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I find that color is very often a primary motivation for taking a photograph in the first place. And so, I often want to try to boost or otherwise improve those colors in my photos. The Vibrance and Saturation adjustments in Lightroom allow us to give colors a little bit of a kick in our photographs. These two controls are found in the basic section of the right panel in the Develop module. We'll go ahead down a little bit here. Vibrance and Saturation are actually both very similar adjustments. They both allow you to either increase or decrease the intensity of colors within a photo.
But they operate a little bit differently. Saturation is the more basic of the two adjustments. If I move the Saturation slider to the right, I will be boosting the intensity of all colors in the image, in doing so, relatively evenly. So, you can see that the dried plants here have had the yellows really boosted, but the red has also been boosted rather significantly. This can be a little bit problematic in many situations because the colors that were already somewhat saturated are getting over saturated. Well, okay, I've increased saturation by plus 100, so I would certainly argue that every single color in this photo is a bit overdone at the moment.
But the point is that even if I had applied a relatively modest increase in saturation in order to bring out just a little bit of color in those plants. It still might have been a little too much for the bright red. I'll go ahead and reset the saturation adjustment. And then we can take a look at Vibrance. I'll go ahead and increase Vibrance all the way up to plus 100. And you can see that once again we brought out some of the color in the dry grasses here, the foliage. But we have not created a problematic overdone look in the reds that were already saturated. The reason for that is that the Vibrance adjustment is, in effect, exercising a little bit of self control.
It will help protect skin tones but it also effects colors unevenly. When we increase Vibrance, colors that were already very saturated will not be boosted very much at all, and colors that were not very saturated will be boosted more. You can think of it as sort of bringing up the lesser saturated colors up to the level or closer to the level of colors that were already relatively saturated. If we reduce vibrance, then we'll see the colors that were highly saturated are toned down first and then the other colors start to get an effect.
The bottom line is that Vibrance can be very, very helpful for many images. And in fact, when I want to boost the colors in a photograph a little bit, I'll start with Vibrance. I'll boost the Vibrance as needed, or in some cases reduce Vibrance. Usually though I'm boosting colors rather than toning them down. And if I find that that's not quite producing exactly the effect I'm after then I might go to saturation, either increasing or decreasing saturation as needed. But by and large, I find that Vibrance provides all the control I need for either boosting or toning down the colors in a photograph.
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