Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Color Saturation

Posted by larrylohrman on April 6, 2006


I woke up this morning to a new super-saturated world I haven’t seen for quite a while! All the photographs on my wall have deep rich colors and even the colors on my monitor look different than they did yesterday. No, I’m not taking drugs. Yesterday I had laser surgery in both eyes to remove a film that was forming on the lenses of my eyes. It’s a long story but the bottom line is as of today I’m seeing colors as saturated and beautiful as everyone else! At least I assume everyone sees colors this saturated. Maybe not! How would you know?

My new view of the world got me thinking about how people see colors in differently and color saturation can really grab your attention. One of my favorite interiors is the inside of the local Triple X Drive Inn. The equirectangular photo above is a representation of a 360 Spherical QuickTime VR image I took of its interior. One of the things I like about this interior is the riot of colors. I increased the saturation of this image when I made it originally so it better shows the environment. Neither the QuickTime image or the JPG above looks as saturated as the 13×19" print on my wall done with an Epson 2200 inkjet printer.

You’ve probably noticed in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements how when you convert to JPG images loose saturation when an image is changed to the gamut used for JPG. This is why I usually exaggerate the saturation before I convert to JPG. Of course you have to be careful not to over do it. A saturated image always grabs attention. Why not use that fact to your advantage when rendering marketing images you want to grab attention?

For those that have been photographing long enough to remember Velvia slide film, color saturation was the big attraction with Velvia. Modern day digital shooters have to increase the saturation themselves if they want to get that saturated Velvia look. With digital don’t have to increase the saturation uniformly all over an image you can use a saturation layer to increase the saturation of just a flower arrangement in a room or some flowers in the yard to make them stand out. Try it out, it can be very effective.

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