Global Adjustments To Saturation And Vibrance

Because these two adjustments are applied globally, it's very easy to overdo them with destructive effect on the appearance of the photo. (Set the Saturation and Vibrance sliders all the way to the right to see what I mean.) In this age of digital photography, in my opinion, there is a preponderance of over-saturated, garish images out there. Of course, sometimes this is the appropriate treatment for the photo, but more often, I believe, the photographer doesn't intend it. In critiquing images from my group classes and sessions with private students, over-saturation is the most common flaw I see in the processing. I recommend that as you're mastering Lightroom, and processing larger numbers of your own photos, you apply Saturation and Vibrance with a certain measure of restraint. Like all digital image processes, color saturation is a tool that must be wielded wisely.

Note: If you find that you're pushing Saturation or Vibrance over values of +20 or so, stop and think more about it. Unless you're looking for a certain effect, +20 is usually the maximum amount you should need. Choosing a different Camera Profile might be a better way to go.


After setting white balance to adjust global color rendition, consider whether you want to increase or decrease saturation in the photo. Saturation refers to how vivid and pure a color is, as opposed to neutral gray; see Figure 4-49 next page). A photo that appears very bright and colorful could be called "highly saturated". Some images benefit from increasing the saturation; others may look better with decreased saturation.

target to activate the tool. Position your cursor in an area of the image that you want to adjust. You can then use your mouse or the keyboard to modify the adjustment directly within the main preview. With the mouse, click and drag up or down to increase or decrease the adjustment, or use the up and down arrow keys (my preference).

Figure 4-49: high saturation, low saturation

Color Black & White f^. Reset Tone Exposure ficcovery A-

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