One unfortunate mistake we see regularly is bumping up saturation in an attempt to make photos “POP,” with a heavy-handed approach that gives the shot an ugly, unrealistic appearance and actually ruins the image.
Like with most Photoshop enhancements, a subtle increase in saturation can improve an image, making it look more like what you saw through the viewfinder. But as image-editing expert Blake Rudis likes to say, “Saturation is like salt, and too much of it in the wrong place can quickly ruin your photos.”
In the image-saving tutorial below from the f64 Academy, Rudis explains how to detect over-saturation, and demonstrates a technique he developed that enables you to easily access colors in photos and modify saturation for perfect results every time. So strap yourself in and pay close attention, because you’ll want to take advantage of this very helpful approach.
This unique technique employs a Vibrance adjustment layer in combination with Photoshop’s powerful but easy-to-use Difference Blend mode. You may be surprised to learn what an all-black layer will reveal about the saturation in your images.
Rudis says, “What I see an oversaturated photo it makes me feel something I don’t like,” and this episode begins with an overview of a technique he created to avoid this discomfort. He then takes a deep dive, with detailed step-by-step instructions for enhancing colors in an image without taking things too far.
Along the way, Rudis explains how Photoshop’s Difference Blend mode works, and he demonstrates the best way to use the Vibrance slider. After watching a final overview at the end, you’ll be good to go. And as Rudis says, “You’re in for a treat!”
There’s much more to learn about process your images on Rudis’ popular YouTube channel, so be sure and take a look.
And don’t miss another very useful processing tutorial we posted recently, explaining a simple Photoshop method for shaping light and adding depth to improve landscape photos.