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Too much color saturation? Not a good thing.
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Too much color saturation? Not a good thing.

Don't be a super soaker saturater


Congress should pass legislation against those who super saturate. Photoshop's saturation control is like the volume control for color, and pictures are being pumped up like everybody is deaf.

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Photoshoppers want their pictures to grab attention just because their color is loud. Composition weak? Just dial up the color!

Left: The image right out of the camera. Right: Waaay too much saturation!

Common examples of this behavior include autumn scenes erupting in never before seen brilliance, hazy blue skies dialed up until they seem to be dripping wet paint, sunsets sizzling with sci-fi scintillation, and clothing, fruits, and lawns all bursting with psychodelic color.

Just ducky? These bathtub companions are soaking in blinding color.

Unretouched orignal shows these squishy little guys in all their natural, rubberized glory.

The cure

The next time you open the saturation function in Photoshop, pretend you're in the library and ask your colors to whisper. Don't shout and scream: "I'm the brightest green ever" or "Have you ever seen an apple redder than me".

Instead of increasing saturation of the entire picture, do it selectively. Either by choosing a color in the saturation function or by first selecting the area (with a feather of a couple of pixels) you'd like more intense color and apply it just there—but lightly so it doesn't look artificial.

Fine-tune color saturation by only saturating selected colors.

Soon, you'll enjoy the natural world more and begin to accept its colors as they are; you may also that with less intense saturation that you can get good looking prints on the first try. Maybe you'll even shift your attention to composition, subject selection, or time of day to really improve your photos.



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