Give Your Colors a Nice Kick With This Lightroom Trick

The great thing about the program Lightroom is that there are usually a number of different ways to accomplish a task. In this video I show you one fantastic way to create some nice colors in your photo by using a slider tool that you might not have even touched before. As I usually do the video is short - about 2 minutes - and I've provided some samples below to see a before and after as well as steps for those that prefer to read it versus watch a video.

I learned this tip by reading an article by Levi Sim of Photofocus about a year ago. It's one of those simple yet effective little tricks in Lightroom. As a wedding photographer in Arizona I am always looking for quick and easy ways to apply general adjustments to all my photos that give them that subtle boost. 

Often when we think of making our colors punch in Lightroom most of us head to the "Vibrance" slider. This method to give your colors a nice kick in the rear is located down in the Camera Calibration menu. Focus your attention on the Blue Primary menu and move the "Saturation" slider to the right. Don't be shy with it. You can usually move it up to at least 30-40 and often all the way to 100 without it doing harm to your image.  

So simple right? When you do this you'll see many colors in the photo get that extra kick. The change is subtle enough as well that you could apply this change to just about all your photos via a preset. Here are some photos before and after. 

Go give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below. 

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David C's picture

WOW! Just tried it on bunch of my photos and it works just like you described it! Thank you for sharing!

Trevor Dayley's picture

Awesome David C. Thanks for kind words man.

David C's picture

For sure! I've been busy updating some older projects using this technique.. It's like they're completely new photos! Seriously blown away!

Bob Bell's picture

Nifty! Cheers Trevor, sub'd :)

Jon Fleming's picture

Awesome! Thanks for sharing Trevor!

peter skoczenski's picture

These tips are great! Keep em coming!

Michael Alfaro's picture

I agree

thomasbullock's picture

I just applied it to an entire shoot. and now i feel terrible about what i put out before lol

Anonymous's picture

Ha, I thought the same thing. Now I have to re-edit EVERYTHING!

Ir Valentin's picture

Before making this change , change also the option in Adobe Standard to Camera Standard from the top menu. It will be a big difference.

Digital Macdaddy's picture

Where exactly do you find this, and in what view do you need to be in? Grid View? I'm having trouble finding this option. Thanks!

Digital Macdaddy's picture

Nevermind, I found it. I was trying to find it on a composite file that I have imported into Lightroom from Photoshop, so it didn't give me those options. Just an embedded one.

Dan E's picture

Trever, If you don't mind me adding to that. Based on what you did, If you pump up the green saturation as well as the blue, and bring the red down 3/4's of the way, play with the red slider in the negative area, it has a pop but a nice overall look. But I think your technique is great! It looks way nicer than using the vibrance slider

Mark Kelly's picture

Excellent Trevor, also just sub'd these tips are so easy and give great effects thanks

Michael Alfaro's picture

I freaking love your Lightroom tutorial/tips so simple but effective (: keep them coming

taytus's picture

Very good tip!

John Buckingham's picture

Thanks for posting this article very helpful!


Thought I asked this already but maybe a different forum... could someone explain why this works? I'm curious if this can also be achieved in other ways?

Bee Lovan's picture

wow, this is so easy but very useful, Thanks for sharing :)

Oliver Lindekugel's picture

Just great! Thank you so much for sharing!

Barrington Brown's picture

Nice tip, will start using it.

Spicy Tee's picture

A friend just showed me this Tips about a month's back and I'm loving it. It is just too much on a dark skin tone sometimes especially when you already shoot in camera vivid. But I love it. Nice Trevor.

Keith Johnson's picture

Wow, I paid for a class on LR and this one simple tip did more than I learned in that class. I do have one question for you, in your post process, when do you usually apply this trick at the end of beginning? Also, awesome web site. Thank you so much for this tip.