Introduction to CaptureOne
Let's take a minute next and get into Capture One, I'll give you a little intro into it. Again, Capture One is the software that I, the only software I've used for tethering. In my opinion it works really well. It's a professional RAW converter and image editing software. So whether you use it for tethering or not, again, like I said, I've been using it for almost 14 years and for the first several years, eight or so, I only used it as a RAW converter and in my opinion, that was, it was well worth it just for that. The control I had over my RAW files from exposure to white balance to color and everything else, sharpening, anything you can name and even the file structure system that they have within and being able to make selects and all that and import images and rename everything was worth it. But once I was able to start tethering and got a good handle on that, it became even more valuable so in my opinion, it's the best software for tethering. I've worked on literally hundreds of p...
hoto shoots whether I'm a photographer, a lighting assistant, or a digital tech and 99% of those shoots have used Capture One for the tethering aspect of it or the RAW processing. The exact software that I use is called Capture One Pro 11. You can download a trial on Phase One's website or you can just outright buy it, which you probably will, eventually anyways, so I definitely recommend checking it out, downloading the trial, playing around with all the settings, getting to know the software because there is a lot that you can do, a lot of adjustments can be made. It's pretty well thought out, so being able to download that trial, play with it, figure out what works for you is important. And it's kinda fun, so we'll get into the software a little bit more. It's very customizable. I'm gonna show you, once we bring Capture One up onto the screen, I'm gonna show you how to fully customize the Toolbars, what each of the Toolbars does, how to adjust them, and to get those immediate results. It's easy to navigate. You can also change the navigation within the software and save that workspace so that way when you open it, it always looks the same and looks to your preferences and again, a great file quality. So you'll see as we go, just how great you can adjust the color from skin tones to overall color toning and grading, it's pretty neat. With that said, let's go over to Capture One real quick, on my computer here, and we'll bring up all the features that we can do. So, first off, this is what Capture One looks like. This is Capture One Pro 11. And you'll see some images on my screen here, so how, we'll kinda go through it from left to right, so with the software open, this is your Toolbar up here on the left. This is the main Toolbar that you'll work from. So what you have here is your Library. So similar to Finder on a MAC or any type of file structure on any computer, you have your Library. So we can just downtab that, that's this folder tab. These are where all the folders are stored. And I guess before I get there, there's two ways to work within Capture One. You can work with Catalogs or you can work with Sessions. I'm not gonna get too much into Catalogs. Catalogs are a more broad area where you can put all of your images. I like to work in Sessions because I can keep all of my folders separate. I work from shoot to shoot with different content, different locations, different clients, so I make each one of my client folders a Session, so I like to work with Sessions and you'll see that here. That's why all these are titled Sessions. So within each Session, you'll have your images and different folders and we'll get into that. So this is in our Library. As you can see this looks just like any file structure. This shoot is called the Moto Shed. It's just a motorcycle garage. You can see some of the images over here on the thumbnails and within that file structure, we have Capture, Output, Selects, and Trash. One of the cool things is, just to show you guys, if you go to File and New Session, we'll come back to this one, we can name one Creative Live and you can see down here, we'll get rid of the space. I like having my folders have no spaces here. You can see, you can figure out where these images are gonna go when you shoot tethered, so that's where the location is. I have it going to my desktop. There's different templates you can use based on how you wanna set up your tethering or your captures, and that's for your file structure and your folder structure. I like mine to be the capture so that's where all the images go as I shoot them. The Select subfolder is where all the Selects would go after I process them. Output could be High Res, JPEGS, whatever you want, Trash, pretty self explanatory and then Capture Name, these are what the files are going to be named. So you can also set that up a little more in depth as you import, so I have Creative Live, I then like to make an underscore and I have it set up so it does four digits starting with 0001, so it'll count up the images as we go. And you can either open that in a new window or hit OK, so when you open a new session, it starts off blank, as you shoot, which we'll do in a little bit, all the images will fall into that folder and appear on the screen. If you wanna go to an old session, you just go back over to your library here, click through your folder structures. So I have them on my desktop here. We had that Moto Shed and we'll just open that Capture Folder, and there are the images again. It's pretty simple, definitely easy to use Sessions. I prefer it just for ease of use and again keeping all my folders and all my images in different folders, I like that structure best because I can navigate in two different ways, by starting a new Session or going to retrieve an old Session through the system folders. So again, these are just raw images from a recent shoot. We'll open one up just to kinda, to go through and show you what I do on the shoot and what adjustments I would make on the fly. So what we're gonna do next is go through the Toolbar a little more. Here we have the Capture tool. This is, when you have your computer hooked up to your camera directly, this is where you can change all your settings. It'll actually tell you what camera is being hooked up, all of your settings from your aperture to your shutter speed, to your ISO, white balance, everything in between will pop up there. We'll get into that when we're actually shooting. You can mess with your settings directly from and adjust the settings directly from your computer and you can even change things from file naming to where the location of the captures are going and all that, and it has a little histogram here so you can kind of see, you know, the range of your photos as far as your exposure goes. The next object in the tool bar is a color, so this is where you can adjust everything from your white balance to color balance, to black and white or color editor. I'm gonna go through all of these and then show you which ones I use afterwards. The next tab up here is your exposure, so again, it keeps the histogram up top. This is where you can adjust your exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation. When I mentioned High Dynamic range, I love saving, I hate blowing out highlights, so I love using the highlight slider to bring all the highlights back and make the shadows so I like to show off a little more of a flat file and add the contrast later. It also has a levels feature here so you can make adjustments to your levels, just like you would in Photoshop or any other software. It has a tone curve right there so you can go into your RGB and change, or just overall, and change the curve, add that contrast through curves and then clarity, so that just ups the clarity or the structure of that file adding a little bit of sharpness and clarity so that's what's all in the Exposure tab. The next tab that I use, this is for styles and presets, so one of the neat things in a newer feature within Capture One is the ability to use, to kinda mimic film grain and things like that all those styles are built in and you can download more, you can purchase more, user styles from Phase One's website and there's just different effects you can do to the files. I generally build my own so we'll kind of skip this for now but it is nice knowing that those are in there. All the film grains, all the different presets and you can save them and apply them to all your images so you can kinda get a look that really fits your color pallet and your style. The next, and this is the one that I use the most, is your Local Adjustment. So this is a Toolbar you can actually build to fit your needs, so what I have in here, you'll see there's a lot of drop down menus. I have my layers so that's one thing that's really unique within Capture One, is similar to Photoshop, you can have layers, so you might have one layer within your RAW file that adjusts the exposure and you can mask where that actually hits or mask out the areas that you don't want to affect on the image, similar to Photoshop. So if you were to adjust the highlight exposure, say on the engine of this motorcycle, because there's a lot of highlights, but you don't want it to effect the fluorescent lights here, you could mask that you and adjust those things individually and save each layer, and there's the brushes and things like that. Just like in Photoshop to do your masks. The next feature that I use within my own personal adjustments is the White Balance. Generally speaking, I try and nail this in camera, as far as getting the settings and not having to deal with that, so I'm at 5561 at minus .1. So that means it's just taking out .1 red, which is adding a little bit of green. I don't like my images to have much red, I like them to err on the side of being a little more green, just less red, so I don't touch that much. It's just there in case I need it. The next drop down menu would be our Exposure. This one's really important. This is where you can adjust the exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation, etc. You can do all that under here pretty quick and it's all done in values here on the right. The next tab, as I just explained is the High Dynamic range. This adjusts the highlights. As you can see the light bulbs are changing as I adjust that slider. You'll really be able to see it here, the shadows. You can see I shot that with a lot of, when I'm shooting, I know what the editing is going to look like on the back end, so I know that this details there, but it's hard to light in certain ways when you can't see that, so knowing that I can make these adjustments on the fly, knowing what details there, that way when I'm adjusting lights, I'm not overdoing it, because it's easier to bring the shadow back, in my opinion, than to bring the highlights back because there's a lot of detail within the shadows, obviously as you can see, as I adjust the slider. That's what it would look like on the back of your camera. Pretty dark, but I know, because I'm shooting tethered that I can just slightly adjust, it's almost like adding more and more fill as we go, so this is about the spot where I want it to be. The next tab that's pretty cool and I've been messing with more and more recent, is this three way coloration. What this is, is similar to color grading film or anything like that. What we have here is three different circles and each one adjusts a different part of the image as far as shadow, mid-tone, and highlights. What I mean by adjust is it changes the color. So you can see in this wheel here, we have a full range of colors from green, to blue, to purple, red, orange, yellow, and so on. The full color wheel there, and as you slide this little tab around, that's going to be the color that it's going to put in the shadows so I wanted a little more blue in my shadows for this image and this slider on the left is the intensity, so you'll see as I move it up, more blue will creep into the shadows. As I move it down, it'll go back to neutral. So I always like having a little cooler shadows, or at least in this scenario. This wheel up here, again same color wheel. It's the mid-tones, so you can see, I've selected a little bit of yellow orange to kind of warm up those mid-tones. You can see as you warm them up, it's a little too much there, but again, with having those cool shadows, I like to counteract it with a little warmth in the mid-tones. And over here we have the highlights. So again, same thing, I added a little bit of warmth to the highlights, which is basically just in our subject's skin and any of the highlighted areas within the motorcycle or the light bulbs, anything like that. So that's something that's really neat within Capture One, that three way color balance. I use that a ton. It actually, if you don't wanna set those yourself, you can hit this little drop down menu here, and you'll see, as I select over them, they have presets that are already, you know, Warm Look, Cool Look, Purple Punch, Turquoise Shading, things like that. That one actually looks pretty good. So you could start there and adjust them, if I were to, you can see how they're changing on the color wheels on the left as I go through. Or you can just select off of that and it'll go back to the settings I already created. So that's the Color Balance. Next is our Levels. I like using Levels just to know where my highlights and or my shadows, obviously this is a darker image. This is mostly just so I can monitor the histogram, not so much for making adjustments. Same with the Curve, I might do that at the end just to see if I can punch up the contrast a little more. Clarity, I don't mess with Clarity too much. You can see a little bit goes a long way. So I generally leave that zeroed out. I just like to have the option to look at the effect as I can adjust it on the fly. And one of the last things that I adjust and one of the more fun things is Color Editor, so within the Color Editor, what you can do, oh and also any time you wanna reset one of these layers, there's these arrows within the tool bar and you can totally reset that tool back to zero, so back to it's factory based settings, so one of the things that's pretty unique is, we can zoom in on this image. We'll go through this Toolbar in a second. We can go to our subject, and you can actually go down to your Color Editor tab, click on the Skin Tone Tab, there's a little eyedropper here so this is something you can use for almost every shoot. I think go and take an eyedropper to, like I said, I don't like red in my images. That actually selects a skin tone range, I expand that range slightly. And this is the range where Capture One, you know this eyedropper is pulled from his skin tone, so this is the range of skin tones here and what you can then do, is adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of just that color range so if you don't like reds in your skin tone, like me, you can adjust the hue, tab to the right, and that actually takes away some of that red. If we go to the left it's adding more magenta, so this is far left, it's a little more magenta. This is far right, it's a little more green. I err on the side of a little more green. And then you can also get rid of some saturation. So I like my skin tones to be a little desaturated. You can see, there's if we turn it all the way down. It goes almost completely desaturated and as we adjust that back up, here's normal. If we go higher saturation, you can see it's just a much more saturated skin tone, so I always take my skin tones down about five to seven points or so, so there's 5.4. And you can also adjust the lightness within that color range so you can see it's getting brighter or darker within those skin tones, and sometimes there are other things within the image that are similar tones to the skin. It will affect that as well, but that's where you can start a new layer and add that mask. You can also adjust the uniformity of the skin tones, so whether it's the hue or the saturation or anything like that, I don't mess with the uniformity too much, I'm more concerned with the amount. And then down here you have a little comparison box of how the skin tones were originally, so you can see they were a little more pink compared to the adjustments you did and this is just an overall value of the combined skin tones, so it's a little deceiving sometimes. I prefer just to look at the image zoomed in and see what I'm doing. But I do love doing that, and when you do this while tethering, if you'd only do this to, let's say you're shooting the same subject for an entire session. If you adjust those skin tones once, it'll apply that to every image within your tethering, within your session for the rest of the time you're tethering. So you only have to go in and make some of these adjustments one time. Obviously if the lighting set up changes or your white balance changes, that'll throw things off so you might need to redo it. But for an instance like this, where we're shooting the same person in the garage over and over, it worked really well to get his skin tones nailed at once and then it applied those settings to every other image. Next is Styles and Presets. Again, these are those kinda film mimicking styles. I don't use those too much in Capture One. And then Film Grain. Same thing, you can apply different types of Silver Rich, Soft Grain, things like that, and the impact that they have. I don't do that in Capture One either, but I do like to see how they will look in the image because sometimes I do add grain through other software afterwards, so knowing how it'll effect the image while it's being shot is helpful. To continue on with the Toolbar. Up here we have our Output. So this is where you would actually make all your decisions on where you're going to put these files when you process them. So you can see the Process Recipe is your general setup for all the files within this session and how you're going to process them. So I want them to be processed as JPEGs, I want the quality to be 100, I want them to be in the SRGB color space, 300 DPI, the Scale is where you can adjust the size, so it's kind of, it's not cropping, but it's the actual size of the image, so whether you want fixed 100%, that means that it's gonna be a full high res file, the full resolution, in this case a 36 megapixel. File, JPEG is going to be exported. You can also do long edge, so if you wanted to adjust 4,000 pixels on the long edge or seven inches, or whatever it might be, that's up to you. I usually stick with a full res file, so I'll do fixed. If I'm processing for quick selects for a client, I might go in and do a long edge of 2,200 pixels at 72 DPI so we can put them in a web gallery and they can view everything quickly. It'll export faster, it's easier to view, easier to upload. The next tab down here is your output location. So these are where those files are going to go. You can choose that folder. A lot of times, you know, just similar to finding anything on your computer, you can select the output folder. When you do start off your new session, it'll have an output folder that it goes to in default. Most of the time, I just use that, but sometimes, if I'm doing low res or something, you can actually create a new folder and whatever you're saving these files to, whether it's an external hard drive, the hard drive on your computer or flash drive, whatever, it'll tell you how much space is left within that drive. So you can see on my computer, I have 268 available gigs. If you're exporting a large job or you have low space on your hard drive, it'll warn you and you might know, okay all these images are not gonna fit there, I need to figure something else out. The other thing you can do is change your output naming, so here is just the image name. We already set that up before hand so I don't have to change that, but if you want, you could open up and reformat to the image name, so it could be an image name. And any one of these factors here, whether it's the year, just a number, whatever you want, you can settle that up so when it starts exporting the images, they're named correctly for you and then down here is the process summary. That's a similar tab to this. Once I start exporting a whole bunch of images, which we'll do later, you'll see this is the queue and it kinda tells you how far along you have, along with the history of which ones have been exported. And finally on the Toolbar is our Information. So here we have, this is just basically metadata within the shot so you can see if we just select a random shot here, it shows the lens I used, all the settings, the camera, everything that's within your data, so if you need to go back and look at the RAW data to figure out, I don't remember which, I used the 24 to 70 but I don't know what focal length. Well go in here and look and that's all saved under this Information tab. So to continue on with the introduction to Capture One, these are all your cursor options. So whether you're wanting to zoom in on a particular spot of the option, you can use the magnifying glass. If you wanna zoom out, you can either select down and grab the minus one, it's not working, or you can just do the short cut, what I do, and go to this slider here and that let's you zoom in. The other cursor is the hand, here. This actually let's you pan once you've zoomed in so it's pretty easy if you wanna zoom back out again, just grab the slider and zoom out. Other cursors up here are just your normal selects, so you can select different things within the image. Your crop tool, it let's you crop on the fly, you have to make all your crop settings within Capture One. I don't do a lot of cropping in Capture One, I like to do that in Photoshop afterwards. I like to export a high res file. However, sometimes if I'm shooting for a client, let's say, this one comes to mind as I was photographing 90 attorneys at a law firm on seamless in a conference room. The whole wall and everything was showing within the frame and they didn't necessarily, they weren't able to visualize what it would look like just on the seamless, so I cropped in camera and it applied all those crop settings to every photo that it imported while we were tethering, that way they wouldn't see the wall of the conference room, just the seamless, but I knew that we had a little space within the crop. You can also go back, all these different cursors from brushes to, all the things. Generally speaking though, I just use the pan tool or the zoom tool, I don't really use many of the other tools within that. And then over here, these are kind of your quick buttons. So this is an exposure warning. You can turn that on, you can see, anywhere where this red showed up, if you look at the back rear suspension of the motor cycle, if I click that on and off, I have that set to anything above 245 RGB, so then that way I know things are getting close to blown out and you'll see, if we turn that warning on, go back to our Exposure tab, and really up the exposure, you can see things are really getting blown out and that warning, as I turn it on and off let's you know that things are getting to a point where you can set it to any value you want, I put it at 245, 255 is obviously no detail, but I like to err on the side of being a little under exposed. Now you can see only the highlights in the chrome and the light bulbs or anything that is approaching 255, and I'm okay with that, so we can turn that warning off. This are our quick tools to go back, so if you wanna go back and forth between images, things like that, and oh rotate, sorry. The back and forth ones are over here on the left side. And then what you have over here, is if you make settings to one image, and then you wanna apply them to another image, this saves your settings, and as soon as you save them, this one will light up, you can now apply those settings, or just, to the next image, or any image you want or you can select and click a number of images and adjust them all at once. And then lastly, up on here on the Quick Tools is your process, so if you click this little gear, it takes all those process settings you did within your process recipe, you know, to export as a JPEG, and it'll instantly process that photo to the selected folder as a JPEG, so again, you can do one at a time, you can select them all, any way you want. So this is your basic, basic intro to Capture One. Again, I went over all the tools I use. Similar to Photoshop, or any one of these softwares, there's a million different ways to do everything. It's just up to you to find your personal preference. I tend to keep it as simple as possible. I don't get too crazy and I love keeping all the tools I use on one tab, so that way, when I am working and capturing, or shooting tethered, I know that everything's gonna be done right there on the fly, it's all gonna be on one handy menu and I don't have to click around a whole bunch, so it really works out well for my usage. So just to show you, real quick, how we can apply something like this to multiple images. I'm gonna reset this image complete, so you can quickly reset an image. This has been, this was shot tethered. It has all the adjustments made, but if you wanna quickly reset the entire image, you can go up here to your Quick Buttons. This one resets adjustments on the entire image, so that's what it actually looked like on camera. And I know it's very dark, but I knew that going in and because I was shooting tethered, I was able to make these adjustments. So I'll show you, real quickly, what I would have done to this image, so again, I would up the exposure a little bit. I would then lower the saturation. I would up the contrast, so we're getting there. Now this is where the key comes in for me. I'm gonna lower the highlights and I'm gonna up those shadows, so we're gonna start bringing our man back into focus here and upping those shadows, so we're getting a little more of that vibe I was originally going for. I'm gonna lower the exposures just a tad, up that contrast just a little bit, so we're getting there. We haven't done any color, this is just exposure. So you can see, it went from here to there, and that was just through exposure and our HDR tabs, which is really easy. You saw, that took me about 30 seconds and now what we'll do is we're gonna go to that color balance. Like I said before, I like to add a little bit of blue, so we'll select our tab, blues to the shadows. You can kinda see just how far you wanna take it. We'll just add just a little bit. I wanna warm up the mid-tones a little bit, so we'll add a little bit from the yellow, orange area. Bring that up just a little bit to warm up skin tones and highlights, same thing, go to the yellow. Bring it up a little bit, and the one thing I didn't explain is this other slider on the right of each color wheel is how bright or dark you can make each one of those, so shadows, if you want your shadows to be brighter. It almost adds this haze in there. If you want it to be darker and more rich, you can go that way, so the center is right, neutral, again, darker, lighter, that's up to you. Again, personal preference, you can do the same thing with highlights, if you want skin tones to go brighter or darker and that's just working within that color frame of the highlights and mid-tones or shadows, so all different things you can adjust, or you can do them individually with a larger wheel, if it makes you more comfortable. But I like working with all three so I can see and adjust them on the fly. Next thing I would do with tethering is just look at the levels, this image is generally dark so I wouldn't be too concerned about it. And then really, the last thing I would do, like I said with the color editor with the skin tones. We already did this once, but I'll show you, I can do it pretty quickly, make a skin tone selection, widen it just in case it missed some of the tones within shadows or highlights. Gonna turn down that hue a little bit. Remove some of the saturation and boom. So now we have a finished image. Again, just to show you quickly, we went from here to there just instantly and that's what I was doing while I was tethering this shoot live. Now, like I said, you can go over here to the right side, select all those, so you can copy all those variants we just did, copy them, go to another image. This one's already been adjusted, but look, we copy these variants, we go to another image, and we just hit paste, and it'll look the exact same, so the color, the skin tones, the exposure, everything will match. Or if you wanna do it to a whole bunch of image, you can shift and select and do the whole thing to all those images and as you go through, you'll see they've all been adjusted to match those variants, so it works out really well. It's easy to do on the fly and once you do it to the first image you shot, it'll apply it to all the images you shoot within that selection so if every image we photograph of this guy within the garage, those initial images, or this initial settings will be applied to all those so you don't have to go back and do it over and over again. So it's pretty easy to do, pretty slick and again, we then moved outside and photographed him outside, so I went and made a totally different selection of variance, color, shadow, all my settings changed, I did it to the first image and then it applied to all of them and if you look at the thumbnails here, I'll make them a little bit larger. Oops that's actually the wrong way. You can see within the bottom of the thumbnail, there's this little icon, it looks like a chart or something, if that shows that you've adjusted that image's variance, whether it's the exposure, if you've done anything to that image, that'll pop up and then if you process the image, this gear, this orange gear, that pops up. That let you know that you have processed that image as a JPEG. And then you saw that it was orange. I'll do one more, as soon as it goes from orange to gray, that means it's done being processed and put into that export folder, or your output folder. Whatever you wanna name it, and we'll go over my folder structures and things like that after we do this shoot. So the next thing I wanna do is move back to the keynote, that's just a good overview of Capture One. We'll come back in here momentarily, once we start the shoot. I wanna go back to keynote and talk just a couple things through. Key tethering features, so again, we went over your exposure adjustments, your highlights and your shadows. We went over your color adjustments. That three way color grading. We went over skin tones, selective toning the skin, getting the red out, or whatever's your preference. And then lastly, your auto adjustments. How you can copy and paste those adjustments. Here's another shoot, this was a tricky one. I don't have a before and after, but just to show you, with different highlights from having the lights and the reflection in the case. This was one that if you would have seen this image raw, it was almost totally dark, but again, having this crazy contrast from a man wearing all white to a very shadowy background, knowing all that detail was there and being able to see it live and capture it, for one I was able to show him the images as we shot and it was able to let me know what detail was there and what the color could look like. So just another way to shoot, add confidence to your shoot and be able to get a finished product pretty quickly and it also saves you time on the back end because if you do all this while you're tethering, when it comes to processing the images afterwards, a lot of that initial color work is done. All you need to do is export the photos.