Following on from my recent article about why and how I use the Nikon Picture Control system, here is a comparison between two of them.

You can read a full article here about why I use the Nikon Picture Control system [and download a few I have made] but I just wanted to write a quick post this morning which shows you a direct comparison between two of the styles.

I shot the following picture the other day, in Akihabara, whilst doing a photowalk and lesson for a lady in town from France.

We were shooting in fixed styles, her with her Canon and me with my Nikon. She was shooting in black and white. I was shooting in the Ektachrome P style I have set up in my Nikon.

I often do this myself and for students: have them shoot, just like the old film days, in a fixed aesthetic. It’s good exercise to pre-visualise the world in a specific colourspace or in monochrome. It helps you hunt for specific subjects that suit the style. It also helps you focus on specific parts of the process of picture taking.

Here’s a shot I took in the street in Akiba, shot with the Nikon D700 and Kerlee 35mm f/1.2 lens. I was shooting from the hip, on f/1.2 and fixed at 3m of focus.

You can quite clearly see how the pictures differ. My Ektachrome control creates lovely ‘crushed’ blacks, saturates the colours and is a little sharper. For the subject that was in front of me, it suited the scene perfectly to shoot it the way I did.

Yes, it’s all RAW, which has enabled me to create the Standard shot from mine and put both for you here. But, I hope that can see the attraction in shooting this way: less post-processing if you get the result you want in-camera, an approach of shooting to render the world in front of you in a specific aesthetic.

Nikon’s ‘Standard’ Picture Control:Akihabara, Tokyo, shot with Nikon's Standard Picture Control

My ‘Ektachrome P’ Picture Control

Akihabara, Tokyo, shot with my Ektachrome P Picture Control