Watch That Saturation Slider!

We just got back from Phoenix where we spent a very enjoyable week-end with my brother and his family, celebrating some special birthdays. One of the fun parts of the week-end was a trip to the Litchfield Arts and Culinary Festival where we ate some great pulled pork sandwiches, tasted some fine Arizona wines (yes, there are wineries in Arizona), saw some local musicians and watched a cooking demonstration where the chef for one of the Wigwam Resort’s restaurants made a New Orleans gumbo with shrimp, chicken and Andouille sausage. Here’s a recipe if you’re curious.

We also had some time to stroll around looking at the art show, taking in the work of the local artists. As an occasional exhibitor of photographs myself, I was very curious to see the work of local photographers. Arizona is home to many avid landscape photographers and there was a good representation of images of local landmarks. Many of the local artists were also exhibiting works set in Europe, with Italy seeming to be the subject of choice.

One common element of nearly all photographers was a seeming tendency to abuse the saturation slider in Photoshop or Lightroom. Now, I’m not tame when it comes to using the saturation slider myself. I find that digital cameras, especially the high-end DSLR’s tend to produced flat images when they are stored as raw files. A judicious amount of saturation and local contrast enhancement is usually needed to make the images look life-like. However, there is a limit. Burano, an island in the Venetian lagoon, is colorful enough as it is. We don’t need to abuse the saturation to get images that pop, yet that’s exactly what was on offer at Litchfield.

Here’s an example of some Italian images saturated to my taste.

Roma – Ties in the Window

Roma – Chestnut Vendor

Moena – Window Decorations

Moena – Storefronts

Enough, but not too much. Watch out for excessive use of that saturation slider!


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