What is color saturation and how will it help your images? These questions are the focus of today’s article.
What Is Color Saturation?
I have to admit, color saturation was always confusing to me. Every time I used the slider in Lightroom, it was 50/50 if I guessed right and got my desired effect.
If an item is saturated, it is defined as holding as much water as can be absorbed. This works the same way in photography, if you replace water for color.
If you are looking for more color in your images, then you need to boost your saturation and raise the level. If you are looking to reduce saturation, the colors mute and fade.
Black and white images contain no saturation, so if you also find it confusing, this is a great place to start from.
The saturation levels of an image can be changed by using filters.
This is an expression of light bandwidths, given by any light source. ‘Hue’ refers to the color of an image, where the saturation looks at the strength of that hue.
By saturating a color, you reveal its purest and truest form.
The colors red, yellow and blue are considered the truest version of color as they are saturated.
How Will It Help Your Photography
In sparing amounts, raising the saturation can boost the color strength of your image. A muted scene now has more color, making it more pleasing to the eye.
If you oversaturate the image, your viewers will drown in very intense colors.
Reversely, if you find your images are a little too colorful, you can reduce the saturation.
This will reduce its intensity and give you something easier to look at.
Many photographers find it best to use selective areas through masking when adjusting the saturation. This way, they get to control the amount and areas that are affected.
If you want your reds, blues and yellows to pop, move the slider right.