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Learn Photography

Photo Tips > Richer Color

Richer color is color that's more saturated.

Saturated colors are more pure.

Landscapes and still lifes may benefit, while portraits generally do not.

You can increase the saturation while photographing, and back at home in front of the computer.

We'll look at each situation.

While Photographing

JPEG Processing

When you press the shutter release, your camera processes the information from the sensor into a JPEG file.

You can change how the processing is done.

In your instruction manual index, look up JPEG profile.

Or, if JPEG profile is not listed, look for the appropriate phrase below.


Picture Style


Film Simulation


Picture Control


Picture Mode


Custom Image


Picture Wizard


Image Parameter


Creative Style

Turn to the section, and read the descriptions of the different JPEG profiles.

For example, there may be a JPEG profile called Vivid or something similar.

Look for the phrased increased saturation.

When you change a JPEG profile, be sure to remember to change it back to a normal JPEG profile.

Exposure Compensation

You can use the exposure compensation feature of your camera to make a darker exposure.

The darker exposure makes the colors appear to be more saturated.

Try -0.5 and -1.0.

When using exposure compensation, a +/- icon will appear.

This is a reminder to change the exposure compensation setting back to 0.0.

Go to Exposure Compensation.

Polarizing Filter

A Polarizing filter can take the glare off of surfaces, such as foliage.

By removing the glare, the underlying color will appear to be more saturated.

Go to Polarizing Filter.

In Front of the Computer

Raw File Processing

As described above, when you press the shutter release, your camera takes the information from the sensor and processes it into a JPEG file.

However, you can save the sensor information as a raw file

Most digital SLR cameras allow you to save the raw file, all by itself, or along with a JPEG file.

You can process a raw file to increase the color saturation.

With Photoshop Elements, use the Saturation and Vibrance sliders.

The Saturation slider will increase the saturation of all colors.

The Vibrance slider will increase the saturation of only the desaturated colors.

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

You can also create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

Hue is the color.

And, as mentioned, saturation is how pure the hue/color is.

With a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, you can adjust all of the colors.

Or, if you select a color in the Edit box, you can limit the adjustment to that color.