Why do colors get more saturated in bright sunlight?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kkamin, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

    Aug 25, 2009
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    1. Why do colors get more saturated in bright sunlight? Compared to an overcast day when the tones seem more muted. Anyone know?

    2. Is there a way to reproduce these effects: saturated tones and muted tones in the studio?

    3. After it rains outside, but is still cloudy, everything looks more saturated to me. What causes this?

    Thanks for reading? Any help is appreciated.

  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Oct 26, 2003
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    The biggest thing here is always the perception of tone. Colour changes due to grey lighting rather than blue sky + orange sun, but the saturation will (should) remain similar.

    The tone changes dramatically. When you're outside on a cloudy day you cast no shadow. Your body is somewhat evenly lit from every direction. On a sunny day the light comes from one place, and casts harsh shadows all over. I believe it's this perception of tone which leads you to believe that the results are more saturated whereas the light is simply softer and has a different white balance.

    In the studio you can customise the harshness of the light through various umbrellas, softboxes, direct shooting, and colour by using non-neutral reflectors, though I haven't seen this done it could be used to approximate sun + sky light.

    In the last case are you talking about everything being wet? The water creates a specular shine on all objects. This creates microcontrast everywhere. Kind of like a HDR effect on a photo. I think this may be creating the perception of increased saturation.
  3. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Mar 24, 2008
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    St. Louis

    You are the man! Garbz!

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