Too Saturated ?


#1
1. In what area is critique to be sought?
Post Processing. My friends always says that I over saturate my photos. To a certain extend, I do agree with them, however, I find that most of the times, I want my pictures to have vibrant colors and sometimes, the weather doesnt help, so i tend to over rely on LR4. Anyway, I'm pushing 3 images. One is without post, and the other 2, with post processing.

2. What one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
To improve my Post Processing. Something I am concern about.

3. Under what circumstance is the picture taken?(physical conditions/emotions)
Taken in the afternoon sun in Hokkaido. Travel photo.

4. What the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture?
I love this, obviously the subject is gorgeous :) ...




The above image is straight from my camera. I only cropped the top and bottom to give it a 'panaroma' feel. No color PP done at all.


The above image is post process with LR4. I turn on PUNCH and DIRECT POSITIVE, my 2 favourite to bring out the color. However, my friends mention it is over saturated and 'fake'.



The above image is tweaked with LR4. Increase Saturation, Vibrance, Clarity, Contrast, White Clipping, Shadows. This is to ensure I get some exposure on the subject's face, as it was harsh noon sun, and had a bit of shadow around her face. Found the initial blue sky too light for my liking. This is my 2nd go after my friends comments that it was over saturated and fake.

Would like to hear your honest and true views please. Really yearning to learn.
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
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#3
Your 3rd attempt is even more saturated than the 2nd.
2nd is still acceptable except the sky is overdone.

At the beginning it's hard to detect whether one has overdone post process. The more time you spend squinting at the screen the more you forget what nature truly looks like in real life. Most times it's beneficial to take a break, get out of the house and refresh your mind. Think back to when you were there, the colours from the holiday and when you're back in front of the monitor, you should be able to gauge how much is just right. I would say for beginners, saturation and contrast seems to be high on the priority list, as was mine once upon a time. Gradually taste changes and one gets more accepting of other styles and approaches, then you look back and can't believe this is what was once the ideal look.

3rd attempt is over saturated, and too warm. That high an intensity of warmth should only occur with a rising or setting sun.

Important questions to ask/remind yourself when starting post is why did you take the picture? What is the main subject and how to best bring it to attention. Keep refining the image with those points in mind and it should help to curb this tendency of overdoing post.

For my try, I use the lady as main subject and landscape as secondary. The flowers do need a boost here, but not so much that it looks unreal.

-Using your 1st image as base, I first apply a slight S-curve for light contrast.
-Then set vibrance & saturation. Vibrance can give more like +30, but saturation always a max of around +5. Because you will learn that there are other ways of manipulating colour.
-Now I get into Selective Colour (using PS, not sure about LR). For richer red flowers add black to red. Then select Blue and add black for deeper skies. Want whiter clouds? Reduce black in white. So on and so forth, take your time and remember to keep your mind on getting it natural.
-2nd last step I do some light dodge & burn. Dodging some areas of the flower field & the shadow areas of the lady. Dodging also brings out the intensity of a colour, hence by selective dodging I can create small tonality differences which helps with composition. I do some light burning on the dress as well. You should try to recover more details there with your RAW file.
-Finally just a USM of ~+20. (if you used Clarity in LR, then you don't need to do as much sharpening later.)
-additional: I can even duplicate the layer, make it slightly darker, then paint in the landscape to make the lady stand out a little more.
 

Last edited:

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
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#6
i like the saturated look, so no. 2 looks good to me. with the gorgeous floral setting, i might even be tempted to take a separate landscape shot without the model in the frame.
 

Apr 6, 2010
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#7
I'm amazed how cleanly u cloned her out!
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
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#8
i like the saturated look, so no. 2 looks good to me. with the gorgeous floral setting, i might even be tempted to take a separate landscape shot without the model in the frame.
think TS will not be happy that the 'main' subject is cloned out hehe...
however agree that sometimes when there are too many 'main subjects' the image will not be as good

I agree with foxtwo and mod zaren, no.3 is too saturated, no.2 flowers are good but sky is oversaturated. If look at the sky of no.2 the contrast between the clouds and sky also looks unnatural. I think there is selective saturation in LR4, increase saturation in the reds and greens but not too much in the blues. This I think is less intensive, of course if you invest more time and follow foxtwo's steps I'm sure the result will be better :)
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
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#9
Jonathan Ang said:
I'm amazed how cleanly u cloned her out!
Yes! I kept going back and forth and compare. Still boggled. How?!
 

#11
Manage to tweak from the original RAW again, to make it less saturated, but tried to bring the flowers out alittle, but kept the clouds easy.



What do you guys think of it ?
 

seizure

New Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#12
I still like the "punch" that #2 delivers but the saturation of the sky pulls away the attention from the foreground.
#4 looks good enough but I personally feel that more punch can be delivered for the flowers. basically, I would go for #2 foreground with #4 sky.

Just don't over-staturate the flowers as you will lose the details like you did in #3.
My 2c :sweat:
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
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#13
The sky nearer to top still looks too 'blue' and unnatural. You don't need to do too much there, just enough to reduce the grey haze. Agree with seizure. With the cropping chosen, don't make your sky fight for attention when it should just complement. As for how the flowers look, I think they're okay. Final decision is up to you as you were there, if it's accurate to you then all's good.

Because there's little tonality difference (all bright) between lady & flowers, you might have to work a bit to give the 'PUNCH' without saturation. Try to brighten certain parts subtly. Choose dodge with a soft brush midtone & ~12-15%. Size around 1/3 to 1/2 the height of image. Slowly plonk a few clicks around the field, overlap only if no discernible effect. Make sure the white flowers don't lose detail. Work on it, go away for a while, then come back and see if you need to do more. Remember to compare to 'before image' and make sure not to overdo it.


You can consider cropping less of the bottom, as the the red flowers serve as a great foreground anchor (platform for lady). There is currently not enough to serve that purpose well.
The white flowers only act as a filler for the next row of colour. It takes up the most space but is the dullest colour in the group. Our eyes treat it as negative space because it recedes in attention, unless we consciously see it as a subject of interest.
With more red (don't know how much), you get more 'content'. Then you might not feel the need to make the flowers look even more vibrant & punchy, because here you're trading 'colour' for 'content'.
(I'm still trying to put my thoughts into words, so hopefully you kinda get what I'm saying. :) )
 

#14
The sky nearer to top still looks too 'blue' and unnatural. You don't need to do too much there, just enough to reduce the grey haze. Agree with seizure. With the cropping chosen, don't make your sky fight for attention when it should just complement. As for how the flowers look, I think they're okay. Final decision is up to you as you were there, if it's accurate to you then all's good.

Because there's little tonality difference (all bright) between lady & flowers, you might have to work a bit to give the 'PUNCH' without saturation. Try to brighten certain parts subtly. Choose dodge with a soft brush midtone & ~12-15%. Size around 1/3 to 1/2 the height of image. Slowly plonk a few clicks around the field, overlap only if no discernible effect. Make sure the white flowers don't lose detail. Work on it, go away for a while, then come back and see if you need to do more. Remember to compare to 'before image' and make sure not to overdo it.


You can consider cropping less of the bottom, as the the red flowers serve as a great foreground anchor (platform for lady). There is currently not enough to serve that purpose well.
The white flowers only act as a filler for the next row of colour. It takes up the most space but is the dullest colour in the group. Our eyes treat it as negative space because it recedes in attention, unless we consciously see it as a subject of interest.
With more red (don't know how much), you get more 'content'. Then you might not feel the need to make the flowers look even more vibrant & punchy, because here you're trading 'colour' for 'content'.
(I'm still trying to put my thoughts into words, so hopefully you kinda get what I'm saying. :) )
Got it.. will try out later.

Thanks all for the comments. Helped me alot on PP.
 

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