How to increase the color intensity without affecting already saturated parts

As a photographer, sometimes you need to post-process your photo with different adjustment tools. Perhaps saturation is the most often used tool in photo editing. It controls the color intensity, brightening or deepening colors. Saturation adjusts all pixels in a photo. So the pixels with high saturation are treated the same as the pixels with low saturation. When you increase the saturation, the well-saturated colors will be blown out and the details in those colors will be lost. This is the problem saturation results to. You may have heard of the term "Vibrance". Vibrance does not treat all pixels equally and only adjusts the least saturated colors in the photo. So, the well-saturated colors will be adjusted less and won't be blown out. Vibrance comes in handy when you want to increase the intensity of muted colors without overly saturating colors that already look vivid. Though there are lots of digital programs that come with a vibrance adjustment tool, many of them are not designed for beginner users and hard to use. If you're looking for a simple software program to handle the task, please continue reading this article. In this article, I will walk you through two beginner-friendly and easy-to-use photo editors that help you to get the job done.

#1. Photo Effects by Vertexshare

Use the vibrance adjustment of Photo Effects to increase the color intensity

As the name suggests, Photo Effects by Vertexshare is a piece of photo effect software. The app lets you create stunning photos by making use of a variety of parameters and decorative objects.

You will be greeted by a minimalistic window after launching the program. It is divided into three panels. A series of predefined effects are located in the left-side panel. After you import your photo into the program, you will see the small preview thumbnail of each effect. Most of the window is taken up by the middle panel. This is an area where you can preview the effects you apply to the photo. Here you can compare the differences between the original photo and the changed photo, zoom and pan the photo, and discard all changes you make. A collection of adjustment sections for various parameters are located in the right-side panel. You can alter the exposure compensation, exposure compression, lightness, saturation, and contrast. What's more, you can change the shadows/highlights, tone mapping, high dynamic range, and image sharpening. In addition, it is possible to reduce the noise level. Other adjustable parameters include local contrast, white balance, channel mixer, soft light, vignette filter, and vibrance.

All in all, Photo Effects is a powerful photo filter app. The app allows you to make the regular photo look amazing by applying effects to it in an instant. Owing to the intuitive layout and options, Photo Effects is suitable for both less experienced users and professionals alike.

Let's dive into the part of how to increase the color intensity without affecting already saturated colors with Photo Effects

How to adjust the color intensity without creating oversaturation with Photo Effects

Step 1.

  • Drop your photo onto the working area "Drag and Drop Your Photo here". Or click on "File"->"Add Photo" to add your photo. You can also add the photo by clicking on the "Add" button. If you want to remove the imported photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add" button.

Step 2.

  • Navigate to the right side panel and scroll down to the "VIBRANCE" section. Click on the "VIBRANCE" button to activate the function of adjusting the parameter.

Pastel Tones

This parameter is used for adjusting the vibrance of pastel tones (tones of low saturation) without affecting the saturated tones (tones of high saturation). The higher the value is, the more the pastel tones will be saturated. In other words, increasing the value will increase the saturation of muted colors.

  • Drag the pastel tones slider to adjust the photo effect to fit your needs. Click on and hold the "View button" to compare what the photo had looked like before you made adjustments with what it looks like after you made adjustments. To readjust the photo effect, click on the "Redo" button to discard the adjustments.

The "VIBRANCE" section of Photo Effects

Step 3.

  • When you are satisfied with the adjustments, press "Export Photo" to export the photo to a desired location. You can also click on "File"->"Save As" to save the photo into a destination folder.

#2. Image Online.CO

Adjust the vibrance of the photo with Image Online.CO

Image Online.CO is a piece of versatile online image editing software. It provides a rich assortment of image processing utilities including image converters, image filters and image manipulation tools. This web-based application is totally free for use and there are no restrictions on usage. No need to register and log in. In terms of privacy and security, the image uploaded to its server is highly secured. No one can access your image except yourself. Follow the steps below to intensify muted colors using the vibrance adjustment of Image Online.CO

  • Head over to the site and go to the left pane.
  • Click on "Image Filters" to expand the "Image Filters" tab.
  • Select "Adjust vibrance of image" in the tab.
  • Press the "Select image" button to upload your photo.
  • Use the slider "vibrance range" to adjust the vibrance value. Move the slider to the right. This will apply more saturation to less saturated colors and leave saturated colors alone.
  • Press "Adjust vibrance" to apply the adjustments to your photo.
  • Click on "Download – png" or "Download – jpg" to save the photo as a JPG or PNG to your hard drive.

Use the vibrance adjustment of Image Online.CO to intensify muted colors


Saturation bumps up the intensity of all colors in the photo. It may result in clipping, that is to say, oversaturation of certain well saturated colors. Compared with saturation, vibrance is a smart tool that boosts the least saturated colors and leaves the saturated colors to its original state. You will find vibrance as an editing feature in the photo editors mentioned above when using them. With the help of them, you can make the muted colors look colorful while avoiding clipping the colors that are already saturated.

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