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.
The color modes establish the color model that should be applied to display and print digital pictures. Understanding color modes and models and how to utilize them in Photoshop is a must for those who are serious about professional quality digital imaging. Learn what color modes will work best for different application to optimize results.
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 stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. RGB creates colors by mixing colors together, but CMYK basically generates color by reducing varying degrees of each color. As an example, if white is needed all colors would be subtracted to zero.
Understanding how color modes work will produce a better result and improve your digital imaging skills. Monitors use RGB color while printers use CMYK color. This can sometimes create a variance in what is displayed on the PC monitor and what is printed on paper. Software is now available to be installed that will calibrate you color monitor and your printer so that what you see on your monitor is the same as what will be printed.