Personal Style: Is Your Camera Determining Yours?

We’ve found that there are several advantages to shooting with different brands of cameras including helping people with their gear during our photo workshops. But another intriguing side effect that we’ve noticed but never really thought more about is how the cameras record a scene differently. We often shoot side-by-side but of course have our own interpretations of the same subject matter. Darwin would be the first to say he is attracted to warmer, more contrasty scenes and my images always seem to be more moody, quieter and flatter. We’ve always chalked it up to differences in our personal style, and certainly there is some truth to that idea. On the recent winter photo tour on Abraham Lake, Darwin was showing me an amazing shot he’d just taken. The image on his Canon 1ds Mark III was gorgeous! In fact, it almost looked like he was on a different lake compared to what I was capturing. I had a bad case of LCD-envy.

“Darwin,” I whined, “Your pictures always look great on the LCD! I’ve been photographing the lake all morning and my images look nothing like that. Where is that spot?” We walked back to the location on the ice where Darwin had been shooting. We decided to see how differently the two cameras would render the same scene. We set our jpeg settings to ‘vivid’ (Nikon) and ‘landscape’ (Canon), chose auto white balance, and roughly composed the same image with our different cameras. So here are my photographs of Darwin’s Canon 1ds Mark III LCD playback of the scene:

 

Canon 1ds Mark III camera on Abraham Lake, Bighorn Wildland, Alberta, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

Camera displaying an image on Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

And here is Darwin’s capture of my Nikon D300s playback of the image:

Camera displaying an image on Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada

© Darwin Wiggett

You can see in the LCD of the cameras that there is some difference to the jpeg displayed. Darwin’s camera displays a warmer, more contrasty file than the monochromatic, cool image displayed on the Nikon. We figured the difference was probably due to variation in the cameras’ algorithms churning out the jpeg for the LCD, and this is not very surprising. But the raw files should be essentially similar if all camera settings are comparable — right? We actually didn’t expect to see much difference in the raw files; after all, raw data is raw data! But, surprisingly, there were some differences in the raw files. Here is Darwin’s unprocessed jpeg of the raw file:

Abraham Lake, Bighorn Wildland, Alberta, Canada

© Darwin Wiggett

And here is mine:

Abraham Lake, Bighorn Wildland, Alberta, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

As you can see, Darwin’s raw file seems more contrasty and warmer in temperature than the Nikon file. When we inspected the files in Camera Raw, we saw that the Canon file set to ‘auto’ white balance came up at 6000k while the Nikon on ‘auto’ white balance came up at 5000k. In other words, the auto white balance for the two cameras returned different results: ‘auto’ for one camera is not the same ‘auto’ for another. This matters a lot if you shoot jpeg and matters less if you shoot raw, because of course you can alter the temperature of the raw file to be whatever you like. Why would anyone care about this? Well, we think that, unless you have a strong vision in mind, what your camera captures influences how you process. This would be especially true if there were differences in the raw files. Could there be an insidious side effect? Could the raw file actually influence how you process? I tend to spend less time processing images than Darwin and usually end up with cooler, flatter images. Darwin favours warm hues and higher contrast and steers his images more in this direction. But is this a result of our artistic vision…or are we being secretly led by our cameras to deliver a particular result? We processed our two shots (without peeking at the other person’s image!) to see if the final, processed result would be very different. Here is Darwin’s:

Abraham Lake, Bighorn Wildland, Alberta, Canada

© Darwin Wiggett

And here is mine:

Abraham Lake, Bighorn Wildland, Alberta, Canada

© Samantha Chrysanthou

What a difference! The subtle differences captured in the raw files are even more apparent in the final, processed results. By the way, the dark green-black colour in Darwin’s photograph is closer to the real colour of the ice (although of course Darwin’s shot is more saturated and contrasty) than in my photograph. This is by no means a scientific study, and of course there are some limitations when comparing different cameras and lenses, but we do find this relationship of Canon=warm/contrasty and Nikon=cool/flatter consistent across our photography. So, what do you think? Is Darwin really a warm/contrasty photographer or is he just following the lead of the Canon files? Do I really favour moody, flatter scenes or just suffer from lack of artistic vision to deviate from the raw file? Have you ever noticed a consistent ‘look’ to your camera’s files even on automatic settings?

About the Author

Photographing the incredible beauty of natural things, filming quirky videos, trying new foods with unpronounceable names, curling up with a good book, sharing ideas on how to live lighter on the Earth...these are a few of my favourite things!

42 Comments

  1. Jay Patel
    March 6, 2012

    Very nice!! I think everyone has a different style independent of the camera LCD….and sometimes the LCD and your styles match up nicely.

    I love dynamic photos with dramatic weather, while Varina prefers simpler composition with lower contrast.

    Reply
  2. Ed Knepley
    March 6, 2012

    Have you tried swapping cameras for a while and comparing again?

    Reply
    • Samantha
      March 6, 2012

      I have shot with all of Darwin’s cameras (he tends to not use mine, don’t know why) and not noticed a change in the style that I generally shoot. But I haven’t shot enough with them to really get a good sample. It’s a good point and worth exploring!

  3. Ray Chong
    March 6, 2012

    Wow, what an interesting experiment! For those of us who post-process, I think that the images that we create reflect our styles and visions, which (can and probably do) change over time. However, the places from which we start – the LCD, the JPG, the RAW display – do definitely influence our journeys as few, if any, of us possess perfect memory. Great images, both of you!

    Reply
  4. Dima
    March 6, 2012

    dont think theres much room for comparison here. after all you compared between 2 images taken with cameras in completely different leagues. comparing output from top of the line 1DS3 against a “prosumer” D300, is not really fair. and then theres the lenses themselves, each lens renders the subject differently, in tems of tones and contrast. the only objective comparison that can be done here is the differences in WB metering, and even then it doesn’t say much.

    it would be interesting, however, to see a more direct comparison, eliminating as many affecting factors as possible. lets say D3X vs 1DS3, both taking an image with nikon’s 14-24 (+adapter on canon). similar pixel density, same optics, same iso/f-stop/shutter speed…

    P.S.
    all of the above was mostly to make the nikon fanboys feel better about themselves and their gear. we all know canon make better photos >:D

    Reply
    • Samantha
      March 6, 2012

      Hey, Dima,

      Remember the part in the post that this wasn’t a scientific experiment? Yeah, that part. 🙂 The test you propose sounds very interesting and would likely have more rigorous results than our little field test since you’ve eliminated lots of variables we can’t control for. And if someone has seen such a field test I’d be eager for the link. On the other hand, the reality is we all shoot with different cameras and often the ‘little guys’ ARE competing against the pro cameras in photo contests, article submissions, stock images etc… So there is validity to these kinds of comparisons. What we expected was that the Canon pro-level camera would ‘interfere’ less with the raw data than it appears to (i.e. be more faithful to the scene). That is what I find most fascinating! BTW, Darwin’s Rebel cameras (he’s owned the XSi and T2i) followed the same contrasty/warm pattern.

  5. Trevor
    March 6, 2012

    Colorchecker Passport anyone?

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      March 6, 2012

      That might take of white balance differences but the RAW files from Canon and Nikon with all the settings the exact same in Lightroom or Camera RAW still look different in terms of contrast and subtle colours captured.

  6. Jack Johnson
    March 6, 2012

    Sam, I think you’ve just shown that Canon makes a superior camera…

    — Jack

    Reply
  7. Jack Johnson
    March 6, 2012

    D’oh! Evidently the blog thought I was trying to insert some bizarre HTML… Let’s try this again:
    (g, d, & r)
    :^D

    — Jack

    Reply
  8. Rakesh Malik
    March 6, 2012

    I think for me it’s been the other way around. I still prefer my film camera with Fuji Astia or Velvia for color, and Ilford Delta for black and white. For digital I’m using a Sony Alpha with Zeiss glass (take that canikon! ;)), because it’s the nearest that I’ve found to satisfying my preferences — though a lot of my decision in going with the Alpha line had more to do with the form factor of the Nex family than anything else, because for my landscape photography, my 4×5 takes precedence.

    Reply
  9. John Fujimagari
    March 6, 2012

    I tend to favor the warm contrasty, like Darwin but use the same D300s as you do Sam. I’ve never really pondered the values of the SOOC file but usually have an idea of what I thought I remembered the scene to be when post-processing. Perhaps it calls into question the veracity of my memory? An interesting comparison, definitely food for thought.

    Reply
  10. Dave Shumway
    March 6, 2012

    I’ve noticed the same, so I often ask myself “did my love of Velvia cause me to choose Canon?”

    Reply
  11. Steven Denfeld
    March 6, 2012

    The take home for me on this is that this was not a comparison of one camera (or brand) shooting better or worse than another camera (or brand), but rather of one camera shooting this way and another camera shooting that way, and are those respective camera-induced styles subtly steering one shooter’s processing in one way and another shooter’s style in a different way. Very interesting article!

    Reply
  12. steeve
    March 6, 2012

    Interesting article, i’m using a Pentax K20D and a Sony NEX-3 and i’m using the same Pentax and Takumar lenses and both. I’m shooting in RAW and they also give different results in color, the NEX-3 is more “neutral” and the Pentax tend to be warmer “yellow” files.

    Thanx for the good article.

    Reply
  13. Scott Dimond
    March 6, 2012

    This was an interesting experiment but I’m not sure what it tells us. Both cameras were using Auto White Balance, so it is not surprising that the results differed. Even the RAW files will have the initial Auto setting imbedded as the starting point, so although it can be changed easily in RAW conversion, the same difference should be apparent. I suspect that using a fixed White Balance temperature (e.g. 5500 K) instead of auto on both cameras would still produce different looking images but at least that would take the camera’s “auto” evaluation of the scene out of the equation. It would be interesting to see if the Canon is still warmer in that case.

    I shoot everything at 5500 K as my fixed white balance whether I’m shooting at sunrise, mid-day or in the studio (Canon 1Ds MIII & 5D II). When I go to process the RAWs, I adjust the first image in a series to taste (my vision of the white balance for the scene) in Lightroom and then sync the remaining images in the series to the same. So for me, I don’t believe the camera’s initial rendering influences my vision because I never ask the camera to interrupt the light and set the white balance.

    But even if you shoot at a fixed white balance temperature, this is not an absolute value. If I load one of those RAW images, shot at 5500 K into Lightroom, it says it was shot at 5350 K. If I load the same RAW into Capture One it gives a completely different number. So I learned long ago, that even the RAW converters will do some form of evaluation of the white balance light temperature even if I have told the camera to use a specific temperature. I would say my images are contrasty and warmer, I guess, but I have never thought about it in those terms. I just adjust the image, starting with white balance to my liking and go from there.

    I think the more interesting experiment would be to have Darwin process Sam’s Nikon RAW and Sam process Darwin’s Canon Raw and see how those images compare. I doubt the camera’s starting white balance would hold either of you back from coming up with a typical image for your vision.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      March 7, 2012

      I guess we should have stated more clearly that the differences we see in the raws at the same settings in Camera RAW show quite different files mostly in terms of contrast and certain colours captured (even when the whit balance thing is equalized out). So this post is less about white balance issues (although Nikon’s tend to be more neutral and Canon more warm at the same WB) and more about the raw starting point.

      I’ll go take Sam’s camera out for a run and process the images and see what I get back. Am I overriding what the camera gives me as a base raw, or is the camera raw file influencing me with its starting point? I would love to think I am the boss of the camera, not the other way around. But hey, I have been wrong before!

    • Branimir
      March 7, 2012

      I would concur with comments posted by Scott, Jeroen and Jack (one of his later posts). There are so many different factors that affect how the image will look like before a photographer starts working on it. Even particular software will interpret the same image in later (higher) versions differently. I set my cameras on “daylight WB” and “neutral jpeg” mode and hope that I will get a relatively consistent result to start with. And then change the processing parameters when I re-process the same image a few years later.

      On the main question whether cameras influence our “style”. When I was using Fujichrome 50 (yes, I am that old) or Velvia for my landscapes, I noticed that I was preferring scenes with diffused light, often under forest canopy. No harsh, direct sunlight please. So the medium I was working with did have an impact on the style of images I was producing. Although, I was not a slave to only one type of emulsion; I would pick up a roll of Ectachrome 100 Plus Pro for people shots and when I did not need to have punchy greens. The same thing is happening with the digital – I noticed that I can pull amazing results from digital sensors during twilight, 30 minutes before sunrise and after sunset. I am seeing beautiful tonality in shadows that I could not have recorded with film emulsions. As a result of my preferences, friends comment that many of my images are of “lavender landscapes”. Again, it appears that the medium dictates how I photograph. Is that true? Or have I discovered the sweet spot in the tools I am using and push to see how much more I can get from them? Why some people use watercolour instead of oil paints or express themselves through sculpture or pottery? Does the medium dictate how we work, or have we learned how to pick and use the best tools to produce images we are happy with? Similar to my practice from film days, sometimes I pick a different camera to photograph a particular subject, based on the previous experience of what that camera can and will deliver.

  14. Ian McGillvrey
    March 6, 2012

    Very interesting comparison guys. Wayne Simpson and I were noticing very similar results between our two cameras (5d mkII for Wayne, D700 for me) recently as well. Wayne’s Canon images pretty consistently appear more contrasty and saturated. The blues especially appear more intense and vibrant. Similar to Sam’s images, mine appeared flatter, cooler, and muted. It’s a very interesting point you’ve raised to questioning if our artistic vision is in fact influenced by what the camera is feeding us… I’m tending to think that’s a real possibility.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      March 7, 2012

      Yes, only when you are shooting cameras of different brands side-by-side do you notice just how differently the cameras show the LCD images and the resulting raws are different. For those who only shoot one camera and follow the theoretical preaching of digital (e.g. all cameras can be set to the same WB and all raws are equal), this issue of camera’s rendering of raw possibly influencing your vision is silly.

      I say go out and should with two brands of camera and you’ll soon see that theory does not always wash in practice. Thanks for Ian for confirming this with your experience.

    • Samantha
      March 7, 2012

      I know what you mean, Ian! Darwin: “Wow, look at this sunset I just shot whoo hoo hoo!” (chimping sounds). Sam: “What planet were you on?” (sobbing sounds). I exaggerate a bit, of course, but there is some psychological effect when you shoot the same scene at basically the same time and they differ in terms of contrast and saturation. Darwin, hand over that 1ds MK III!! Gimme your tilt shift lens, too.

  15. Jack Johnson
    March 6, 2012

    If I understand correctly, this wasn’t meant as an experiment so much as an exploration of the role of anchoring bias in the formation of personal artistic decisions… I think it is the basis for good conversation on that topic.

    — Jack

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      March 7, 2012

      Jack, that summarizes it in an nutshell! It was not a test or an experiment (too many un-controlled factors).

  16. Yu Sheng
    March 6, 2012

    Never be fooled by the LCD of your camera! My Pentax K10D has a very vivid LCD that always shows bright and colorful pictures — until then I process them on my computer, they become dull and less contrast.

    Reply
    • Dima
      March 7, 2012

      Yu, thats because most cameras dont project what the actual unprocessed RAW looks like. they show a JPEG preview. try shooting JPEG and you will see that in terms of colors and contrast you gets similar results both on your camera LCD and your PC screen (assuming you have a decent quality camera LCD)

  17. Yu Sheng
    March 6, 2012

    And not only the algorithms between different brands can result in different pictures shown on the LCD, but also the LCD itself can have huge differences between different manufactures.

    My wife’s Pentax KX LCD is much warmer than my K10D — everything looks like they have been masking gold on the KX’s screen.

    Reply
  18. Jeroen Akershoek
    March 7, 2012

    Sure, I think that your camera is in part determining your style. Although there is also the part of personal vision and taste.

    Just look at the way how different a digital camera works compared to an analog one. With the latter you are much more conservative with how many shots you make, so you tend to look better before you press the shutter. This will change what you are shooting and the way you are shooting it. A different camera gives you a different endresult. So I guess it will also have an impact on style.

    Regards, Jeroen

    Reply
    • Samantha
      March 7, 2012

      Good point on film vs digital workflow in the field, Jeroen. I do believe process influences product, whether we like to think so or not.

  19. Richard Douglas
    March 7, 2012

    My Uncle noticed the same thing within the Nikon family so about five years ago we compared the D50 to the D200. The D50 JPEG images were more contrasty and looked better out of the camera. The D200 RAW file, was flatter and required more processing time than the D50, but in the end it produced a superior image.

    Darwin, when you take Sam’s camera out, will you be posting your results? I would like to see them but I don’t think that your images will change dramatically (unless there are technological limitations) because you already know the issue at hand and your vision and style is clear to you.

    I do have a favour to ask of Sam? Can you process your RAW file and try to match Darwin’s final image and let me know your results? I am thinking that if you can’t match his image without over processing it then we (especially those introduced to photography during the digital age) are likely being influenced by our camera.

    Also, when Darwin test’s your camera, can he take the same image with his Canon, process the Nikon RAW file first, let it sit a few days before processing the Canon RAW. This might give us a better idea if we are influenced by what we see on the screen or what we remember of the scene.

    Leave it to both of you to give me something else to ponder 🙂

    Reply
    • Rakesh Malik
      March 7, 2012

      “The D50 JPEG images were more contrasty and looked better out of the camera. The D200 RAW file, was flatter and required more processing time than the D50, but in the end it produced a superior image.”

      That’s probably due to the fact that the d200’s sensor has better exposure latitude than the d50’s. Being able to record a wider dynamic range means that the raw image from the sensor with standard rendering will show less contrast, much like a negative showing less contrast than a slide with the same exposure settings. It’s basically akin to dynamic range compression.

      Since the software renders jpg for presentation it’s essentially decompressing the dynamic range compression in the process, which hides the difference. Raw image processors don’t do that with raw files, they instead render them more or less as-is until you apply your own enhancements to them, doing in essence your own custom tone mapping. The jpg preview is what the camera thinks it should look like, the final version when you, the photographer are done with it represents what you think it should look like.

      Very few of us have the luxury of being able to do our own tone mapping when we play with cameras in camera shops, so usually when we’re deciding on our new toys, we end up picking based on how the camera renders it’s jpg previews.

    • Samantha
      March 7, 2012

      Hi Richard,

      These are good suggestions. We’ll follow up with them and post them on the blog. We had a discussion yesterday after this post went up about how much our cameras influence our style. Really, to get any good data we’d have to switch cameras for a good period of time, like maybe a month or two, in order to avoid ‘observer bias’. Darwin? Wanna trade? (no tilt-shift lenses for you — yeah, right!)

      Or better yet, do a blind study where we have two photographers with contrasting styles (warm/cool) switch cameras for awhile and then see if there is a change in their output. Now THAT would be interesting.

      Rakesh: your theory on sensors sounds good, except for our results above. Does Darwin’s older, pro-level camera have a better sensor than the D300s? If so, why is the raw file above from the D300s flatter than the 1ds MKIII? It doesn’t map out…unless the newer sensors are so much better. (But then, our Rebel T2i has contrasty raws too and it is newer than the D300s). I think, as some of you have commented, the algorithms do their ‘thing’ and it is up to us to process to our vision. The main issue we raise with this post is not necessarily why the files are different, but does the difference influence your output?

  20. Jack Johnson
    March 7, 2012

    Every camera model and every raw processor will give a different “look” to both the RAW and .jpg files; a firmware update can even change the “look” for the same camera. Ultimately, what the camera’s processor gets from the sensor and records in the RAW file is just a series of numbers which represent proportionally the light hitting the photosites on the sensor during the exposure. There is no “right” way to interpret these numbers, not even the way the scene appeared to your eyes. (I see colors a bit differently from each eye – which is “right”?)

    Every visual representation of a digital image is based on some programmer’s decisions about how to best interpret the numbers for any given collection of settings. That’s how we get different looks when we choose “Landscape” instead of “Neutral,” and why we can go in and adjust the white balance after the fact.

    So, the images are always going to be different, and they will never be objectively “right;” it’s always up to us to make them look the way we want, unless our creative vision happens to match the processing algorithm set by the programmers for that particular camera and raw processor.

    Reply
  21. Charlie
    March 7, 2012

    Interesting read 🙂 I like warmer scenes …….and shoot Nikon. But its a D90 not a D300.

    When I first started shooting I might have let the camera figure things out more. The most frustrating thing I realized back then was I needed to learn more about post processing which is not what I wanted to do.

    I imagine some people can be more restricted by there equipment. But I think if you are creative and practice you will find you own style.

    May be you are getting stuck in a box and need to get out of you comfort zone? 😉 Or maybe its just your style? 😉

    Reply
  22. GDub
    March 7, 2012

    I’ve been reading your recent posts via the email, but figured I should acknowledge the work.

    Great post! Keep them coming!

    Reply
  23. Andrea
    March 8, 2012

    Darwin and I did this at the conference and I could not believe the difference. Looking at them, Darwin’s RAW file looks like the back of Sam’s camera, and Sam’s RAW file looks more like the back of Darwin’s camera! With my Nikon, the pictures on the LCD screen look muted and moody which tends to be the way I end up making them…I like the dark side. Great post:)

    Reply
  24. Milkayphoto
    March 9, 2012

    Nice posting!

    Years back, I was using several (Nikon) cameras (D200, D300, D700) and would get so frustrated at the different results. Finally, I conducted my own test and decided to stay with the D300 because it gave me the color, contrast, etc. that I wanted.

    Reply
  25. Dan Baumbach
    March 10, 2012

    Very interesting article. I shoot with a Nikon D300 set to neutral. After shooting film for so long I found the color rendition of the Nikon to be very neutral and not have the stronger personalities of different films. It’s interesting to see the differences between Nikon and Canon. Not many of us can afford a 1DS III. I wonder if the 5DII is as different. I wonder how the 1DSIII compares to a D4?

    – DAn

    Reply
  26. Robb Thurmond
    April 1, 2012

    First off, thanks for the time to put a site like this together. I’m just inside my second year with a camera, eating everything I can find, and your site has given me a lot to chew on and a lot of inspiration.

    I may have a slightly different answer for the shift, but you seem to be having the same problem I have been having. I did the same thing on reviewing my images from the last year and thought I might have been in a very introspective mood last year when all of my shots were slightly cool and lower contrast. I shoot a Nikon D-90 and I noticed a slight tone/contrast shift in my images a few months ago when I started shooting RAW and started digging for answers. It turns out that Adobe doesn’t recognize/interpret some of the internal stuff that Nikon records with the RAW file. The data is there, its a tag in the header, but Adobe doesn’t think it counts as part of the exposure so it doesn’t get taken in to consideration in the render. If I understand correctly, the RAW is a TIFF with a special wrapper and instructions that the converter uses to help adjust the image. Nikon embeds a JPG with the TIFF as part of the RAW package as a preview file (and its the JPG you see on your LCD, not the RAW) but if you open the file in Adobe Camera RAW, you may not get to see it as the JPG is only viewable as a preview image. The JPG does not have any tags and gets the full Nikon treatment in camera. If you load the RAW file straight in to Lightroom, you watch the JPG preview load (thinking it is the RAW), but when you click on the image to adjust it, it desaturates and looses contrast right in front of your eyes.

    There is a lot of discussion elsewhere on the net about how to avoid this problem with Nikon, but the best answers seem to be not using an Adobe product for RAW conversion. The culprit is actually D-lighting for contrast and Nikons special WB interpretation which will throw the image cool if converted with Adobe anything.

    If you look at my flickr account, you might notice the cool, lower contrast look (that I thought was part of my vision developing) and its only been the last month or two that I have seemed to get around that issue. All of the contrast correction I had tried to do always looked a little heavy handed, and generally frustrating to deal with.

    I know this is an older post, but I hope it helps : )

    Reply
  27. It's A Post-Processing World - Shutter Time With Sid and Mac
    April 1, 2013

    […] Side by Side Comparison – Canon vs Nikon Raw Files / oopoomoo […]

    Reply
  28. Austin Johnson
    May 20, 2013

    I honestly prefer the Nikon image. While the Canon gives you maybe more “contrast” that always won’t be case. I prefer the Nikon image with the cool white balance, because a scene like that should give the viewer a cool feel due it all the snow and ice. and the warmer tone doesn’t capture it as much. Like others have said you weren’t comparing apples to apples. Comparing a pro to a hardly pro, not even full frame camera. So there really isn’t any room for comparison, when they aren’t even on the same level

    Reply
  29. Pete
    June 7, 2015

    It’s now June 2015. Some time has passed. But I think I’ve solved the problem. I bought a Fujifilm X100T and I use the EVF to look at the scene with my right eye, and compare it to the real world with my left eye. I tweak the white balance to get as close as possible to what I see. It’s always possible to get the correct colours.I shoot only JPEGs. All my processing time is done “on site”. I’m getting quicker at it now, but pondering over the colour longer gives you way more appreciation of a scene. Sitting in front of a computer won’t help. Sorry. But it won’t. Pete.

    Reply
  30. Dominic
    April 1, 2016

    I have been using Canon cameras since I purchased my first DSLR 10 years ago. I started with a Rebel XT, then a 40D and I now use a 7D. Ever since I started shooting RAW files and processing with Adobe software, I have always favoured the warmer more contrasty tones on my finished images. Mostly the only images that would end up with a cooler WB would be ones taken at night time or some winter sceneries trying to convey the colder air temperatures.

    But as of late I find myself moving the slider to the left a lot more than I used to and really liking the cooler tones. I still prefer a higher contrast to a lower one (unless the image is more high key) but I seen to have learned to embrace the blues a lot more than I use to.

    I guess my point is that I am not sure if the camera’s “tendency” really impacts our final choices as much as, let’s say, the images we are inspired by at the time. After I Bought my first camera, I remember looking at a lot of Darwin’s images while I was learning the ins-and-outs of my camera and the your “How to photograph the Canadian Rockies” pocket book was a huge part of that process. I longed for a blue-yellow polarizer and I gave all my images that nice warm WB that I like so much in my favourite images of yours. These days a lot of the places I end up at are more in the realm of what Paul Zizka does and I find that he uses the different blues so well to convey the sense of cold of the waterfall ice and canyons and glaciers so that might be why I sway more that way at the moment.

    We all have the freedom to make the final choices. Being aware of your camera’s bias definitely can’t hurt and can possibly open doors if you are looking at making changes to your current style.

    Reply

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