you can't believe it yourself and you're not a member of, you can get a free week's trial at in order to check it out.

A smooth Lab meets ACR color correction outcome

That's Deke for you, pretending things are impossible then deftly showing you how to actually do them every week.


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Smooth Histogram

I'm a big fan of yours. Your style of teaching is best for any newbie to advanced user. I am keep following your tutorials. It would be great if you provide more real life tutorials on Photoshop.

In this technique you've made the histogram of picture smooth. Is it important to smooth every other picture you come across daily in Photoshop life?

Just a thought, because I most often ignore histogram. Maybe, I'm ignorant I think.