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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Do I saturate/vibrate my pictures too much? I'd love to hear your advice!


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milk is white

 
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Hi everyone.

I use Aperture to manage my photos, and although I am somewhat of a novice at it, I can tell that a lot of tools would be very handy. For example, I love these 2 sliders under the adjustments tab, saturate and vibrance. As you can tell, I love putting them up all the way.


With my library of over 5000 pictures, I've gone through many shots and flicked the saturation and vibrance all as extreme as it can get, and people (who aren't really into photography) have said that the colors are amazing and the pictures are great.

However, after I moved the sliders all the way to the right for like the hundredth time, it came to me...do my pictures look unnatural? am I taking away from the shot? will this have any consequences in the future, if i wish to change it back (i.e. will the quality be affected)?

Here are some examples...

Here is the mexico pavilion in disney world, all saturated/vibrated and the colors popping out...


and here's the original shot, without any of that:


I mean, my eyes are drawn to the first one obviously, but what do you guys think? I kind of miss the realism in the second one.

Here's a shot from Disney's All Star Movies resort, all saturated:


and here's the original shot without any edits:



Here's perhaps one of the best examples of saturated vs none of that;

saturated and vibrated to the extreme:

and the original:



Can someone please give me some tips? I can't decide whether I LOVE the saturation or if it's unrealistic.

Thanks!
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skye

 
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I think that though the color looks cool, it detracts from the original image...

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The one with Buzz Lightyear doesn't seem as bad b/c there's a lot of bright, artificial colors anyway that are enhanced with the saturation. But the other photos with the more natural colors don't look good that way. They kind of hurt to look at. That's not an insult, it's just an observation. There's other ways to enhance coloring without just over-saturating.

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Mama Luigi

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skye View Post
I think that though the color looks cool, it detracts from the original image...
Agreed. It's cool for occasional use, like when you want to make something look cartoonish (I think it works okay with the Toy Story picture since that's all about bright colors). But you shouldn't use it for everything. I also think it makes the pictures look a little grainier.
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aggie97

 
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I think I understand the effect you are trying to get and as a previous poster stated, I think you get that effect in the buzz photo. However, I don't think that effect works for all photographs. Really need to look at the content and understand the natural limitations of the subjects involved.
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Try changing the saturation of different colors (Red, Magenta, Yellow, Blue, Cyan) found at the bottom of the adjustment toolbox.

Increasing yellow to make the pyramid stand out more, or blue or green to make the palm tree of ocean stand out, etc...

I have an example of some lions I took some photos of that I'll post. I desaturated the green grassy hills in the background, and increased the yellows and reds to make the lions stand out.
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The increased saturation and vibrancy also highlight exposure issues

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Have a quick read here to understand the difference between the Saturation and Vibrance adjustment tools.
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Macaflan

 
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Well, it all comes to what you like. You are going to get the phone book of responses with "do I do this too much...."

There are colors that look realistic and those that don't. Most photography that has won awards, etc... has made a statement either by subject, or the way the subject is portrayed with the use of light and color. BW photography is all about the light and the subject; color photography has a bit more to do with light and color than the subject.

You appear to enjoy the look of a bit unrealistic saturation of color, but sometimes in real life, this exists, just not usually with so many different elements to a photo.

Here are some guidelines to go by:

The human eye moves this way:
1) B&W to color
2) dark to light
3) blurry to defined/sharp
4) dull/washed out to contrast

With this in mind, you may be able to direct those in your photos to your main subject a bit better by making the key element of your photo just the way you like it (i.e. turbo charged sat and vib), then mask in photoshop those other elements (such as the crowd of visitors) to reduce the sat and vib on them by 50%.


This will probably raise the hairs from some that have photography degrees, but this is what I have observed from those photos people would pay thousands for.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macaflan View Post
Well, it all comes to what you like. You are going to get the phone book of responses with "do I do this too much...."

There are colors that look realistic and those that don't. Most photography that has won awards, etc... has made a statement either by subject, or the way the subject is portrayed with the use of light and color. BW photography is all about the light and the subject; color photography has a bit more to do with light and color than the subject.

You appear to enjoy the look of a bit unrealistic saturation of color, but sometimes in real life, this exists, just not usually with so many different elements to a photo.

Here are some guidelines to go by:

The human eye moves this way:
1) B&W to color
2) dark to light
3) blurry to defined/sharp
4) dull/washed out to contrast

With this in mind, you may be able to direct those in your photos to your main subject a bit better by making the key element of your photo just the way you like it (i.e. turbo charged sat and vib), then mask in photoshop those other elements (such as the crowd of visitors) to reduce the sat and vib on them by 50%.


This will probably raise the hairs from some that have photography degrees, but this is what I have observed from those photos people would pay thousands for.
there is plenty of excellent photography that ignores normal technical rules, exposure, composition etc... but that is not to say that it is not useful to learn these base rules.

BTW all photography is worthless without subject IMO.

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jbarket

 
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I don't think supersaturating an image is necessarily a bad thing, but I think it has limitations and applies better to some objects than others.

In my personal opinion, which should have no impact on your photography, I think there's a stopping point with both that's below full blast, even on shots you want well saturated.

Like I said though, subject matter is everything. If I shoot a portrait, I'm likely to do per color saturation adjustments (I use Lightroom, but the concept is similar) and use very little additional saturation/vibrance across the board... otherwise you end up with attack of the carrot people... but if I'm shooting a flower or an inanimate object or the like, I'll probably blow it past reality, even to the point of adjusting the hue slightly in places.

If you're really into super saturation and sort of bending the rules, you might look into lomography. A lot of lomo cameras will come out with insane colors. It's really a fantastic effect.

Bottom line, like others have said, they're your photos. You can do whatever the **** you want with them. The end product should be for you and nobody else.
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scathe

 
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it all comes down to what you prefer, ****, if you will enjoy looking at your photos all blurry then go for it, if you like maxed out saturation, go for it ...

in the palm image I think some oversaturation works well on the leaves but it's ridiculous on the background

personally I don't like applying filters to the whole image ... Macaflab mentioned masking and that's the way to go for me too

but it is fun to experiment with what look you like (not always by editing though) and that's what it's all about
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Vomit Stain

 
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I hope you dont mid but I played with your picture for a few
minutes.This still might not be what you are after but I thought I'd give it a shot. I think you are trying to get results by attacking the area you want to fix. Sometimes its better to adjust other parts of the pic to draw more attention to your subject. Thinkf of it as music. If you want to increase the bass it might be better to reduce the treble a little to enhance the bass. just a thought.
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milk is white

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vomit Stain View Post
I hope you dont mid but I played with your picture for a few
minutes.This still might not be what you are after but I thought I'd give it a shot. I think you are trying to get results by attacking the area you want to fix. Sometimes its better to adjust other parts of the pic to draw more attention to your subject. Thinkf of it as music. If you want to increase the bass it might be better to reduce the treble a little to enhance the bass. just a thought.
wow, very cool! thanks a lot for taking some time and playing around with them, i appreciate it.

now, how would i go about applying filters to only parts of the image?

thanks!
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