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Saturation distribution

So I made some exiting new discoveries with saturation in Lightroom that I can’t keep to myself.  It’s important to know exactly what both the saturation and vibrance sliders are doing in order to get how this works.

-  The saturation slider takes all colors and saturates them at even increments regardless of their current saturation.

-  Vibrance on the other hand takes the least saturated colors and saturates them more than the other colors.

With aggressive use of the vibrance adjustment you can see how it can bring all colors to the same saturation point.  By decreasing the saturation and increasing the vibrance you can smooth color transitions and create much more pleasing color overall as a result.  Very cool.

 After applying this new technique to a number of images I started to play the sliders in opposite directions and discovered that combinations of the two sliders could either isolate saturated colors to specific areas or in the case of full vibrance spread color throughout the image.  So as you start to visualize the two sliders as one relationship, local vs global color intensity, you are much better able to control how viewers respond to an image by directing their attention with saturation. It’s all about control.

below is an example of the two extremes and how the color is redistributed.
Notice how the branch has been given more isolated saturation, creating separation which makes it appear to have more depth.

One Comment

  1. Wow! Great insight. Until now I always favored EITHER the vibrance OR saturation slider. Now I see how the 2 work together to control color tonality in Lightroom. nice work!
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