Today’s Adobe Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is on the power of Saturation and Lightroom’s Targeted Adjustment Tool. Saturation is the secret weapon in great color photography. Saturation is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal when we want to drive the viewer’s attention towards a specific part of our image. Thanks to Photoshop Lightroom’s precise Hue / Saturation / Luminance (HSL) controls there is an easy way to adjust one part of the color spectrum without affecting all of the other colors in your image.
As you will see in today’s tutorial, saturation changes are powerful stuff. Saturation can be defined as the strength, or purity, of a particular color. Adding saturation makes the color stronger, richer, and more vibrant. Reducing the saturation of a color will make it less vibrant, until eventually it becomes a pastel, and then ultimately a shade of grey. But all of this color science stuff misses out on the incredible effect that saturation has on the human eye.
Here is one of the biggest secret in digital photography. The human eye is always attracted to the richest, most saturated, most vibrant colors in a photograph. When you add saturation to one particular color, you are subconsciously telling your viewers eye’s to pay more attention to the items of that color. Adding saturation adds importance. Reducing saturation reduces a color’s importance in the image. This is a powerful psychological trick and it is easy to capitalize on this inherent property of the human eye once you understand how to use Photoshop Lightroom’s Targeted Adjustment Tool.
Tangent: I don’t like the name “Targeted Adjustment Tool.” I love what this tool does for us, but Adobe’s official name doesn’t flow easily off the tongue. In my classes, and in my video tutorials, I prefer to call this amazing feature the “Direct Selector Tool.” I prefer this name because that’s exactly what the tool does. Where you put the cursor is what Lightroom selects. No matter what we call this feature though it is an amazing tool and it is easy to master.
This Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is part of a series of lessons that I have put together on image enhancement. If you are a brand new Lightroom user then I encourage you to watch my Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 101 tutorials and review the older posts in our Lightroom Laboratory series. Learning Photoshop Lightroom is much easier if you start the journey with the appropriate background information.