What are Photographic Styles and how do you use them?

(Pocket-lint) – Apple announced the iPhone 13 series during an event on 14 September 2021 and with them arrived a number of new features, including Photographic Styles for photos and Cinematic mode for video. 

You can read all about Cinematic mode in our separate feature, but here we are focusing on Photographic Styles, including what they are, how they work and how to use them.

What are Photographic Styles?

Photographic Styles are four presets you can choose to use and apply to a photo before you take a shot on any one of the four iPhone 13 models. There are four presets to choose from, comprising Vibrant, Rich Contrast, Warm and Cool, while you can also opt for Standard too.

Standard is the default look produced by your iPhone and designed to be true to life and balanced in its representation.

Vibrant delivers bright and vivid colours, though still designed to be natural. 

Rich Contrast delivers a more dramatic look, with darker shadows, richer colours and stronger contrast.

Warm offers golden undertones for a warm look. 

Cool has blue undertones for a cooler look.

Think of them as a very subtle filter, but unlike a filter that is applied to an entire image post shot, whether a person’s face or the sky and therefore sometimes ruining elements of the shot, Photographic Styles will understand the separate elements and apply the preset style accordingly. 

How do Photographic Styles work?

Photographic Styles are designed to bring your individual preferences into the image pipeline – which means before the shot is taken. If, for example, you like high contrast shots, the idea is that you would apply the Rich Contrast Photographic Style before you take any photo, meaning you then don’t have to apply a filter afterwards, or adjust the settings individually.

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Photographic Styles uses a deep semantic understanding to apply the right amount of adjustments to different parts of the photo, while preserving certain elements, like skin tone. It should mean you get a better all round image than applying a similar filter would offer as the photo shouldn’t look like a film has just been placed over the top, offering more dimension to certain elements.

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How do you use Photographic Styles?

Photographic Styles has to be applied before you take a shot. You can’t apply one of the four preset Photographic Styles after a shot has been taken, like you can with a filter or in the same way you can edit a photo by adjusting colour, contrast, saturation etc. 

To find Photographic Styles, launch the camera app on your iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max. You can either then swipe up from the bottom and tap on the icon with the three squares, or you can tap on the icon with the three squares in the top right of your display, next to the Live Photo icon. 

Either will then launch the five presets – Standard, Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm and Cool – in the viewfinder showing you what your image will look like.

You will also see Tone and Warmth sliders below each of the presets, allowing you to adjust each to better suit your preference. Whatever you set will remain when you next launch the camera app and Photographic Styles unless you change them again, or press the reset button to the right of the sliders which will return the sliders to the preset values for each Style.

The idea is that you make it your default to open up the camera app and take all your photos using your preferred setting, saving you time editing post shot.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on .

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