Not mak­ing the most of Pic­ture Con­trols

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Don’t leave the Pic­ture Con­trol set­ting in its Stan­dard po­si­tion for ev­ery shot. By shoot­ing in RAW, you can pre­view the ef­fect that a Pic­ture Con­trol has on an im­age dur­ing Live View or play­back, but the orig­i­nal im­age will re­main un­af­fected. This is par­tic­u­larly use­ful when shoot­ing for black and white: us­ing the Mono­chrome Pic­ture Con­trol en­ables you to judge how a pic­ture will work in greyscale, while the RAW file will be saved with all the colour in­for­ma­tion in­tact. This al­lows you to carry out the con­ver­sion later. It’s a dif­fer­ent mat­ter when you shoot JPEGs, as the Pic­ture Con­trol is ‘baked’ into the file. If you don’t like the look de­liv­ered by the Pic­ture Con­trol you’ve set, you can try to fix things in Pho­to­shop, but im­age qual­ity will suf­fer. It’s im­por­tant to get a han­dle on Pic­ture Con­trol when shoot­ing HD video too, be­cause ev­ery frame of a movie is ba­si­cally a JPEG im­age, so colour, con­trast and sharp­ness are fixed at the time you record the footage. Film­mak­ers tend to use the Neu­tral or Flat Pic­ture Con­trols, as th­ese give low-con­trast re­sults that hold up bet­ter to en­hance­ments in video-edit­ing soft­ware.

If you shoot in RAW, the im­age will re­tain all its colour in­for­ma­tion, en­abling you to visu­alise how an ef­fect will work – but if you want to change it later, you can still do so (see page 78)

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