Those wonderful rich colours in photos?

Started Dec 7, 2017 | Discussions thread
Krav Maga Senior Member • Posts: 2,217
Re: Those wonderful rich colours in photos?

Brisn5757 wrote:

Krav Maga wrote:

Brisn5757 wrote:

I've seen some great photos on the internet such as rich strong colours in church interiors or garden scenery and was wondering if most of it is the result of post production, if not then is it one factor such as good lens or maybe a good sensor.

I've tried to bring out rich colours in some of my photos in post-production but often when enhancing the photo starts to look surreal; so I'm thinking if something is missing in the first place its difficult to create in post production.

Comments are welcome thanks.


It's kind of a subjective thing and may have different meanings to different people. For example, "strong" colors is not the same as "rich" colors for me.

A lot of the photos you see that have "rich" colors--as I interpret it--may not be overly saturated at all, but rather subtle things have been done in pp that really make a photo pop, as it were. For example, balancing complementary colors against each other can vastly improve the richness of a photo's colors. Also, techniques like subtle overlays of solid color layers can add that "richness" as well as actually desaturating some colors. This is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

Various techniques that are subtly applied with multiple layers that taken in their entirety can make a huge difference in a way that simply bumping up the vibrancy or saturation cannot.

It may be beneficial to Google "complementary colors" "color balance" "color grading" and "curves" depending on the software you're using for pp.


There's the quick and easy side to adjustments in Photoshop then there are the more advanced approach which I need to learn more. Thanks for the google suggestion.


One thing is to be cautious with simply increasing saturation or going into "vivid" mode. I'm not certain if this photo fits your definition of "rich" colors:

But, to my eye the colors seem fairly rich. On this pic, shot RAW, after playing with the balance of complementary colors, which actually increases color contrast and using a solid color adjustment layer in Overlay mode with only about 4 % opacity, my final layer was a Hue/Saturation layer in which I globally decreased saturation something like -12.

A similar approach was taken with this photo:

My very last adjustment layer was decreasing the global saturation by -9.

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