Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding vibrance and saturation, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 03 Develop Module Basics.
In this chapter, we'll have some fun taking a look at how we can modify, enhance, and even change color using the Basic panel controls. In this movie, we'll begin by focusing in on Vibrance and Saturation. Now, because these controls are actually incredibly helpful, what I want to do is walk through how we can work with these controls with a demo file. So that you can really understand the subtle differences between these two controls. Then later, we'll apply what we learn to working on photographs. All right, well here you can see I have this image, we have these various color strips.
On the left we have less saturation, then as we move to the right, we have more saturation. Well, how will these color strips change if we work with Saturation versus Vibrance? Well, Saturation is linear and pretty straight forward. Here, if we drag to the left it removes color. And here, you can now see we have a black and white or a gray scale image. As we drag to the right, it increases color. And what saturation allows us to do is to say, you know what, hey, the color is right here, I'm going to increase that. So that we still have this relationship where the colors on the left are less saturated.
Then, as we move to the right the colors become more saturated. Well, let's now reset this slider by double-clicking it. And let's compare that to Vibrance. Vibrance works in a different way. What Vibrance likes to do is it likes to befriend or to favor the weaker colors. These colors over here which are less saturated. So, if I drag this slider to the left, what we'll see it that it removes those colors more quickly. Those are gone, yet we still have a little color remaining on this side. In contrast, if we increase our vibrance amount, what you'll notice is that we'll primarily work on these colors, the weaker colors.
And what it will do is it will bring out the saturation, it will also add a little more color variety. And so, here, the Vibrant slider we're starting to see is a slider which favors the weaker colors and it also allows us to add more color variety. Let me show you a good example of that. Here, I'll double-click the slider, to bring it back to the default setting of zero. Next, I'm going to change the overall temperature. To do so, I'll drag the slider to the right. So that now, we have some subtle oranges. And a little bit of a purple or a blue color on the right. Now, with Saturation, we can either remove those colors, or increase the saturation. Now, this looks pretty good but it's going to look even better, if we work with Vibrance.
Let me show you that comparison. Again, I'll double-click this slider, to bring it back to zero. If we increase the Vibrance amount, what we're going to see is we now have more color variety, and Saturation. And this is actually more vivid and interesting than it was if we just had the Saturation, as you can see here. So, what Vibrance allows us to do is to bring out colors that are really interesting and fascinating way. All right. Well, this is nice in theory. How does it relate to working on a photograph? Let's take a look at this picture here. This is a photograph that's a portrait that I captured. And here, I'm going to zoom in on it a little bit so we can focus in on the skin tone that we have in the picture.
Now, if we increase the saturation, and we exaggerate it here, you'll notice that the skin tone looks absolutely horrible. The skin tone looks carrot orange. In contrast, if we just increase the Vibrance, what we're going to see is that we have more vibrant colors. We have increased Saturation. Yet in an essence, what it did is it protected these skin tones, so that that doesn't look, as exaggerated. If we zoom out, you can see the entire picture here. Here's with zero Vibrance.
Click to drag to the right. There's with, 100 points of increased Vibrance. So, Vibrance is really helpful, when you want to add some color variety. When you want to add a little boost and when you also want to target or favor those weaker tones. And in this case, you can see it really helps out with skin tones. In contrast, with saturation, you can see how it just is creating a skin tone which is over done. Now, here, I'm obviously over exaggerating these values in order to illustrate a point. Yet what I'm hoping that you're starting to see is that while Vibrance and Saturation both allow you to increase or decrease the color that you have in your photograph, they allow you to do so in a different way.
To summarize, Vibrance allows you to work on color in a way that isn't linear. This favors those weaker tones, so it's primarily targeting those tones and then it's adding Saturation and variety to those areas. Saturation on the other hand is pretty straight forward. Drag to the left to remove or drag to the right in order to increase the color in your photograph. Alright, well, now that we've been introduced to this whole topic of working with the Vibrance and Saturation sliders. Let's take a look at how we can put what we've learned into practise and let's do that in the next few movies.
- How raw processing works in the Develop module
- Evaluating before and after versions of your photos
- Understanding white balance and color temperature
- Correcting exposure with the histogram
- Identifying problem areas with clipping indicators
- Enhancing color with Vibrance, Saturation, and Contrast
- Adding warm tones
- Three ways to remove color from an image
- Changing brightness with the Targeted Adjustment tool
- Processing multiple images
- A Basic panel workflow
- Using snapshots and history