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Creative Assist Lesson 2: Controlling Contrast and Saturation

Colour and contrast greatly affect the final look of your shots. With Creative Assist, getting them to look the way you want is just two taps and a slide away! It's perfect for achieving images with your own personal style straight out of the camera, right on the spot. (Photos by: Yuji Ogura, Edited by: Etica)

Train tracks (Creative Assist: Contrast)

 

Adjust colours and tones to create your own distinct look!

In Lesson 1, we learned about how we can use Creative Assist to adjust background blur and brightness. In addition, you might want to adjust the colours and tones of your image so that the effect is closer to what you have in mind.

Of course, these changes can be made to your image file after you have taken the shot, using your favourite image editing app. However, with a compressed file format like JPEG, you lose some information every time you edit and resave the file, and this will cause the image quality to degrade.

Creative Assist lets you adjust colours and tones so that you can be sure that the shot looks just the way you want when you snap it. Not only does that keep the image quality intact, you can even share it straight to social media from Camera Connect or image.canon without having to edit it with another app!

 

Contrast: The difference between light and dark areas

"Contrast" refers to the difference between light and dark.

When you set a higher contrast in Creative Assist mode, the bright areas will appear brighter, while the dark areas will be darker, which gives you a photo that “pops” and looks sharper. When you set a lower contrast, there is less difference between the light and dark areas, which makes your photos look less sharp in that aspect. 

These differences can also affect your viewers’ impression of your subject—just look at the examples below.

High contrast

Girl against red background (high contrast)

Creative Assist/ Contrast +2

A higher contrast makes the woman appear unfriendly. 

 

Low contrast

Girl against red background (low contrast)

Creative Assist/ Contrast -2

Finishing the photo with a lower contrast makes the photo look a bit “softer” and the woman appear kinder.

 

Creative Assist function: How to adjust contrast

(1) Make sure you’re in Scene Intelligent Auto mode

Mode dial in Scene Intelligent Auto mode

Press the [SET] button next to the LCD screen. 
You might see a message. Read the message and select [OK].

 

(2) Select the "Contrast" icon

Creative Assist menu (Contrast)

 

(3) Move the slider to adjust to your preferred contrast settling

Creative Assist menu (Contrast) 

Adjusting toward the “+” side makes your photo look sharper while adjusting toward the “-” side gives it a softer look.

 

Saturation: Making colours look stronger/weaker

“Saturation” refers to the intensity of colours. 

When you want to make the colours of objects such as plants, miscellaneous goods, and buildings more intense, set the intensity towards “Vivid”. This makes the colours stronger.

When you want the colours to look more subdued, set the intensity towards “Neutral”. This makes the colours appear more faded overall.

 

More intense

Creative Assist/ Saturation +4

 

More neutral

Creative Assist/ Saturation -4

 

Creative Assist function: How to adjust saturation

(1) Make sure you’re in Scene Intelligent Auto mode

Mode dial in Scene Intelligent Auto mode

Press the [SET] button next to the LCD screen. 
You might see a message. Read the message and select [OK].

 

(2) Select the “Saturation” icon

Creative assist menu (Saturation)

 

(3) Move the slider to adjust to your preferred saturation setting

Creative Assist menu (Saturation)

Adjusting toward the “+” side makes photos more vivid, while adjusting toward the “-” side makes it darker.

 

When you control the contrast and saturation, you can take photos like these!

Top-down image of swing (high contrast)

Set a higher contrast to create a cool photo using light and shadow

Creative Assist/ Contrast +3
[Shooting Conditions] Shooting location (weather): Outdoor (sunny), State of light (strength, direction): Strong light / direct light

 

Fence (low contrast)

Set a lower contrast to capture shapes of the fence with muted colours

Creative Assist/ Contrast -4
[Shooting Conditions] Shooting location (weather): Outdoor (sunny), State of light (strength, direction): Soft light / slight backlight

 

Red buckets

Increasing the saturation enhances the redness of the fire bucket

Creative Assist/ Saturation +2
[Shooting Conditions] Shooting location (weather): Outdoor (sunny), State of light (strength, direction): Soft light / direct light

 

Top-down shot of plant

Reducing the saturation evokes a sense of nostalgia
Creative Assist/ Saturation: -2
[Shooting Conditions] Shooting location (weather): Outdoor (cloudy), State of light (strength, direction): Soft light / slight backlight

 

Know this: In traditional shooting modes, use Picture Style

When Creative Assist changes the contrast or saturation, it is actually adjusting the Picture Style settings. In more “advanced” shooting modes like Program AE (P) mode or Aperture-priority AE (Av) mode, you can achieve the same effects by adjusting the relevant Picture Style detailed settings.

 

Find out more about Picture Style and how to use it in:
Camera Basics #10: Picture Style
3 Steps to Creating Custom Photos With Picture Style

 


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Etica

Etica

Etica Co., Ltd. not only run photography classes under the name “Tanoshii Camera School", but also edit publications and plan media and events related to cameras and photography, with a focus on themes related to child care, animals and food. Their motto is "Photos make people happy!" and they are engaged in communicating the charm of cameras and photography.

https://etica.jp/

Yuji Ogura

Yuji Ogura
Ogura’s work in photography expands from shooting photographic works to development and printing films. He is one of the tutors at the “Camera Biyori Photography School”. He started his career as an engineer at a film laboratory and later establishes his own “mogu camera” lab. He also runs the “mogu sun” portrait studio.