In-camera color settings
June 28, 2011

It has been one week filled with seven posts. I'm starting to wonder if daily posts for a year is really that impossible. It would be like "Julie & Julia" in the 365-day quest to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook, except there won't be any cooking involved in this blog.

So today I didn't go out to take pictures; my excuse is related to the gloomy weather. Instead, I decided to play with the color settings in the camera, something I haven't touched since I bought it five years ago. I was curious to see whether the available options of image sharpening, tone compensation, color mode, saturation and hue adjustment could save me time in photo-processing. After searching through my surroundings, I found that this orchid, pictured below, was the most colorful object.

Both images were taken at 55mm, f/5, 0.4s and ISO 100. The left image was taken under "normal" color settings, and the right, under "custom" settings set to the highest contrast and saturation levels. Take a look at the upper-left petal in the comparison. The left image is darker with more detail in the veins while the right image sacrifices this in attempt to produce higher contrast. I wouldn't consider this a considerable difference, at least compared to the abilities of newer EXPEED or DiG!C processors. Relative to this camera, however, there is a noticeable difference that I should capitalize on. The test images were taken with soft lighting coming through the window from the gloomy evening. Under harsher, brighter light, the difference will be more apparent.

To end the day, I decided to look back on my black-and-white film days. As I flipped through the contact sheets filled with burnt negatives, I realized that I had once thought these pictures were "good." I suppose this qualification is subjective, but for me, it was passable. To say the least, I'm glad I figured out the importance of the details such as shutter speed and aperture. I'll save these images for a later post, when I find the patience to scan some.

Bye until tomorrow and thanks for reading.