It's not an everyday affair when you go out in the open and able to shoot your subject and get rich and vibrant colors. I'm referring to subjects other than persons. Foremost consideration is, of course, your camera settings. For Nikonians like me, we have options to pick our Picture Controls and D2X Mode III is particularly effective in projecting rich and vibrant colors for your pictures.
The best time to shoot in the open is when the sun is hiding behind the clouds so that direct sunlight is filtered out thereby eliminating glare and too much highlights. In this kind of shooting condition, it is also best to choose a small aperture so that every thing, from the foreground to the background, are in detail. Besides, picking wide apertures is very limiting because of the bright light unless you fit in a Neutral Density filter to block some degree of brightness.
Even with portraiture, shooting under these conditions could give your photos the magical effect of an enormous diffused light from the skies above. What is good about overcast skies is that the sun is not so dominating and the shadows not at all prominent. These shadows, if there are any, should even give more depth and definition to an image. The selection of all the images featured here were all taken in RAW format, hence, I have to use my Capture NX software in converting it to JPEG images. I wish to further share a technique which I found to be useful in giving punch to your captured images. To get rich and vibrant colors like the sample images, tweak the focus slider in the NX a little bit more to give it a sharper look and add some green punch by tweaking the RGB sliders according to your taste.
Inasmuch as you've gone the extra mile of taking RAW shots, you might as well tweak them a little more by calibrating the colors of your image. And this is easily said and done if you're quite familiar with the features of the Capture NX software provided by your friendly Nikon maker. How to get the green punch is like increasing the saturation of the Green color and darkening the shadows at bit more and reducing the Gamma flare to make up for a darker and more appealing shadows. In Photoshop, there are lots of ways of achieving this look and it will all depend on your familiarity and customary flow of work on what suits you best
Generally, what seems to be the predominant contributory factor in getting rich and vibrant colors is the overcast skies serving as a huge and diffused source of light. All these images were taken in Baguio, a mountain city in the Philippines, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and this is the time of the day when great images abound in the highlands.