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Old 11-15-2007, 11:39 AM
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clupica clupica is offline
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Default To saturate or not; that is the question!

Tacky, I know! But I find it interesting that quite often I see thwe comment that a photo is over-saturated. And surely this is a valid comment. But I have also noticed that a HUGE number of the most popular photos are saturated to the to point of driving my monitor bonkers.

It seems to me that the real question is how much do I saturate. And this is were artisitc sense (and good taste) take over. The best photos seem to be the ones where the photographer has enhanced the saturation just the right amount.

What are your thoughts on hue/saturation manipulations?

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Old 11-15-2007, 11:50 AM
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nicoz nicoz is offline
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Default Re: To saturate or not; that is the question!

Agreed. The french national health services had this excellent catch saying "la secu c'est bien, en abuser ca craint" ("health services, that's good, abusing it is crap", sort of...).
Oversaturation is tacky, at least I don't like it. Landscape photographers seem to be more prone to suffering from the over-staurating desease.
And washed out colors are dull.
Compromise is the word, just like for sharpening etc...
However, I'm saying this but my photos are adjusted using a crap uncalibrated laptop screen, maybe that they all look super flashy and ridiculously sharp on someone else's screen...
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: To saturate or not; that is the question!

For me, the objective is to get the photo looking as it did when I took it. Therefore, enough saturation is enough. Over-vibrant colours look very strange - especially when skin is involved.

Even when I was working solely with film, I was careful not to over-use Velvia as the rendition of greens and blues could sometimes be excessive.

So - saturate by all means but don't over-saturate would be my suggestion.

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Old 11-17-2007, 03:47 PM
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Dyerco Dyerco is offline
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Default Re: To saturate or not; that is the question!

Hi Charlie
I do use the saturation tool but generally never more than 25% as I want to enhance colour for a little bit of punch (mostly in landscapes). It is no different than using a polarizer to get those postcard blues in the sky. I shoot in RAW with no in camera adjustments so the images tend to be a little lifeless and unsharpened. I like to then post process my images as I see fit. Many SLR cameras have the ability to have settings such as sharpness and saturation preset by the user which can enhance the finished product without as much post processing which is fine but I think as a person gets more experienced they will gravitate to making their own choices.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:05 PM
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AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: To saturate or not; that is the question!

Everyone has their own uniquely different artisitic vision.

When I shot film, I was a Velvia shooter, so now I just bump the contrast/saturation when I convert the RAW file to re-create that effect.

Some folk used to shoot more natural tone films; or prefer their colours muted, and that's their choice too. Sometimes that is the best choice.

Others use B&W. Again it's a valid option, for some.

At the end of the day it's all a matter of personal taste. There simply isn't a right or wrong answer.

In my experience the public seem to prefer either high saturation images or B&W, I don't feel the midground is very well represented; whether that's because people prefer strong images, or that's because that's what we expect them to want though, well, it's chicken and egg time ;)
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:26 PM
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bobpalin bobpalin is offline
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Default Re: To saturate or not; that is the question!

I agree with AdrianW, there is no right or wrong answer, make your pictures as you like them. However, the landscapes I see in galleries or for sale online are always over saturated, or 'dramatic' as their makers would undoubtedly say. This suggests to me that the photo buying public likes pictures like that. Last year I made a calendar (and this year actually), I made a few initial copies and showed them to people, the most common statement was that the colours were washed out. In the final version some of the pictures were very saturated, the one that many people liked best looked nothing like reality!
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