why do many photographers....

David Crosbie

Well-Known Member
.... feel the need to boost saturation in their photos to almost sickening levels.

Not a day goes past where I look at photos on flickr, and dont see images with colours that we all know perfectly well didnt come out the camera.

Im all for people giving a tiny little nudge to slightly flat looking images, for a little punch. But when you end up with colours that look like they came out a comic book. its just going too far.

Seems many 5D owners seems guilty of this too!!

Or is it just me?
I can tell you one thing for sure not a single one of my images has a natural colour to them, I fiddle with colours no end. All your pictures that I have seen are pretty In thier naturalness, it's just not for everyone.
That said I know the sort of image you are refering to... The ones that almost look as of the person has tried to catch your eye by boosting saturation and contrast - usually done on landscape photography... I'm not overly keen on it either... But, just because I don't like it doesn't mean I don't think it has a place.
One thing I do like about that sort of photography is that it helps me work out what I do like, in the same way as I can be inspired to try and replicate something I am often inspired to try and avoid a certain look... Much of my early digital work was over the top with ita colours ... It was just part of a learning curve in finding what i like.... That might be the same for seme of these people, or indeed they might just like images like that... There is a place in photography for all types of images. You have every right to not like it, but I would suggest giving it it's space as just someone elses style... Like music for eg, I like a lot of music... Bit "heavy metal" does nothing for me... But I can understand that it has a place in the spectrum of music
Before cameras artists had to paint the pictures themselves. I'm sure many were capable of representing realitity closely but very few old paintings are actually realistic. Paintings were (are) rendered to a particular idealology that ended up with portraits that often looked only like the artist or commissioning subject wanted them to loo like.

This is no different to photography in many ways but as it is a medium available to the masses many different forms of "idealology" exist, some more sophisticated than others. I think that the way to look at it is not how succesful it is but what was the intent behind it. Tweaks here or there our a hard nudge or processing to geta certain effect are often thought through, random fiddling and then thinking "Oh that looks nice, I'll stop there" usually just ruins many photos or are just attempts to make uninteresting photos good.
Never underestimate the lack of taste of beginners. On the other hand, sometimes an image just seems to demand pushing the limits, even for a seasoned shooter. The line where perfection occurs, is in the mind of each individual viewer. No shooter can please all of the people all of the time.
Are we discussing HDR here?

Clearly HDR landscapes are deliberately over saturated and contrast-y.

On the other hand there are some images which are not intended to be HDR and are simply poorly done.

The other possibility is screen calibration issues. I haven't got into my photography enough to explore doing this yet, not least as they tend to be expensive, and I'm not trying to sell my work. I do try and look at my photos on other people's PC, to check my calibration isn't too far out.