Adding color with the Saturation control

The Saturation control simply adds color to the image. That's possible because raw images don't actually contain visible color; instead they store color information (RGB values) for each pixel — which Camera Raw interpolates. The result may not match what you saw (or wanted to see) when you shot the image; when you view a raw image in Camera Raw, color almost always needs to be increased. You can do that by using the Saturation control to bring out the color values stored for every pixel in the image.

There isn't an Auto check box for the Saturation control; adding color is totally up to you. For most of my photos, a saturation setting of 20 to 30 usually gives me the amount of color I want in my photos. Experiment with the Saturation control to get closer to the results you want in your photos. Figure 9-19 shows the photo I've been working on with the Saturation control set to a value of 30.

Increasing saturation can affect the overall white balance of an image. When adjusting saturation, re-evaluate the color of the image and don't be afraid to tweak the white balance again using the Temperature control. After adding color to the image using the Saturation control, I went back to the Temperature slider and changed the setting from 5500 to 5350 to reduce the "warmth" in the image (which became exaggerated when I increased the saturation).

Figure 9-19: Increasing color saturation.

156 Part III: Working with Raw Images

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