We've discussed channels in this blog before. Channels are the grayscale image components of which a digital image is comprised (for more information on channels, please go to the blog post, Channeling Channels. In our more common colorspaces, these channels actually look like familiar, black & white depictions of our original scene. However, in the Lab colorspace our channels look entirely different. It's as if we'd scurried down the rabbit hole into Alice's wonderland where things don't quite make sense anymore.
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Channels are grayscale image components defined by primary or secondary colors. Well…that statement is only sort of true but we must start here before we elaborate. Sadly, it's these kinds of ambiguities and qualifications that can make people want to avoid the notion of channels altogether. While it is, indeed true that our discussion of channels should start with the basic premise that they are defined by primary-color components, their actual functionality runs far deeper than that. But, begin here we must.