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« Keep it simple | Main | Setting up your camera Part V »

Setting up your camera Part VI

In the days of film, the photographer would select a particular film for it's "look."  Some films had a lot of contrast, some very little.  Others pushed the saturation of the colors to make the images more vibrant, others went for accurate color rendition.

In the digital photography world, all that has been simplified.  The "look" is controlled by the Picture Style setting in the camera menu.  Generally, the camera manufacturer has a default setting, and then gives you options for things like Portrait (which aims for pleasing flesh tones), Landscape (which goes for strong greens and blues to help the foliage and sky), and Monochrome (to emulate Black and White Film).

What to use?  If you are trying to keep your post process editing to a minimum, and you are always shooting pictures of friends and family, I would suggest using the Portrait setting.  Maybe the Default if all you do is candids and travel pictures.  

Personally, though, since I expect that I will spend time in Photoshop refining my images, I use the Neutral setting.  Rather than letting the camera decide what the picture will look like, I like to maintain that control.  It's simple enough to add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to punch color, or a Curves adjustment layer to add or subtract contract.  In any case, I get to make the decision.  And since most of us shoot pictures to express a feeling in addition to documenting what we see, I suggest you may want to consider this approach as well.

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