Changing a photo’s contrast makes the lighter areas brighter and the darker areas more so. Image: REI.
Increasing the exposure makes the entire photo brighter — decreasing produces the opposite effect. Source: REI.
Saturation refers to the density of color. Note the red variations in the identical kayaks in this example. Image: TutsPlus.
“Saturation” and “hue” are synonymous in most image-editing software. Accurate saturation is as essential as contrast and exposure. To save time, correct the contrast before changing a photo’s saturation, as adjusting the former will also alter colors. Remember, too, that too much saturation will usually make an image appear unrealistic or over-edited.
Saturation. Even the best devices may not capture the true tones for certain colors. For example, a highly saturated red can be difficult to capture and recreate in a modern digital camera. Other colors are similar. The editing process can help avoid a washed-out image.
Filters and Presets
This post will address color correction.
An essential component of product photos is ensuring the color matches the real-life item.
In this YouTube video, product photographer TeeWin illustrates the importance of editing white balance.