What is the Difference Between Vibrance and Saturation?
Photoshop and Lightroom have settings for both Vibrance and Saturation. It may not be immediately obvious what the difference is between vibrance and saturation.
Vibrance Versus Saturation
What is Saturation?
Saturation affects all the colors in your image, equally. You’ll have brighter blues, greens, oranges and yellows. If you’re photographing people, you may find that your skin colors get too orange if you over do it with saturation.
For this example, I maxed the saturation. Notice that the colors are all subtly brighter, but the increased in skin tone is unnatural.
When should you use Saturation?
Use saturation to help make color photographs pop by enhancing the colors in landscape photographs or images that don’t have people.
What is Vibrance?
While saturation pumps up all the colors in an image, vibrance affects the less saturated colors.
Notice in this example, the greens and blues are especially bright, but the oranges of the skin tone are not as bright as they were in the saturation example.
When should you use Vibrance?
Use vibrance to enhance portraits because it will make your colors pop without making your skin tones unnatural.
Final image shows that greens and blues have been enhanced without making them unnaturally bright.
Additional examples of Vibrance versus Saturation.