Using Canon Picture Styles for Car Photography

by | Jan 29, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Today’s post specifically focuses on a feature that’s found in Canon EOS cameras and while shooters of other brands and systems might be unhappy about this singular focus, please keep in mind it’s just for today’s post. If nothing else, enjoy today’s featured photograph.

Canon’s Picture Styles are applied to JPEG (still) and MOV (video) files during exposure. Picture Styles are adjustable parameters that determine how your EOS DSLR or mirrorless camera, in the case of the M-series, will process and render images. They are permanent to the extent that the rendering is “baked in” and can’t be completely undone.

Picture Styles can also be applied to RAW files, during or after exposure. For RAW files, Picture Style only affects how images are rendered on the camera’s LED display. If you intend to convert RAW images to black and white, the Monochrome Picture Style will provide a preview of the image in black and white while retaining all of the photograph’s original color information in the RAW file. (Monochrome JPEG or MOV images can not be converted back to color.)

How I made this shot: I photographed this 1957 Chrysler convertible at a previous SEMA show using a Canon EOS 5D Mark I with EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 28mm.) Exposure was 1/2 sec at f/22 and ISO 800 and was shot using the Nostalgia Picture Style.

Any Picture Styles applied to RAW files can  be changed or modified later. When applied during post-processing using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional raw developer software, you can apply any Picture Style that you like, whenever you like. The Picture Style you choose will not become a permanent part of the rendering until you export the RAW file as a JPEG or TIFF file. This option is not available with many third-party applications, which often apply a preset rendering regardless of the Picture Style you’ve already have set.

If you have an EOS camera and want to experiment with Picture Styles, You can download some here.


My book Creative Digital Monochrome Effects is still available from Amazon and (I think, anyway) is a fun read. There’s even a chapter on infrared photography. It’s available from them for $37.84 but bargain shoppers can pick up used copies starting at $2.07. No Kindle version is available at this time, sorry to say.