A Photo a Week Challenge: Saturation

Autumn in New England is a total saturation experience. I often turn down saturation. Natural color is almost surreal.

Direct from the camera.

Direct from the camera. Will add one click saturation. More would be too much.

The original photograph is true color direct from the camera. The adjustments were cropping, exposure, and a single click (1%) saturation.

Just needs a bit of brightening.

I’ll give it a bit of brightening. The saturation is there. It could go just as is, but for the purposes of illustration …

The further north one goes, the earlier foliage peaks. We missed peak in three states, but I was happy with the color we saw. It was beautiful just the way it was.

No additional saturation. A bit brighter plus a touch extra contrast only. It's enough.

No additional saturation. A bit brighter plus a touch extra contrast only. It’s enough. Notice how by raising the contrast and brightening the whole picture, I also lost the second mountain in the background? There is usually a trade-off. When you modify one thing, other things also change.

In changing saturation, I feel that less is more. I am apt to lower saturation rather than raise it. Saturation, in theory, changes only the intensity of color, but in practice, it changes tones too. Gray becomes blue. Skies becomes pixellated. Everything becomes more grainy.

My suggestion? Adjust saturation using a light touch. It doesn’t take much to turn a pretty picture garish.

Categories: #Flowers, #Photography, Autumn, Challenges, Nature, New England

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16 replies

  1. I actually liked the second image – it brought out the colours in the foreground. Good luck with learning new techniques.


    • I like the second one best also. The colors are true and all the mountains are visible. It turns out, it’s not so much a new technique as a menu I didn’t know was there. I love my blogging friends 🙂


  2. unless you are going for a certain artistic look, I agree – when increasing saturation, a light touch is best. lovely photos!


  3. I believe you own the NIK software suite which includes Vivesa 2. That Photoshop plug-in allows area editing based on color and tonal values. You could select the rear mountain range and change any number of settings including contrast on just the rear mountains. It works for me which is why I love Vivesa 2. 🙂


    • I use it all the time and used it for this picture. I am not aware of how I can select a specific part of the picture … And I would very much LIKE to find out!


      • Attached is a good video teaching you about using Control Points, the secret weapon in Vivesa 2.


        • Okay!!!! I was missing an entire menu. I really don’t see very tiny things well. There are those to sets of line indicating menus at the top of the Vivesa2 section. The left is the “short menu” and the right is the full menu. I didn’t know that because I didn’t see it. When I saw YOUR menu — and it was so very different than what I was seeing — I knew I was missing something. So I looked for something that would expand the menu … and voila, I did and it worked and all is well in the world! Thank you thank you. This solves a lot of problems. I was using tone control so I could better deal with different sections of the photograph … but this is MUCH better. I WAS using it, but with the short menu and everything nifty, including control points, were invisible. Now, I can do ANYTHING. Yay. Look how well I did without the tools so imagine how much better I will do WITH them.


          • I know exactly the mode you were in. Sometime youtube videos reveal such menus. It’s not like software comes with instructions anymore. What’s with that trend anyway? I’m glad I could help Marilyn. Your entire editing world will now change. 🙂


            • Yes, I have a continuing commentary going on the lack of instructions. For software (which was my area of expertise), hardware, and ESPECIALLY cameras. As a technical writer who spent a lifetime explaining things, it’s so cheesy to not include any information. My iPad came with a playing card that had all of four sentences on it. It took me a month to figure out how to make it work and there are still a lot of things I don’t know how to do — and probably never will.


              • For someone not computer literate it can be a daunting task to learn any modern technology. They don’t speak the language and don’t know how to use Google & YouTube to find anything. Once they do their world changes. Everything is free, informative & entertaining. A world of free books, magazines, movies, instructional videos on any subject are just a few clicks away. If only they know those few clicks.


                • And for some people, even when you explain it, those clicks are beyond them. A surprisingly large percentage of people never get beyond clicking a link. Can’t create a link. Can’t send and attachment. It’s all a mystery to them.


  4. Great images and explanation. Thanks for joining the challenge!


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