How to intensify muted colors without oversaturating already vibrant colors

Color adjustment is an important factor to affect the appearance of the photo. One tool regarding color adjustment is saturation. Saturation is to control the intensity of the color. You may encounter such a problem when using saturation. After increasing the intensity of the mute colors by adjusting the saturation level, you will find that already vibrant colors are oversaturated. This is because saturation increases the intensity of all colors equally, regardless of how muted the colors are. This is when you need vibrance rather than saturation for color adjustment. Vibrance is a smart tool that increases the intensity of the mute colors and leaves the well-saturated colors alone. There are tremendous photo editors with the function of vibrance on the market. But many of them are not suitable for photo editing beginners and very difficult to use. If you are looking for easy-to-use software products to handle the task, please continue reading this article. In this article, I will take you through some beginner-friendly photo editors that help you intensify muted colors without oversaturating already vibrant colors.

#1. Photo Effects by Vertexshare

Use Photo Effects to intensify the muted colors without oversaturating already vibrant colors

As the title suggests, Photo Effects by Vertexshare is a piece of photo effect editor software. The app comes with various adjustment parameters and decorative objects. With the help of this app, you can make awesome photos to draw the viewer's attention.

After launching the program of Photo Effects, you will be greeted by a simplistic window. It consists of three panels. A rich collection of predefined effects are located in the left-side panel. After your photo is imported into the program, you will see the small preview thumbnail of each predefined effect. The middle panel takes up most of the window. It is an area for previewing the effects you apply to the photo. 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 wide range of adjustment parameters are located in the right-side panel. You can change the exposure level by adjusting the parameters like exposure compensation, exposure compression, black points, lightness, saturation, and contrast. What's more, you can change the shadows/highlights, tone mapping, high dynamic range, and image sharpening. Besides, it is possible to get rid of noise from the photo. Other parameters you can adjust include local contrast, white balance, channel mixer, soft light, vignette filter, and vibrance.

Overall speaking, Photo Effects is a user-friendly and powerful photo effect app. It allows you to make your photo look amazing by applying a variety of effects to it in a flash. Due to the simple layout and intuitive options, Photo Effects can be easily mastered by both inexperienced users and experienced users.

Let's dive into the part of how to use Photo Effects to intensify muted colors without affecting vibrant colors

How to use Photo Effects to intensity muted colors without creating oversaturation of vibrant colors

Step 1.

  • Throw 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. To remove the imported photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add" button.

Step 2.

  • Go 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

The parameter is used for adjusting the vibrance of light, pale, and muted tones (tones of low saturation) without affecting the well saturated tones (tones of high saturation). Increasing the value will increase the intensity of muted colors.

  • Drag the pastel tones slider to adjust the color intensity to fit your needs. You can click on 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 parameter, 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. PineTools

Use PineTools to intensify the muted colors without oversaturating already vibrant colors

PineTools is a browser-based app that enables you to manipulate your images in an all round way. In the aspect of image editing, it enables you to split the image in all directions, rotate an image, and combine your images into one file. In terms of image effect adjustment, it lets you darken or lighten up an image, change the contrast, hue and saturation of an image, apply special filters to the image, colorize an image and adjust the vibrance of the image. All in all, PineTools is a versatile free image processing app online with which you can process your image in any way you want.

Let's see how to use the vibrance adjustment tool of PineTools to intensify the muted colors.

  • Head over to the site. Navigate to the left pane and choose "Images".
  • Click on the "Choose file" button, select your photo, and open it.
  • When your photo is uploaded to the server, you will see it in the preview area.
  • Go to the "Options" section. Here you can adjust the vibrance by pulling the slider. Move the slider to the right to increase the intensity of muted colors without affecting already saturated colors. You can also adjust the vibrance by entering a specific value in the box.
  • Press the "EXECUTE" button to apply the adjustments.
  • Click on "PNG", "JPG", or "WEBP" to save the photo as a desired format to the hard drive.

Adjust the vibrance using PineTools


Sometimes, taking photos with a digital camera doesn't do a scene justice. The colors of some parts of the photo are dull and we need to enhance the color. Using saturation to intensity the muted colors may result in oversaturation of other parts of already saturated colors. This is when vibrance comes in handy. It boosts the less saturated colors while keeping the original state of saturated colors. Both the two photo effect apps above come packed with the vibrance adjustment tools. Give the apps a shot and tell me what you think about them by leaving a comment.

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