Smart Recipe

Saturation: It’s Not Just Black And White

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Color is a powerful tool across many art forms, but in photography it plays a particularly important role. Whether you are snapping a sunset over the Grand Canyon or carefully positioning yourself to capture a stark landscape, considering your usage of color – or even the strategic lack of – is a crucial component of a photo.

There have long been different ways to saturate color in photography. You may remember color-enhanced film like Kodachrome and Velvia, and you were likely one of the thousands of fans who helped make these film rolls the top sellers they were, because of the stunning way they added vibrance to color photography. Now, digital photography makes it easier than ever to enhance the impact of the color in your photos via the saturation tool.

Saturation, which refers to the amount of gray in a color, is now a staple in all digital image editing software, but some photographers are finding that there can be too much of a good thing.

Even the most skilled and experienced photographers have been lured by the temptation of deeper, brighter colors. It’s the subtlety of these changes that challenge most photographers. You increase the saturation just a bit, step back, and let your eyes adjust to the new colors. Then, you might think just a bit more color could improve the image even more. Before you know it, a once-stunning photo looks oversaturated and garish.

Here are some tips to avoid the seduction of saturation.

NX200 | 1/500s | f/7.1 | 24mm | ISO 100

Enjoy unique landscapes and breathtaking mountains in their natural color

NX200 | 1/500s | f/7.1 | 24mm | ISO 100

• Avoid automatic editing.  If your digital camera has certain “modes” in the editing tools, resist the urge to use more automatic setting such as “vivid.” – Instead, switch to parameters like contrast, sharpness, saturation and color. Using these features will allow you to have more control over how the aspects of your image change. You have control over all these aspects in the image editing software on the Samsung SMART CAMERA NX1000.

• Know when you don’t need it.  Saturation is usually a good tool for editing nature photography – it gives an extra punch that makes the photo more vibrant. But when you use the tool in portraits, the effect can render your subject’s faces red or orange.

• Keep an original.  Compare and contrast. Upload the original images, as well as your edited photo, and view them next to each other. Have the saturation levels enhanced the image or obscured it? Sending your photos to your computer is easy when you use a Samsung SMART CAMERA, because you can connect to your computer or the cloud through the Wi-Fi.

Have you ever felt the allure of color to be too much? What do you do to avoid an over-saturated photo?

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