Exploring Picture Styles

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In addition to all the focus and color features already covered in this chapter, your Rebel XS/1000D offers Picture Styles. Through Picture Styles, you can further tweak color as well as saturation, contrast, and image sharpening.

iffiSTo^ Sharpening is a software process that adjusts contrast in a way that creates ^/¿¿.ix the illusion of slightly sharper focus. I explain sharpening fully in Chapter 10, but the important thing to note for now is that sharpening cannot remedy poor focus, but instead produces a subtle tweak to this aspect of your pictures.

In fact, many of the adjustments that Picture Styles apply are pretty subtle, at least to my eye. The impact of any of these settings varies depending on your subject, but on the whole, if you want to make large-scale changes to color, contrast, or sharpening, you're probably going to need to use your computer and photo editing software. Again, though, your mileage may vary, as they say, as may your opinion of what constitutes the optimum color and sharpening characteristics.

The next section introduces you to your Picture Style options. Later sections explain how to change the Picture Style setting, customize the six prefab styles, and define your very own, custom styles.

Assessing the Picture Styles

When you set the Mode dial to Full Auto or any of the other fully automatic exposure modes, the camera selects a Picture Style for you. In P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP modes, however, you can specify which of the Picture Styles you want to use. Here's a quick description of the six styles:

✓ Standard: The default setting, this option captures the image using the characteristics that Canon offers as suitable for the majority of subjects.

✓ Portrait: This mode reduces sharpening slightly from the amount that's applied in Standard mode, with the goal of keeping skin texture soft. Color saturation, on the other hand, is slightly increased. If you shoot in the Portrait autoexposure mode, the camera automatically applies this Picture Style for you.

✓ Landscape: In a nod to traditions of landscape photography, this Picture Style emphasizes greens and blues and amps up color saturation and sharpness, resulting in bolder images. The camera automatically applies this Picture Style if you set the Mode dial to the Landscape autoexposure mode.

✓ Neutral: This setting reduces saturation and contrast slightly compared to how the camera renders images when the Standard option is selected.

✓ Faithful: The Faithful style is designed to render colors as closely as possible to how your eye perceives them.

✓ Monochrome: This setting produces black-and-white photos, or, to be more precise, grayscale images (technically speaking, a true black-and-white image contains only black and white, with no shades of gray).

If you set the Quality option on Shooting Menu 1 to Raw (or Raw + Large/ Fine), the camera displays your image on the monitor in black and white during playback. But during the Raw converter process, you can either choose to go with your grayscale version or view and save a full-color version. Or, even better, you can process and save the image once as a grayscale photo and again as a color image.

If you don't capture the image in the Raw format, you can't access the original image colors later.

✓ User Defined 1, 2, and 3: These options enable you to create and save three of your own Picture Styles. I cover this feature in the last section of the chapter.

Figure 6-29 shows you how the camera rendered the same scene in each of the six preset Picture Styles. As you can see, Landscape has the most noticeable impact. To my taste, in fact, Landscape colors are a little over the top, but that's strictly a personal preference.

Standard Portrait Landscape

Standard Portrait Landscape

Canon 550d Picture Style Settings
Figure 6-29: Each Picture Style produces a slightly different take on the image.

If you don't like any of the Picture Styles, you can use the options discussed in later sections to tweak them.

To select a Picture Style quickly, press the down cross key, highlighted in Figure 6-30. Pressing the button displays the screen you see on the monitor in the figure.

Figure 6-30: Press the down cross key to quickly change the Picture Style.

Here's what you need to know about this cryptic-looking screen:

✓ Picture Style icons: The two columns of symbols on the right represent the Picture Styles, as labeled in Figure 6-30. (Notice that the icons bear the same symbol as the down cross key.) The six prefab styles are marked with an initial (S for Standard, P for Portrait, and so on). The 1, 2, and 3 icons represent the three User Defined custom styles that you can create.

✓ Adjustment setting icons: On the left side of the screen, you see the name of the currently selected style plus four more symbols, each accompanied by a number. I labeled these four symbols "Adjustment settings" in Figure 6-30; you can get a close-up view in Figure 6-31. The icons represent the four characteristics that the styles affect: sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone.

Setting the Picture Style

Styles

Styles

Figure 6-30: Press the down cross key to quickly change the Picture Style.

Adjustment settings

Picture Styles button

Adjustment settings

Picture Styles button

If you select the Monochrome Picture Style, the saturation and color tone options are replaced by two other options, filter effect and toning effect.

✓ Adjustment values: As for the numbers next to the symbols, they work a little differently than you may expect. Sharpness values range from 0 to 7; the higher the value, the more sharpening is applied. At 0, no sharpening is applied.

Contrast

Color tone

Contrast

Color tone

Sharpness

Saturation

Figure 6-31: For color images, Picture Styles affect these four characteristics.

Sharpness

Saturation

Figure 6-31: For color images, Picture Styles affect these four characteristics.

The other values, however, all initially appear as 0, which in this case represents a middle-of-the-

road setting. If you customize the style, the number indicates the level of adjustment. For example, if you customize the style so that it applies three levels more saturation than normal, you see a 3 next to the saturation icon. If you go the other direction, tweaking the style so that it applies three levels less saturation than normal, you see a -3 instead.

See the upcoming section, "Customizing Picture Styles," for a little more detail about the four picture characteristics.

Picture Style Canon Icon

Picture Style icon

Figure 6-32: The icons in the Shooting Settings display match those on the Picture Styles screen (shown in Figure 6-30).

To select a style, press the up or down cross key to highlight that style's icon. Press Set to lock in your style choice. As soon as you do, the Shooting Settings display appears automatically, and you can see the icon for your selected Picture Style in the position labeled in Figure 6-32.

You can also change the Picture Style through Shooting Menu 2, shown on the left in Figure 6-33. Highlight the Picture Styles option and press Set to display the screenful of options you see on the right in the figure. (You can see only the six prefab Picture Style settings on the first screen; scroll down using the cross keys to view the User Defined styles.)

Picture Style icon

Figure 6-32: The icons in the Shooting Settings display match those on the Picture Styles screen (shown in Figure 6-30).

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Figure 6-33: You also can access Picture Style options via Shooting Menu 2.

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The symbols at the top of the Picture Style screen (right image in Figure 6-33) are the same ones shown in Figure 6-30. And the numbers next to each style show you the amount of adjustment for each of the four picture characteristics.

However you set the Picture Style, remember that you must do so before you switch to Live View shooting, if you choose to turn on that feature. See Chapter 4 for an introduction to Live View shooting.

Customizing Picture Styles

You can customize the results that you get from the prefab Picture Styles. For the Standard, Landscape, Portrait, Neutral, and Faithful styles, you can adjust sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone. (The Color Tone option enables you to make your colors either a little more red or a little more yellow and is designed to help you tweak skin tones in portraits.)

For the Monochrome Picture Style, saturation and color tone are irrelevant, so they are replaced by two other options, Filter Effect and Toning Effect. The Filter Effect options mimic color filters sometimes used by photographers shooting black-and-white film. The color of the filter determines which colors in the original scene become prominent in the black-and-white image. The Toning Effect options enable you to apply a sepia, blue, purple, or green tint to your monochrome image.

To dig into Picture Style customizing, take these steps:

1. Display Shooting Menu 2 and highlight Picture Style, as shown on the left in Figure 6-33.

Remember, you can access this menu and the Picture Style options only in the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP).

Now you see the screen shown on the right in Figure 6-33.

3. Press the up or down cross key to highlight the Picture Style you want to adjust.

4. Press the DISP button.

The screen shown in Figure 6-34 appears, listing the four characteristics that you can adjust for your selected Picture Style.

5. Highlight the characteristic that you want to tweak and press Set.

The little scale next to the selection option becomes active.

6. Press the right or left cross key to adjust the setting.

Your setting

As soon as you adjust the setting, you see two markers: The gray one shows you the default setting; the white one, your customized setting, as labeled in Figure 6-34.

For Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness, move the little marker on the scale to the right to increase the effect. For Color Tone, move the slider toward the minus sign to make colors less yellow and more red; move the slider toward the plus sign to make colors less red and more yellow.

Default setting

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Figure 6-34: To adjust the setting, highlight it and press Set.

When you adjust the Filter Effect and Toning Effect options for the Monochrome style, the adjustment scale and slider are replaced by a simple list of options; just highlight the one you want to use.

7. Press Set to lock in your adjustment.

8. Repeat Steps 5 through 7 to adjust the other settings as desired.

9. Press the Menu button to return to the main Picture Styles screen.

10. Press Set to return to Shooting Menu 2.

Note that any user-adjusted setting appears highlighted in blue on the Picture Style submenu.

If you later want to return to the default settings for the Picture Style, just repeat Steps 1 through 4 and then highlight Default Set (at the bottom of the screen shown in Figure 6-34) and press Set.

Unfortunately, you can't preview how your adjustments will affect your image because the Picture Style attributes are applied to the photo after you shoot it, during the time the image is recorded to your memory card. So I'd like to offer an alternative: If you shoot in the Raw format, you don't have to worry about in-camera adjustments to Picture Styles — or even selecting a Picture Style, for that matter — because you can apply the style when you process your Raw images. Just follow the directions laid out in Chapter 8 to use the Raw converter provided in ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) or ImageBrowser (Mac). On the Image Quality Adjustment panel, you can select a Picture Style and then make the same adjustments to the style as you can in the camera.

At the very least, experimenting with Picture Styles in the Raw converter should help you know what adjustments you may want to make to the actual camera settings. And for creating monochrome images, using the Raw converter tools enables you to try out the different Filter Effect and Toning Effect options to find the one you like best.

Creating your own Picture Style

The User Defined options on the Picture Style menu enable you to create and store up to three of your very own Picture Styles. So if you hit upon a combination of customized settings that you really like for a particular type of subject — snow scenes, for example, or pictures of your pooch — you can easily reuse those settings.

Follow these steps to create your custom Picture Style:

1. Display Shooting Menu 2, highlight Picture Style, and press Set.

You see the normal list of Picture Styles.

2. Press the down cross key to scroll the display until the User Defined options come into view.

3. Highlight one of the User Defined options, as shown on the left in Figure 6-35.

4. Press the DISP button.

Now you see the screen shown on the right in Figure 6-35.

5. Highlight the Picture Style option, as shown on the right in Figure 6-35, and press Set.

6. Press the up or down arrow key to select the style on which you want to base your custom style and press Set.

If you want to create your own style for portraits, for example, select the Portrait option. Or, if you want to create a special black-and-white style, choose Monochrome. Your new style will be based on the one you select.

Picture Style

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Picture Style Standard

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Figure 6-35: You can create up to three of your own Picture Styles.

Figure 6-35: You can create up to three of your own Picture Styles.

7. Set the rest of the style attributes.

The options available are the same as when you customize a style. Highlight the option, press Set to activate the little slider, and then use the cross keys to adjust the setting. See the preceding section for details about the options. Press Set again to lock in the adjustment.

8. Press Menu to return to the main Picture Style screen. (See the left image in Figure 6-35.)

9. Press Set to store your custom style.

To use your style, just select it from the Picture Style screen or menu as usual.

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  • mathilda
    How to change contrast setting in 1000d?
    8 years ago
  • silke durr
    How to adjust color saturation canon 1000d?
    8 years ago
  • Elide
    How to create your own picture style for canon 1000d?
    8 years ago
  • ariam
    Where to change sharpness, contrast, 550d?
    8 years ago
  • Felix
    How to shoot black n white photo on canon1000d?
    3 years ago
  • medhane medhane
    How to adjust sharpness and contrast on canon 1000d?
    2 years ago

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