Tag Archives: color

Is Saturation Important?

What is saturation?  Simply put, saturation is the level of color in a color.  What?  Let’s say you have the color blue.  If the color blue is 100% it is fully saturated.  As you start to decrease the color blue to 90%, 80%, 70% and so on it becomes less saturated.

Another way of thinking of it is visually.  If I have a blue that is 100% color blue it shows as a bright pure blue.  As I add the color orange to it will become less blue.  Why orange?


Orange is the secondary color that is opposite of blue, a primary color, on a color wheel.  So, the more orange I add to the blue the less blue it becomes.  It’s still blue, just not as blue.  The blue becomes duller in intensity.  The color looks softer.

How does this help in photography or interior decorating/design?  Well, In nature fully saturated colors are almost impossible. When you are mixing and matching photographs, paintings, pictures and the colors painted on a wall this is worth remembering depending if a natural look in terms of color, or an unnatural look, if desired.

Some of you are saying,  “ I’ve seen fully saturated colors in photographs.”  Well, yes and no.  Assuming that the photographer did not alter the photo and that it is natural, you can get a very high level of saturation.  But it still is, technically, not 100% saturated.   Our eyes perceive it to be saturated but remember a computer can tell a .1% difference in color but can your eye cannot  Also, this degree of saturation depends on exterior forces such as the amount of light, the source, and even the time of day.

One way that you can control the saturation in a picture is to use colored filters.  These are either a glass filter you can place on your lens or a piece of plastic wrapped around your flash if you are in a studio.  A large following of photographers prefer to use this method, while others still prefer to use post production methods such as Photoshop to make these changes.  Either way, you can get nice vibrant in your face photographs, or the dreamy, soft variety.  The choice is yours.

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6 New Abstract Shots of Water


Water is a fun medium to shoot during the day but at night it is a real challenge.  While the camera focused on the surface of the water it wanted  to pick up the reflections in the water and try to focus on them instead.  I took these photographs strictly for artistic flair.  The challenge was to get the light reflection in the water the way I wanted it.

1.  The focus-  The auto-focus in the camera wanted to keep up focus on the image in the water and not the water itself.  I found that by switching to a manual focus or aiming slightly above my “target” on auto-focus gave me the best results.

2.  Depth of Field  -You want a deep depth of field.  Otherwise your colors will become blurred and out of focus in the water.  You also will not see the top of the water in a continuous way.  Now, this might be your preference and I did take shots that had this quality, however, I liked the ability to tell that water was the subject of the pictures.  It’s really a personal preference.

3.  Exposure-  I used long exposures starting at 1/2 to 3″ .  I had issues with the wind.  Sometimes the wind would pick up causing waves in the pond.  The longer the exposure, the more “out of focus” the picture became.  I also tried ISO’s from 200-800.  One thing was very clear.  Using a tripod is not an option.  I also found that using the timer on the camera allowed me to take the shot without touching the camera.  It was cool in the sense that with the ever-changing environment, I sometimes did not know if I had the setting right or not because I was not looking through the eyepiece at the time of the shot.

Overall, it was an exciting shoot.  I got to work with settings on my camera that I do not normally get to play with.  The thing to remember with night shots is that it may take some experimentation to find the right settings for your camera.  But then again,  that is the fun part of working a shoot.  When was the last time you got to play and take pictures in a creative and fun way?  Why not try your own night shoot?


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