Photo After Lab Conversion
Photo Before Lab conversion
This is a very easy technique to do using most versions of photoshop. This is always my second to last step when editing a photo, with sharpening being the final one.
First you will need to convert your images color mode, to do this select "image" from the top bar, "mode" from the drop-down menu, and choose "lab". This converts all the colors of the image, to the lab mode. Then choose "image" again from the top bar, and click on "apply image". Don't worry when your image changes to very dark colors that may not look great. In the window that pops open, choose "soft light" under blending mode. The image may look way over-saturated now, if so go into the percentage box below, and choose a number that makes the image pop the amount you would like. For me the magic number is usually 40-45%. When you have found an amount that works for you, click OK. For most applications you will need to convert back to RGB format now. You can do this by clicking "image", then "Mode", and selecting RGB. The image is now ready for final sharpening, and should have a much stronger, more saturated, *pop* look! This technique is one that completely changed my editing as a photographer. All of the sudden I was getting far more compliments on my imagery. Everyone who I normally had shown my photos too, was blown away by the quality and style my images now had! Enjoy!