Hue vs Saturation

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hartz, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. hartz

    hartz TPF Noob!

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    Please explain to me in simple terms that even I can understand what is the difference!?

    I suppose the english definition doesn't help me much
    Hue: The color of a color
    Saturation: The fullness of a color

    I can adjust them separately (In picture profiles), but they both seem to make colors more colorful.

    Conversely, how do I know which one to change?

    And why would I adjust one upwards and the other downwards?


     
  2. ctfeet

    ctfeet TPF Noob!

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    Hopefully I'm saying this correctly but my understanding is that hue is making sure a color is correct - red is red, blue is blue, etc. Whereas saturation is the intensity of that color - dark red, medium red, light red, etc.
     
  3. cannpope

    cannpope TPF Noob!

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    Hue is the color itself and saturation refers to the dominance of hue in the color.
     
  4. hartz

    hartz TPF Noob!

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    Maybe hue is like white balance, but in stead of adjusting the temperature it changes something else which also presents like a "color cast"?

    I want to understand Saturation like this: When something is fully red, the photo should show it as "fully red", and not only 80% red?

    This leads me to a question: Intensity vs brightness - are they the same thing?

    When we get +1 EV it is a doubling in .... Energy? Number of photons over a fixed time? Is that the same as doubling the brightness or intensity? Are these just different words for the same thing?

    I'm asking all of this because I discovered that paying attention to white balance helps my pictures to look better, so maybe this is something else which can help me take better pictures.
     
  5. KenC

    KenC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Adjusting hue should not make anything more colorful. Perhaps if you adjust hue and make a green object red it will seem more "colorful" but you've only changed the color. Adjusting saturation changes the amount of other colors present, e.g., going from 150 R, 75 G, 75 B to 150 R, 25 G, 25 B would be an increase in R saturation because there is more red in the resulting color on a relative basis and it will appear "redder."
     
  6. hartz

    hartz TPF Noob!

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  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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  8. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The hue slider you are seeing will "rotate" colors around the color wheel by a specified amount. So when you change that dial, all the colors in the image will cycle through the color wheel, starting from the color recorded in the direction specified.
     
  9. JClishe

    JClishe No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally I've found this to be a difficult concept to grasp until I actually started making HSL adjustments in Lightroom. Once you've done it for awhile and witness the changes that each adjustment makes, it starts to sink in.

    As to when use them, you're the artist so you need to figure that out based on what you're attempting to portray. I find myself adjusting saturation and luminance more than hue. For example a little bit of added red saturation can make lipstick pop, and bringing down the blue luminance can give you a deeper blue sky.
     

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