The featured image shows a tree at Gibraltar Point yesterday. I have used the “Dramatic” setting, which could easily be labelled “Melodramatic” as it always reminds me of the words “It was a dark and stormy night…”
The one below is the one my camera took with its normal setting. Having just checked it I see that “normal” means it’s set for fluorescent lighting (which is what I use when taking pictures for eBay. This may account for the slightly lifeless colours I have been noting recently will dull weather.
The next one is the same tree, and the same photograph as above, but with the computer’s “auto correct” setting applied.
I’m not clear what it actually uses for reference. In this case it hasn’t made a lot of difference. I have tried it on other photos at times and it does make a considerable difference, but I didn’t think to save original copies to compare the two. I only actually started thinking about this a few minutes ago when I auto corrected a couple of beach photos, which seemed to consist of moving them from Lincolnshire to California – the difference in sea, sand and sky were that significant. It did not, however, change any of the subjects into youthful, bronzed lifeguards, as you will see when I eventually use the photos.
I did, as you may guess, take three photos for use in a blog post, the fourth is an afterthought. The fourth uses a setting called Pop Art, which brings all the colours out and always reminds me of a 1970s colour postcard. I have used it before with some posts, mainly when I’ve been at the seaside.
I’m sure the postcards that used this colouring were labelled Photochrom, but I’ve just looked it up and found that it was a completely different process according to Wikipedia, so I may be getting confused.
Personally, I like the stormy picture, as it suits the skeletal tree, and I like the Pop Art setting as it reminds me of a day at the seaside. From the point of view of it just being a photograph with no context, either of them are reasonable tree photos.
From the documentary point of view, neither are accurate – there was no storm and the day was not that bright and sunny.
However, it was a bit brighter than the other two settings imply, which might be partly down to me having the camera adjusted for fluorescent light.
Having started off to compare a few camera settings I’m now starting to wonder if any photograph is reliable, particularly with so many ways of manipulating photographs being available.
How long, given the current state of technology, before somebody comes up with an app that inserts Elvis Presley into a crowd scene every time it detects more than twenty faces in the photo?
Or even better, inserts a photograph of Derrick J Knight holding a gherkin – we could call it the Where’s Wally? App. (That’s an in-joke for regular readers of Derrick, who has introduced the slang term wally into the culinary vocabulary of a wide range of his WP readers.)
Cameras do so much for us these days that it is hard to say that any picture is ‘real’. My Lumix does so much internal processing that when I press auto contrast on my photo editing program absolutely nothing changes….and then people say that it is ‘cheating’ to use an editor. I happily tinker away every evening.
That’s a bit like saying it’s cheating to use a computer for writing. Far better than a quill and you don’t have to put up with keeping geese in the garden.
As for tinkering with photos, why not if it moves you closer to the shot you want. It’s far harder than taking a perfect shot once in a blue moon.
Oooh…I want the Elvis in a crowd photo thing…
If only I knew how to do it…
You probably know I rarely change my pictures, although I have to say that your dramatic version is quite effective. Just be careful how you programme that gherkin. 🙂
🙂 I will be careful. I must remember to set the camera on daylight for going outside – that may be part of my dull colour problem. In the old days all this was solved by using Fuji films, as I recall.
Ah. The joys of film
And the price!
The light and colors that the camera gives us does not always match what we see. A little fiddling is sometimes in order. Fun to play with the different settings and get something completely different.
Yes, we often have this conversation in the shop – the camera does not see colour as we do and often makes silver coins look blue, or brown or even gold. It can be very annoying, particularly as the owner can’t grasp the concept and blames the photographer. 🙂