In color theory, the saturation or purity of a color is the intensity of a specific hue: A highly saturated hue has a vivid, intense color, while a less saturated hue appears more muted and grey. With no saturation at all, the hue becomes a shade of grey.

Example of increasing saturation:


Saturation is one of the three numeric factors that define a color in the HSV (hue, saturation, value) model. Colloquially speaking, the saturation of a color is how "un-grey" it is.

By digitally raising the saturation of a photograph, its colors can be made more intese (but this can also look unrealistic). By lowering the saturation, the colors become less intense. Setting the saturation to zero is known as desaturation and a way to turn any photo into black and white.

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