Color is a complex thing. It doesn’t get its intensity solely from saturation, but also from contrast. This can include color contrast with colors on opposite sides of the color wheel, brightness contrast between bright and dark colors, and another type of contrast we can call ’saturation contrast’. This is where you contrast strongly saturated […]
HSL stands for 'hue', 'saturation', 'lightness', and it's a way of displaying different color ranges in photographs. HSL adjustments let you change the brightness, saturation and hue of individual colors or color ranges.
You’re probably used to digital images being in the RGB mode, where the full range of colors is generated with red, green and blue color ‘channels’. But most photo editing programs offer a color editing mode based around the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) color model, and this is where it gets really interesting.
Global HSL adjustments aren’t very useful. If you shift the global hue of an image it quickly looks wrong. The real strength of the HSL system is the way it lets you separate and edit individual colors.