In This Corner, Vibrance; In the Other Corner, Saturation

by David Miller

There are three adjustment sliders in the “Presence” section of the “Basic” panel in the Development module (whew, did you get all of that?): Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. There have been a few posts here on Inside Lightroom about Clarity and how it affects your images. That leaves two tools—err, more like one & a half—left to cover: Saturation and Vibrance.

Photoshop jockies and hobbyist photographers alike will recognize the saturation tool does and where to use it: bumping up the saturation of your image will intensify the colours in your image, bumping it down will take your image closer to monochrome. As always, the easiest explanation can be made by adjusting an image and comparing the before and after to see the effect; the version on the left is the original as imported by Lightroom, while the version on the right has had its Saturation increased. And, being humans, the eye will automatically pick out the fact that the skin tones are a little too saturated and appear orange, as a result.