How To Change Photography Hue / Saturation

Hue & Saturation Settings

Hue: Hue is the aspect of color which is described as “red” or “yellow” etc. It is one of the three main attributes of perceived color. The other two are saturation and brightness.

Saturation: purity or strength of color, due to the absence of black, white or gray.

Brightness: Color brightness has to do with the amount of light added to a color.

Before you start using the hue / saturation tool I want to caution you with going overboard with it. Amateur photographers will often discover these tools and then overuse them so much that their photographs become unrealistic looking. This is fine if you are going for a surreal look, but if you’re looking for photographic enhancements then use this tool with extreme caution.

The purpose of the tool is to alter the vibrancy of the colors in the photograph. You can choose to either enhance dull colors or artificially dull bright colors. Both choices can have some interesting visual effects. Take a look at the following photograph for example.

Notice how the colors are very vibrant. At this point in the course you should also be noticing other composition elements within each photograph. Notice the use of the winding “s” line in the river and the feeling that it evokes. Also notice the rule of thirds in use here with the mountains and land taking up 2/3rds of the photograph. Likewise notice the leading line of the river which guides the eye into the photograph. These are just a few of the many photographic elements which have made their way into this picture.

One effect I really like use is to slightly de-saturate photographs with vibrant colors. To edit the hue / saturation of the photograph simply go to “image -- adjustment -- hue / saturation” and the following dialog box will open up.

You can play with these settings to turn down or up any of the three controls in the dialog box. In the photograph above I chose to turn down the hue and saturation as well as slightly turning down the lightness for the following result.

However, the reverse can be done for photographs you take which lack vibrant colors.

The hue / saturation tool is also great for “colorizing photographs”. This adds a surreal look to your photographs but it’s a great way to add a large splash of color to your photograph. All you need to do to colorize your photograph is click the “colorize” button (as seen in the dialog box above” and apply the color wash over the entire photograph.

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