Saturation is calculated as a percentage value between 0% and 100%. Saturation is also referred to as ‘chroma’; The more saturated an image is the more colorful and vibrant it will appear, less color saturation will make an image appear subdued or muted. 0% saturation will always be black. Saturation refers to the intensity of a color. The higher the saturation of a color, the more vivid it is; the other hand, the lower the saturation of a color, the closer it is to gray. The higher the saturation, the further it is to gray and the more vibrant it appears on the image. But the result would look much better if the saturation were less intense. Lower saturation results in muted colors, while higher saturation increases the photo’s vividness. In photography the term ‘saturation’ describes the depth or intensity of color present within an image. Saturation makes colors more vivid (less black or white added). This is precisely why the color wheel artists use is often referred to by folks in the scientific community as the subtractive color wheel. Light Blue and Dark Blue The “L” in HSL: Luminance Saturation refers to the idea of how intense a color looks. It makes your image look more vivid. Saturation (or ‘chroma’) defines the intensity of a hue. You will sometimes find the term chroma used to refer to saturation in the context of photography. What is saturation in photography. Vivid primary colours are highly saturated, while pastel colours are unsaturated. The desaturated version (left) has less color. In Photoshop, the Hue/Saturation tool has three adjustments: Hue (color balance), Saturation (the intensity of color) and Lightness (a combination of contrast and brightness). Let’s see what the photo would look like if the vibrance and saturation were set to +50: Saturation enhanced every color regardless of how muted or colorful it was. Like the example above. A full saturation means that the pure base hue is used. Lightness (or brightness) is the amount of white or black mixed in with the color. Think of it as a gray sponge dipped in a bucket of paint. “White is the lightest; black is the darkest, and all colors fall between those two,” Marcie explains. The Hue/Saturation adjustment is found in most image editing applications, and offers one of the best ways to change colors both globally and selectively. This can result in clipping (over saturation of certain colors which results in loss of detail in those areas) and over saturation of skin tones leaving them looking too orange and unnatural. Saturation is a uniform bumping up the intensity of all colors in your shot, regardless of the starting point of the colors. Quick Tip: On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a color that sticks out in a way that’s not pleasing to the eye (or feels ‘loud’), you can decrease its saturation for a more balanced photo. 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