After another three weeks with my head stuck inside Apple’s Xcode developing environment, and then a few more days struggling with a new eCommerce system that I’ll talk a little about later, I decided to come up for air today and talk about my favorite image management and editing software, Capture One Pro, from Phase One. As a Capture One Brand Ambassador a number of years ago I was asked for a few paragraphs about why I love this software, but after using it for four years now, and with no sign of jumping ship anywhere else, I figured it was time to put down my definitive list of reasons for still being head over heels in love with Capture One Pro.
I also have an announcement about a great page that the Phase One team has put together, and the chance for you to win a Capture One Pro license, so please stay tuned for that at the end of this episode!
1 – Image Quality
First and foremost, the reason I love Capture One Pro is it’s outstanding image quality. When I first tested Capture One back in 2016 to see if I was interested in using it, I imported around 50 images into a catalog and processed them, and I was instantly amazed by the amount of detail that I saw in my images. The shot that really showed me what I’d been missing is the Japanese Red-Crowned Crane portrait that I used on the cover of my Making the Print ebook. I had processed it high-key in Lightroom originally, but I was simply not aware that there was that much detail in the feathers when I saw my original photo.
In fact, these are the two photos that I used on the cover for the original release and for my 2018 release when Craft & Vision closed their doors, and I actually toned down the detail a little in the new version, because I was so accustomed to the original image at this point. Still, though, I’m sure you’ll appreciate that the difference is significant. The moment I saw this, I realized that I had to spend more time looking at what Capture One Pro could do for my photography.
2 – Excellent Black and White Conversion
The next reason is that I am able to create quality black and white images without using a plugin or other software. I was never really happy with Lightroom’s black and white capabilities and had been using Silver Efex Pro which I really liked, but I didn’t like having to save my images as TIFF or PSD files, which we’ll also get to shortly. In Capture One Pro though, I am able to convert to black and white with the control that I want, and, in true form, the image quality that I have become accustomed to.
The tonal range is excellent, and when necessary, I can easily create additional masks to modify things like the foreground rocks in this image with one mask and add a second mask to adjust the sky. Of course, generic adjustments to the entire image are still possible with the background layer. I’m going to put a video together showing more about this soon, but for now, if you are interested in seeing more about some of the masking and black and white conversion capabilities, check out the videos and other posts that I’ve already released on Capture One Pro here.
3 – Highly Customizable User Interface
I am also a huge fan of the highly customizable user interface of Capture One Pro. I don’t know if this should be visible by default in the latest version, because I generally continue to build on my originally saved Workspace, but as you can see from this screenshot, you can add Tool Tabs from the predefined tabs, or create your own Custom Tool Tab, and that gives you things like the Black and White tab that you can see in the previous screenshot, which I added and customized to my liking.
For example, the Black and White Tool Tab that comes with Capture One Pro contains the film grain tool, for adding artistic grain to images, but because I never use that, I simply remove it from the Tool Tab. I do use Layers a lot though, especially on my black and white photos, so I added that to my Black and White Tool Tab, along with the High Dynamic Range sliders, which I also use a lot.
4 – Most Edits Work on Layers
The other thing that I love is that pretty much all of the edits you can make to an image can be applied just to specific layers, including masks, as well as generically to the entire image. There are a few exceptions, such as the generic Black and White sliders because, at this level, you are telling Capture One Pro how to convert the entire image, although there is very granular color edibility that we’ll look at shortly.
The Vignette tool also works on the entire image or the crop, depending on your selection, but as you can see from this screenshot, there is a paint-brush icon next to all of the other tool headers. This indicates that the adjustments that you make with that tool can be applied to layers. These icons become visible when you select a layer in the Layers tool.
5 – Advanced Color Editor
I also love to work in color, and Capture One Pro gives me complete control over the color in my images, via tools such as the Advanced Color Editor. Here I took a screenshot of the same image showing the original raw photo, but also showing the processed image with the mask that I created to enhance the blue in the ice, and the final processed image. You can move the vertical bar separating the two views as well. On the left side, I have three views, and on the right side, I have the final processed image.
Original Raw File
I created the mask by selecting the color with the color picker from the Advanced Color Editor, and then right-clicking the ellipsis in the top-right of the Color Editor and then selected Create Masked Layer from Selection. This is a great way to select specific colors for finely tuned adjustments. Here are the three images as regular files too, so that you can see them in the Lightbox by clicking on the images.
6 – Luminosity Mask
In the previous major update, Capture One was given one of the most useful features that I can recall for a few years, and that is Luminosity Masks. This enables us to select specific areas of the image based on a very fine-tunable luminosity range. I covered this in the following video that I release as episode 658.
7 – Keep My Images in Raw Format
As I mentioned earlier, removing my dependence on third-party plugins and programs meant that the vast majority of my images, and I’m talking pretty much 100%, are kept in their original raw image format. I also find that the editing tools, including cloning and healing, are good enough that I can avoid jumping into Photoshop or Affinity Photo to make larger changes for the vast majority of my images. Seriously, I save maybe one or two files each year in a format other than the original raw file, and this is huge for me. I really dislike having to round-trip to other software to work on my original image as keeping them in their original raw format gives us the ability to benefit from all future processing engine updates.
Phase One isn’t just sitting on their thumbs, they release a major update to Capture One Pro pretty much every year, and each time they upgrade, there is potential to see even better image quality in my photographs. If my images are stored as a TIFF or PSD, or any other third-party file format, I have to go back and redo any work that I did on my original because that was baked-in to my copy. Because all of the changes I make to my images are stored as instructions and mask files etc. when I never leave Capture One Pro, nothing has to be redone when the processing engine gets updated. I can usually simply press a button to update the image to the latest processing, and I’m done.
This also, of course, saves on disk space, as third-party file formats are generally much larger than the original raw files unless you are saving as JPEG, which should never be the case for the main archive version of your images anyway.
8 – Organization and Filtering Images
Although I initially wasn’t overly happy that I had to split my one huge Lightroom catalog into multiple yearly catalogs when I jumped ship to Capture One Pro, I have become accustomed to my current workflow, and feel very comfortable to move between my yearly catalogs, as well as accessing all of my Final selects in a master catalog, as I explained in my previous post.
When I need to find images, the filters section provides pretty much everything I need to find specific images, based on my star ratings, gear selection or searching for the keywords that I add to my images as I archive them, or any EXIF data, including that which I added myself to scanned film photographs.
Note that in this screenshot, I’m showing medium format film that I tagged with Phil Harvey’s ExifTool and my own custom script that I use for walking through a folder of images tagging each as I go. There is no way that I’m aware of to enter data into the camera EXIF field with Capture One Pro alone, but it uses data that you add like any other camera.
9 – Workflow Speed
It’s also possible to customize the keyboard shortcuts for most of the commands in Capture One Pro. This helps us to tailor our workflow to our own needs and allows us to really streamline the workflow, which leads me to one of the largest benefits I’ve found after improved image quality, and that is the overall speed with which I’m now able to work through my images.
In the past I would leave my location workshops with at least a number of days of images unprocessed because I simply didn’t have time to process and select my images each day. Now though, I leave every tour with every day except the last completely processed. I go through and make tweaks to my selection before saving my final selects, but I’m generally caught up by the time the tour finishes.
As an example, one of the biggest time savers for me has been the ability to create a keyboard shortcut that copies all of the changes I’ve made to an image to the clipboard, and then apply them to future images with a second shortcut. I use SHIFT + COMMAND + C to copy my adjustments, and SHIFT + COMMAND + V to apply them to other images. As I go through similar images this saves me heaps of time, and as the image content changes requiring changes to my copied adjustments I simply update the copied adjustments and continuing pasting until it needs changing again.
10 – Tethered Shooting
The last thing that I wanted to mention is the ability to shoot tethered. I left this until last because I don’t do it often, but when I need to, I really enjoy having the ability to do this right there in Capture One Pro. When you first connect a supported camera, you get one dialog that asks if you’d like to register your camera with Capture One Pro and literally it’s just one click, and you get access to all of the controls that you see on the left side in the Capture Tool’s Live View Window here.
As you can see, you can control most of the aspects of the camera right from the Live View window, including even making very fine adjustments to the focus, and, of course, releasing the shutter, so if you do focus stacking, this is a great way to work. I’ve also found it very useful when doing portrait work, as being able to see the images on the computer as we shoot makes for a very dynamic shoot, and once again, really speeds up the workflow.
Essentially, Capture One Pro is just that, a Professional image editing package that provides the tools and image quality required to satisfy even the most discerning professional photographer, but these benefits are available for anyone that forks out for a license.
Win a Capture One Pro License!
On that note though, as I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I have a Capture One Pro license to give away and wanted to invite you to take a look at an amazing resource that the Capture One Pro creators have put together, called the 30 Day Challenge. I’m not going to ask you to watch every video, but do take a look and watch the videos on areas that you are interested in. If you are new to Capture One Pro, this really is an invaluable resource.
If this all whets your appetite enough to give Capture One Pro a try, please do download the fully functional 30 day trial version, with no credit card required, and take it for a spin yourself. I had been meaning to try Capture One for years, and finally set an afternoon aside to do it in the summer of 2016, and from that first photo that we looked at earlier, I was hooked. My photography is simply better and I enjoy my photography more now that I use Capture One Pro, and that is why I’m happy to recommend it to you.
To enter for your chance to win the license that I have, I would like you to do two things, in addition to downloading the trial, and that is to write one paragraph describing what you liked about Capture One Pro, and link to one photograph or blog post that you can share based on your experience. Please post these below in the comments, and make sure that you use a valid email address for your comment, so that I can contact you if I select you as the winner. Your mail address will not be visible to anyone else, and I will not share any of the email address with anyone, including the folks at Phase One, the makers of Capture One Pro. We aren’t harvesting addresses, we just want you to have fun, and get the most out of your photography.
The deadline for entries is May 25, 2020, and I’ll announce the winner shortly after that. Also, please only enter if you do not already own a current Capture One Pro license. Let’s give people that haven’t already got one a chance to win.
New Digital Products Store
One last bit thing that I’d like to share with you is that I have just created a new digital products store via FastSpring, that enables me to offer downloadable products with a streamlined checkout process, in a multitude of currencies, while staying on top of worldwide sales taxes which is becoming a full-time job in itself.
At the moment you can buy my eBooks and Fine Art Border scripts, as well as my Viewfinder Mockup files, and a more streamlined monthly desktop wallpaper subscription with a 12 image Starter Pack. At the time of recording, I’ve had to use just basic links for the wallpaper subscription, but the actual checkout and delivery process is already much smoother.
If you are finding yourself stuck indoors self-isolating during these difficult times, hopefully, my eBooks will help you to fill some free time that you might have, so to celebrate the opening of my new digital products store, I’m offering a 30% discount off all of the currently available products below, until the end of May 3, 2020. Just use the code NEWSTORE30 when you checkout to claim your 30% discount! And if you know me, you’ll know that I don’t do sales very often, so don’t miss this chance if you have thought about picking up any of my digital products.
Although my general intention is to provide my digital products as popups throughout this website, you can also see all of the products together on FastSpring here and I’ll list them below as well: https://mbpkk.onfastspring.com/
I recently released a video that I created for the Phase One team, covering all of the new features in my raw image conversion and management software of choice, Capture One Pro.
I actually created the video around four months ago, when Capture One Pro 12 launched, but I have been pushed to find a week when I didn’t have something else that I wanted to share with you, so it’s been on the back-burner for a while.
The video is exactly 10 minutes because that’s all the time I was allowed, so some features are only touched on briefly, but we do take a deeper dive into some of my favorite new features such as Luma Range Masks, so I hope you find this useful. If you aren’t a Capture One Pro user, please take a look anyway, to see how we live on the dark side, and if you would like to see more, visit my Capture One Pro Tutorials page for a list of all videos I’ve released on Capture One to since I jumped ship from Lightroom in the summer of 2016.
As a reference, here is a Before/After of the main image that I processed in the video so that you can compare the sky after I worked on it with the new and incredibly powerful Luma Range Mask Tool. Grab the vertical bar in the middle of the image, th en you can move that left and right to see the difference between the two images. Especially notice how we are able to keep the lightest parts of the sky light as we darken down the rest.
Anyway, here is the video. Do hit that full screen button and I hope you enjoy it. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestions for future videos.
New Features at a Glance
Also, for your reference, here is a breakdown of the key new features that I cover.
Completely updated Look and Feel
Now supports plugins!
Better Masking Tools!
The UI has been overhauled with new icons and a better but familiar layout, and Capture One Pro now uses a larger font for better viewing. It’s also now possible to search for Keyboard Shortcuts – Yes!
We walk through Luminosity Masking with the Luma Range Tool. Improved Linear Gradient Masks that can now be moved with COMMAND key, or made asymmetric by dragging with the ALT or Option key pressed. And we can now create Radial Gradient masks!
Copying of Adjustments is now more intelligent, as image specific adjustments like Spot Removal are now ignored by default, but can be turned on when necessary.
Capture One Pro now supports Plugins! JPEGmini are among the first, and this opens up all sorts of doors. I can’t wait to see what other developers create!
Fujifilm Film Simulation – if you are a Fujifilm camera user that’s probably useful for you.
Capture One Pro just goes from strength to strength, and I hope this walk-through helps you to understand the new features in version 12!
Download Capture One Pro
You can download Capture One Pro and try it without any limitations for a full 30 days. Be careful though, it only took me an afternoon to realize that I was about to change my photography forever!
Two years ago, I decided to jump ship from Lightroom to Capture One Pro. At the time, it seemed like a brave move, but after an afternoon of testing I felt somewhat confident, so jump I did. Two years on, I can confirm that this has been the best thing I could have done for my photography.
Recent changes to the Lightroom product strategy have lots of people asking for help, so when my friends at Phase One asked me last week to write a post outlining points to consider when migrating from Lightroom to Capture One Pro, I jumped at the chance, and I’m sharing that article as this week’s podcast and blog post.
Preparing to Migrate
In case you recall some of the details of my original post on jumping ship, I’d like to mention that Capture One Pro now supports Photoshop PSD files, so it’s no longer necessary to convert any PSD files that you might have to a different format. You can keep them in your library as they are. I also talked about cleaning up Catalogs, to avoid extra work after the migration, but this is no longer necessary either, although a bit of spring cleaning doesn’t hurt.
Export Your Lightroom Catalogs
When I was using Lightroom, I had every image I’ve shot since 2000 in a single catalog, but Capture One Pro does not work well with this many images in a single catalog, so it’s best to split images into multiple smaller catalogs.
Note that in both Lightroom and Capture One Pro, I do not keep my images inside the Catalog. I think this makes backing up hard work, and is less transparent and therefore more error-prone than referencing images in an external folder structure. My main archive of raw images lives in a folder called Photo Originals, and at the time that I migrated, resulting in one catalog for 2000 to 2005 images, and then a separate year catalog for all years from 2006 to 2015.
To prepare to import these years into separate Capture One catalogs I right clicked each year folder in Lightroom and selected Export This Folder as a Catalog. I was able to select multiple folders and export them as a single catalog for years 2000 to 2005. I have one special folder that I call Finals, and this contains a copy of every image I’ve ever shot that is worth a hoot. It’s like my Keepers folder and has images just in year subfolders. I exported this as a separate catalog as well, in preparation to migrate.
If unlike me, you already have multiple Lightroom catalogs, you will need to decide how you want to organize these in Capture One Pro, and export your various catalogs accordingly.
In the Export dialog in Lightroom, uncheck the three checkboxes to Export negative files, Build/include Smart Previews and Include available previews in the new Catalog. The export process is quick, and once you have your bite-sized Catalogs exported from Lightroom, you are ready to import into Capture One.
Importing Lightroom Catalogs into Capture One
To import a Lightroom Catalog, open Capture One Pro, and if you don’t already have a catalog to import to, create one from the dialoag that is displayed. I personally prefer to work with Catalogs rather than Sessions.
If you are creating year catalogs like me, just give your catalog a name like 2018, or whatever year you need, then from the File menu select Import Catalog > Lightroom Catalog. The following dialog (below) will tell you what settings will be imported, which includes Collections, Crop, Rotation, and Orientation information as well as White Balance, Exposure, Saturation and Contrast settings, and Metadata, including IPTC, Rating, Color Label and Keywords.
Capture One Pro stores more information and previews inside the Catalog than Lightroom does, which I imagine is the main reason that Catalogs can’t contain that many images. I have found my strategy of keeping my original raw files for each year in single year catalogs to work very well.
My 2016 original photos catalog, the year that I jumped-ship, ended up a little over 30 GB, and my 2017 catalog was 40 GB, each containing around 22,000 images. I can’t say if Capture One Pro has got better at handling large catalogs since then, but I have grown to like having each year’s original raw images in a catalog of its own, so I’ve had no reason to try larger catalogs at this point. My Finals catalog for my final selects for all of my shots is just over 11 GB, and only grows gradually, so this strategy has worked out well too.
Note that in the Image tab of the Capture One Pro preferences, I have my Metadata settings set to Full Sync for the Auto Sync Sidecar XMP option. I turn off Prefer Embedded XMP over Embedded IPTC and turn on Prefer Sidecar XMP over Embedded Metadata.
These settings enable me to work in a similar way to how I worked in Lightroom, with most of the information about adjustments I make to images stored in the XMP sidecar files, although even with these settings, Capture One Pro does rely on data stored in the catalog as well.
With my method though, when I make a copy of my final select images to my Finals catalog, all of the changes I made to my images are correctly restored, due also to the various files that Capture One Pro writes to the target directory during this process. To make my copies I right click the images in Capture One Pro and select Export > Originals, and then go to my Finals Catalog and right click the year folder that I copied the images to, and choose Synchronize.
Note though that to Synchronize adjustments you have to turn on the Show Importer checkbox, and manually select all the images in the Import dialog for this to work. If you press the Import All button without first selecting the images, none of the image adjustments will be restored.
Working on Multiple Computers
I like to keep my images and catalog on an external drive so that I can move from computer to computer by just moving the drive. I was able to continue to do this with Capture One Pro, although my method is not entirely sanctioned by the Phase One Team, so try what I’m about to tell you at your own risk.
I achieve this by storing my Capture One Pro settings folder in Dropbox, with a symbolic link to the settings folder in the Library (on Mac OS). This way, all of my presets and settings automatically synchronize between my computers, so just moving my drive with my images and catalog on it from one computer to another works seamlessly. Rather than bloating this post, you can check out my post on how I do this, along with my backup strategy, etc. in the episode 570 post.
Capture One Tutorials
This was a relatively short post, with a thousand character limit, but I have created a number of Capture One Pro tutorials covering various aspects of the product, which you can list and reference using the at https://mbp.ac/cotutorials.
From a Lightroom user’s perspective, you will notice some differences in how Capture One Pro does things, but in the two-plus years since I switched, not once have I been disappointed by my decision.
If you want an application that works the same as Lightroom, then stay with Lightroom. But, if you want ultimate image quality, and you are willing to make a few changes to your workflow, I think it’s worth the effort to change.
I recently put together a Simple Adjustment Guide for Capture One Pro from Phase One, which I’m releasing as this weeks Podcast to celebrate the release of version 10 of this incredible raw image processing software.
In this guide I explain how I take the background in a photograph of a lotus flower, to almost full black, at the same time as bringing out some beautiful detail in what started as a relatively mediocre photograph.
I’ve embedded the video below, but you can view mine and a host of other Simple Adjustment Guides on the Phase One Web site with the below link. You can also download the raw file that I work on to try the techniques explained for yourself using my photograph.
This is only a 10 minute video, but I hope you find it useful!
I will be creating more of these guides as time allows, so I hope you enjoy these. If you have a particular technique that you’d like me to describe in a future guide, do let me know if the comments below.
Save 10% on Capture One Pro!
If you don’t yet use Capture One Pro, now is a great time to give it a try. You can download Capture One Pro here and give it a try for a full 30 days to see if it’s for you before you take the plunge. Be warned though, once you’ve seen your images at their full potential, it will be hard to walk away from this. 🙂
Please note that due to changes in Phase One, the discount code that I mentioned in the Podcast is no longer valid.
Capture One Pro is a very powerful raw image processing application, that supports the photographer’s digital workflow from importing through to exporting, in a number of formats. Today we’re going to look at the many ways in which you can export your images from Capture One Pro, including printing.
Last week, we covered importing and organizing images and catalogs in Capture One Pro. Right now, I’m in Greenland and next week I’ll be in Iceland, photographing some of the planets most beautiful and striking landscapes, so I’m going to save a tutorial on processing images until after I get back.
As I’m still relatively new to Capture One, that will give me more time to practice my own various processing techniques, so the discussion will be more valuable for you, and I’ll hopefully have some nice photos from Greenland and Iceland to share with you as well. This week, let’s concentrate on getting your processed images back out of Capture One Pro in a number of different formats.
Exporting Original Format Images
Export Originals to Finals Folder.
If you simply need to export your original raw files, or any other format of image that you might have in your catalog, you can simply export the original file, as I do to make a copy of my final selects to my Finals folder, as I mentioned last week.
To do this, select the images you want to export, and right click one of the thumbnails, and from the shortcut menu, select Export, then select Originals. You can also get to this option from the File menu.
I don’t change the image name on export, because I changed on import. After checking the destination etc. click the Export button, as you see in this screenshot (right).
Output – Process Recipes
For most other file export operations, you’ll first jump to the Output tab in Capture One Pro, which is the single cogwheel icon, that you can see in orange in the top left corner of the screenshot here (below). If you can’t see the detail, click on the image to view it larger.
Capture One Pro Output Process Recipes
In the Output screen you can create and select Process Recipes, which are used to export your images into various formats and sizes. There are a number of Recipes already in this view when you first install Capture One Pro, but I think almost all of the one’s you can see in this screenshot are Recipes that I’ve created myself.
Capture One Pro supports exporting images in JPEG, JPEG QuickProof, JPEG XR, JPEG 2000, TIFF, DNG, PNG and PSD file formats. If you intend to import your images back into Capture One, avoid using Photoshop PSD files, because they aren’t supported. I’m now using the lossless TIFF format for all images that I will bring back into Capture One to continue to work on, say for example, if I need to go into Photoshop to do some extensive cloning.
You can change the file format from the Format pulldown under the Process Recipe > Basic section, but if you are going to output in that format more than once or twice, save yourself some time by creating a Process Recipe preset.
Process Recipe Presets
To create a new Recipe, click the + button at the bottom of the Process Recipes panel, and an Untitled Recipe will be added to the list, with the name selected ready for you to change it to something meaningful. You might enter something like “TIFF 16 Bit Full Size (ProPhoto RGB)” which would be good for exporting images to edit in Photoshop.
Export for Web Process Recipe
Export for Web
You can resize images during export as well, and add watermarks, so let’s look at how you might create an Export for Web Process Recipe.
Note that if you start changing the settings under the Process Recipe section before creating a new Recipe, it will just change the Recipe that you currently have selected, so let’s hit the + button at the bottom of the Process Recipes section first, and give our Recipe a name, like “Export for Web”.
Although you can export as PNG, the JPEG format is more suitable for photographs for the Web, so select JPEG from the format pulldown. I usually select 92 for the Quality, because it halves the size of the file but leaves no visible artifacts in the image.
Resolution is good at 72 pixels per inch for the Web, and I’m going to set the Height of my image to 960 pixels. I like my landscape orientation images to be 1440 pixels wide and 960 pixels high, but to stop my portrait orientation images getting too tall, I also resize those to 960 pixels high, so just selecting 960 pixels high resizes both orientations correctly.
I’d like to be able to open my images in Finder after they are all created, but Finder isn’t actually listed as an Application on the Mac OS so I leave Open With set to None.
Select an Output location, and if you want to change the name of your files on output, create or select a preset for that too. You can see a summary of your settings in the Process Summary area, but for before we click the Process button, let’s check a few other things. Under the Adjustments tab, uncheck Disable Sharpening, because you generally want your resized Web images to be sharpened a little.
Under Metadata, select your required options. It’s best to keep your Copyright information intact, but you may want to remove GPS coordinates, especially if you are going to share images from your home. Including Camera Metadata is usually OK, and actually better if you are sharing your images in an education-centric environment, and including Keywords is usually a good idea too.
Add a Watermark
If you like to watermark your images for the Web, you can do that under the Watermark tab, as you can see in this screenshot (right).
I just use my logo in black with a white drop shadow, and reduce the Opacity to 77%, and this makes it somewhat transparent, but can be seen on most colored backgrounds, so I don’t have to mess around selecting a different colored logo depending on the background.
The Horizontal and Vertical positions shown here will place the watermark in the bottom left hand corner of the image. If you want to just position the logo with your mouse, click the little hand icon at the top right corner of the Watermark panel.
Once you’ve set that up, just click the Process button, and your select image or images will be output to the Output folder you specified, resized and watermarked and ready for the Web.
Export to Multiple Formats Simultaneously
One of the other great things about the Capture One Pro Output tab, is that you can turn on the checkbox for multiple Process Recipes, and once you press the Process button, you’ll get a copy in all of the selected file formats and sizes.
If you want to specify a specific output location for certain image types, so that they don’t all get put into the same Output location, you can select a different location under the File tab too, and this is saved in your Process Recipe, which is very useful.
Round Trip Editing
To send a selected photograph to a third party application for editing, you can right click a thumbnail and select Open With, and select the third party application, such as Photoshop, from the submenu. Keep in mind though that this method will open the original file without any of the changes that you’ve made in Capture One, and that may not be what you want to do.
A better option if you want to keep your changes, yet send the image straight to a program such as Photoshop, is to right click the image and select Edit With, which opens a dialog for you to select the format and color space etc. as you can see in this screenshot (below). Note also that this will create a copy of the image that it sends to Photoshop.
Edit With Dialog
Also, note that under the Adjustments tab of this dialog, there is a Disable Sharpening option. Most of the time raw files need a little bit of sharpening to make them look normal again, as raw files can be a little bit soft. Keep this option in mind, and uncheck it, to enable sharpening as necessary.
The great thing about using this Edit With method, is that the copy that is created is added to your Catalog automatically, so when you’ve finished editing in the third party program and save your image, when you come back into Capture One Pro, it’s right there waiting for you.
Always Soft Proofing
One of the coolest things about Capture One Pro is that you are pretty much always in soft proof mode, which means you get to see the affect that the selected Color Space or ICC Profile has on your images as you edit and output them.
In the earlier screenshots, with the Himba Girl, I had a 16 bit TIFF Process Recipe selected, and it was using the ProPhoto RGB color space. This gives me the most wiggle room when editing my images. I also have an Adobe RGB and an sRGB color space TIFF Process Recipe, so that I can easily compare all three color spaces.
Most of the time, as I switch between these various color spaces, the software does what it’s supposed to do, and correctly converts between these larger and smaller color spaces, so it’s difficult to impossible to see any difference.
I have a few black and white images that I have processed in Capture One Pro, that do change slightly in the Capture One Pro interface, but when I export them, they all look the same, so I actually think that’s a problem with the software rendition of the image on screen.
A very import application of this soft proofing feature, is that you can choose to view your images using either a specific profile, or always use the profile that you have selected from the Process Recipes list, regardless of where you are in the user interface. To make Capture One always use the selected Process Recipe ICC profile, under the View menu, choose Selected Recipe from the Proof Profile submenu.
Soft Proofing for Print
With Capture One set up to always use the Selected Recipe’s ICC profile when creating your preview, you can create a Recipe and select one of your print ICC profiles, and select that to get a soft proofing view of your images before printing them. I selected a 16 bit TIFF, and selected my printer ICC profile while creating a number of printer soft proofing profiles, as you can see in this screenshot (below).
Soft Proofing for Print
Also note that when soft proofing for print, it’s generally a good idea to change the background to white, to simulate the white borders or matte around your print. If you view the print with a dark background, it makes the paper simulation look too harsh, and it’s difficult to really gauge what your printed image will look like.
To change the background color, go to your Capture One Preferences, and change the Color for the Viewer under the Appearance tab. Also, while you are in the preferences, set a widish Proof Margin, say of around 30 pixels. With that set you can easily turn on the Proof Margin with the button at the top left corner of the viewing area, next to where it says Background in this screenshot.
Finally, if you have Viewer Labels turned on, showing shooting information and the filename below the large preview of your photo, turn that off by selecting Hide Viewer Labels, under the View menu. By this point, you’ll have a photo totally surrounded by white.
Adjusting for Print
You can see in this screenshot (above) that when selecting a matte media type, like Breathing Color’s Pura Bagasse Smooth, the image can look a little bit pale and lack contrast. I find that the reality is a little bit better than this in the print, but it’s a good guide, as matte prints are never as punchy as gloss prints.
If you want to make some changes to your image, just for print, it’s a good idea to make a Variant, which is a virtual copy of the original image. In Capture One Pro, when you right click a thumbnail and select New Variant, you get a copy of your image without any of the changes you’ve made to the image. Assuming you want to keep those changes and make further adjustments for your print, select Clone Variant from the shortcut menu.
Using Color Readouts
Another very useful feature in Capture One, especially when it comes to preparing to print, is the Color Readouts. Generally, when printing, you want to avoid total black and total white. I often don’t head this advice myself when it comes to blacks. I’ll go to 100% black and my printers usually handle it fine, but it’s worth understanding this theory, and generally worth trying to avoid pure white.
Select Add Color Readout from the bottom of the Picker tools, which is second from the right in the toolbar above the viewer in this screenshot (below). Then, click on some of the key areas of your photograph. I like to check the darkest area, the brightest highlight, and a mid tone.
Using Color Readouts
When I placed these Color Readouts on my original image, the background was 0, total black, and the shell was 255, which is pure white, so I created a Clone Variant, and adjusted my Levels, to bring these values in just a little, which would be good printing practice. You can see that now in my resulting image, my darkest background has a luminance of 2, and my brightest highlight, the shells on this Himba Girls traditional necklace is 253. Her face is 111.
Another option for checking the darkest and brightest areas of your image for print, are the Exposure Warnings, which you can turn on with the warning triangle icon in the toolbar. I set my highlight warnings at 253 and my shadow warning at 2. As you can see from this screenshot (below), the background is mostly 2 or darker, but I intentionally darkened that, and I’m fine with printing this image as it is, with just a little tweak.
Of course, if you want to make any other modifications for print, increasing contrast, changing the colors to stop them going out of gamut, now would be the time to do it. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way to display gamut warnings in Capture One Pro, so unless it’s really well hidden, I don’t think it supports it. I’m hoping that is something that will change at some point though.
Once you have your soft proofing done, and are ready to print, you could of course just send the photo to Photoshop and print from there, but just as I always printed from Lightroom, I love to be able to print right in my processing and workflow tool. Plus, I hate printing from Photoshop, so I’ve been printing quite happily from Capture One Pro for the last few weeks.
Unlike Lightroom where you go to the Print module to print, in Capture One Pro, you can hit the Print button from the top menu at any time, regardless of where you are in the program. The print window opens, and you get to select your settings.
We can create templates in Capture One to save margin and layout information, but it forgets about page size and ICC profiles whenever you close the program. Fortunately, these are quick settings to change, so select your paper size, and the ICC profile for your printer and media combination from the Color Profile menu.
Printing from Capture One
From what I’ve seen so far, the print Sharpening that is done by Capture One when set at 25 is enough for my own images. You may need to change this depending on how sharp your original image is, and also it may need to be increased for larger prints too, but for now, I’ve been leaving this at 25.
You can set your margins depending on how much border you want. I use my 7:13% offset border, to raise the image up slightly, and you can see the dimensions I use in my Print Borders spreadsheet that you can download here. Once you have entered your border dimensions, click the Templates pulldown, and select Save User Template. In this screenshot (above) you can see that I called this one 18 x 24 inches 7-13 borders.
So, once that’s set up, I can quickly recall my margin sizes and I’m ready to hit the Print button. Another very cool thing about printing from Capture One Pro, is that when I switch from Landscape to Portrait orientation, it automatically switches the borders around for me, so I no longer have to save a separate template for each orientation.
No File Names!
The only thing that I don’t like about printing from Capture One Pro, and I’m hoping this will be changed very soon, is that it does not pass the filename to the printer. It prints everything as Untitled, and that renders the Accounting Manager with my Canon large format printer pretty much useless.
I need to be able to identify the files printed to find the print costs, and when they all say Untitled, that becomes a pain, especially when I sometimes have to show the costs to customers via email, because without their filename in the accounting information, I could be charging them for any old print.
See You on the Flip-side!
OK, so we’ll wrap it up there for this week. As I said, I’ll be in Greenland when this is released, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to record an extra episode or two while I’m in Reykjavik, before I start my Iceland tour, so there may be a bit of a blank before I get caught up again at the end of September. Do stay with me though, because I’ll be back, and I’m looking forward to sharing my new work with you and putting together a tutorial on how I’m processing my images in Capture One Pro 9 as well.
Capture One Pro 10% Discount
Please note that due to changes in Phase One, the discount code that I mentioned in the Podcast is no longer valid.
Also, note that you can download a fully working trial version of Capture One Pro from the Phase One Web site, and try it out for a full 30 days before you buy. See if you love it as much as I do.