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University of The Cumberlands Color Saturation Spectrum Discussion


Kirk (2019) states that the topic of color can be a minefield. The judgement involved with selecting the right amount of color for a particular application can be daunting. With regards to visualizations, there are different levers that can be adjusted to create the desired effects (Kirk, 2019). The levers are associated with the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) color cylinder.

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Select and elaborate on one of the following:

  • Color Hue Spectrum
  • Color Saturation Spectrum
  • Color Lightness Spectrum

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Lightness spectrum

This is the third property of color. Lightness measures the degree of light reflected how light or dark a color is. Adding white makes the color lighter, which in turn creates tints, and adding black makes it darker and creates shades (Waldman, 2014).

The effect of light is relative to other components in the composition.

For one color of a particular hue, the perception of lightness is also more intense if we increase saturation. For example, a saturated yellow will always look brighter than a saturated blue (Stiles, 2012). The practicality of this application is incredibly useful for directing the audience’s attention to specific areas within your frame.


Stiles, W. (2012). Color Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data and Formulae (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley Series in Pure and Applied Optics. ISBN 978-0-471-02106-3.

Waldman, G (2014). Introduction to light: the physics of light, vision, and color. Mineola: Dover Publications. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-486-42118-6.

Discussion 2:

Color saturation spectrum

Color saturation is the color intensity in a given image. The image appears to be purer when saturation is increased. Moreover, when saturation is reduced, the image appears to be pale or washed out. A highly saturated image contains clear, bright, and rich colors, while the one with lower saturation veers towards greyscale. Generally, a saturation of a color is among the three properties of colors: hue and value, and saturation. It is sometimes known as chroma, though with a slightly different meaning. Chrome defines the color brilliance in an absolute term following the Munsell color system.

Technically, color saturation is an expression of light bandwidth from a source. Since hue defines the image color, in particular, saturation describes the intensity of the hue. When there is complete saturation of a color, it is considered the most authentic version. The moment the lightness level is constant, saturation is defined as the rate that runs from 0% to 100%. The saturation of a color determines how a given hue will appear in given lighting conditions. For instance, the wall painted with solid color looks a bit different during the day than its exact appearance at night.

Color saturation does not define the lightness or the darkness of a color. Several saturated colors tend to be lighter than the ones saturated, and thus, when white is added to the latter, it will increase its brightness to the extent that all will match. It means that color brightness is controlled by the amount of white in the hue. In summary, colors behave less saturated when the object is further from the one observing it and recedes to distant due to atmospheric perspective.


Usiagwu, M. (2020). What Does Color Saturation Mean? Color saturation,


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