Facebook Pixel Making sense of Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation in Lightroom 2

Making sense of Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation in Lightroom 2

In Lightroom 2 the collection of Basic fixes available for your image includes three Presence sliders that sit together in the Develop module: Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation.


This week I’ll explain the differences between these three adjustments and how they affect your photos. In each of the screenshots below I have set the slider value to 100 – way more than you would use to fix your image but a setting that will show clearly how the fixes work.

Step 1


Let’s tackle Saturation first. The Saturation slider works similarly to the Saturation slider in Photoshop or any other graphics software. It lets you adjust the saturation of the colors in the image – drag it to the right to brighten and deepen the colors in the photo. If you drag to the left, you remove some of the depth and brightness in the colors and, if you go all the way to -100 you end up with a desaturated or monochrome image.

One of the problems with using the Saturation slider is that it adjusts all the pixels in the image – those where the color is lacking in saturation and those that are already highly saturated. In trying to fix the pixels that need a color boost you can end up shooting some other pixels into right over the edge so the colors tend towards the ridiculous.


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Helen Bradley
Helen Bradley

is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at Projectwoman.com.

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