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#31 Enhancing Color with Vibrance and Saturation

The Vibrance and Saturation sliders are located at the bottom of the Basic tab (Figure 31).

Figure 31

Figure 31 Increase Vibrance to boost less saturated colors. Increase Saturation to boost all color.

By thinking of these settings as teammates, your image enhancements will be better than ever. Both are useful for increasing and decreasing color saturation, yet each creates a different effect. Let’s look a little deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of each.


The Vibrance slider is excellent for making nonlinear color adjustments. It analyzes the color in an image, and rather than affecting all the colors in a uniform way, it treats different colors in different ways. For example, if you increase the Vibrance slider, the bright and highly saturated colors will remain relatively unmodified, whereas the less-saturated colors will become more colorful—in essence, brighter and more varied. If you decrease the Vibrance slider, the weaker colors fade away and only the most prominent colors remain.


The Saturation slider modifies color in a linear fashion, treating all the colors in an image equally. If you decrease the slider to 0, the image turns to grayscale. If you increase the slider to 100, the image becomes oversaturated, and some colors will be clipped (leading to a loss of detail).

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