What is the difference between vibrance, saturation and clarity in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop?

  • helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/how-to/… and digital-photography-school.com/… I'm sure there's plenty of others if you search.
    – Luciano
    Aug 25, 2016 at 13:21
  • 3
    I dont think this is a such a bad question since its not so easy to find out what clarity and vibrancy actually do @Luciano. Its juist very hard to explain what they do in technical terms
    – joojaa
    Aug 25, 2016 at 13:49
  • I think digital photo school has a pretty good explanation in simple terms
    – Luciano
    Aug 25, 2016 at 15:16
  • If you have found any of the answers below to have answered your question please make sure to mark it as the accepted answer. If the answers do not answer your question please make an edit seeking clarity.
    – user9447
    Dec 21, 2016 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


Vibrance is a smart-tool which cleverly increases the intensity of the dull colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone while saturation effects the whole image. Clarity is like the contrast slider but it only effects the mid tones rather than whole image like contrast


This first bit is from the Adobe site.

Vibrance adjusts the saturation so that clipping is minimized as colors approach full saturation, changing the saturation of all lower-saturated colors with less effect on the higher-saturated colors. Vibrance also prevents skin tones from becoming oversaturated. Saturation adjusts the saturation of all image colors equally from ‑100 (monochrome) to +100 (double the saturation).

Now my observation: As a test, I processed an image with the Vibrance slider all the way to the top and Saturation at zero, then the other way around. Vibrance is less extreme and does a balancing act to keep things from getting too saturated as well as keeping skin tones more natural looking.


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