Jump to content
jordango

Photo workflow (UW) in Capture 1 vs Lightroom?

Recommended Posts

Hi all:

I've been a Lightroom + Photoshop users for years and am pretty comfortable with it. Underwater photos have their challenges, and Lighroom (where I start) isn't very useful a fair amount of the time. I tend to jump into Photoshop pretty early and do a lot of the processing there. I do have a copy of Capture 1 and have played with it a little - I'm by no means as familiar with it as I am with Lightroom. That being said, Capture 1 seems to have some features that might be more powerful than Lightroom - it might be able to push UW photos further along before having to jump in to Photoshop.

Do any of you have some solid experience with Capture 1 and would be willing to share your thoughts, particularly as it relates to processing UW photos? Any general thoughts for non-UW photos as well as the cataloguer are also welcome, but I am specifically looking to see if its feature set might be a better choice than Lightroom for UW photos, in particular. I do think the Capture 1 cataloguer looks weaker than Lightroom but, again, I don't have extensive experience with it and might be wrong about that.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use capture 1 and basically use it as raw processing engine before launching into PS.  It has some nice features for UW work including the ability to do levels and curves in raw and certainly it gets a lot closer than what ACR can do before leaping into PS. 

Levels I regard as a fundamental tool without black/white points set an image will lack mid tone contrast and it is also the easiest way to colour balance an UW photo going.  All you need to is pull in the shadow/highlight points on the tool to just touch the edge of the histogram in each individual colour channel.  On the highlight side use the highlight warning and pull it in till it just starts to show highlight warnings.  I don't even look at the photo apart from checking highlight warnings when I'm making the adjustments - it comes out very close.  In green water sometimes you might need to pull a little more green out - I do this on the green channel curve.  Here's the levels adjustment from a recent image I processed:

Once you get used to it you are ready to edit is PS very quickly - it does create a tiff file in the folder you are browsing to open in PS - which is an extra copy.

Other things I do are exposure and shadow/highlight adjustment these should be done first if significant moves are made.

If required, a little bit of clarity - easy to overdo and I always use some structure.  White balance and tint I don't move much as the levels as I describe above does a better job - I occasionally tweak tint in green water shots.  I do find I can fine tune the levels adjustment in PS with a levels layer there - again it's very quick - in PS I hold down the alt key while moving the slider and it will show where that channel is clipping - you want each channel just short of clipping unless there's some specular highlights.

Levels_colour.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the reason you jump to photoshop so quickly? Maybe my editing style is different, but for underwater images I pretty much never need photoshop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, hyp said:

What is the reason you jump to photoshop so quickly? Maybe my editing style is different, but for underwater images I pretty much never need photoshop.

I’m the same. The only reason I generally move to PS is to remove something that is a major distractor in the image which is proving hard to remove with the spot tool. Pretty rare.
 

For colour variations or tonality, for me LR does it all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for your replies!

I don't go into Photoshop for all of my UW photos - Lightroom is fine for shallow to shallow-mid water images. However, as I take pictures deeper, adjusting for color balance is much trickier in my experience and Lightroom's tools, as good as they are, haven't seemed good enough at times. Of course, when you get to disparate color balance in the picture (blending flash + non-flash areas a bit), that is probably not something Lightroom will ever be good at - it isn't intended to. I was just wondering if Capture One, with its adjustment layers, masking and such offered better or more advanced control (no layers in Lightroom, of course), so a just some more in-depth processing than Lightroom. Also, if its tools, like curves, etc. in Capture 1 have any advantages over Lightroom. The healing and clean-up tools are much better/smarter in Photoshop and corrections to missing/minimal colors using color channels can be very helpful at extremes, but I'd expect to have to use it for that, anyway. Some of the things I'm correcting for may be making up for mistakes in taking the pictures in the first place but some are just challenging pictures that were taken correctly, as well.

I realize, even though I use Lightroom a lot, there may be features and uses in it that I am not familiar with, so I do appreciate all of your recommendations and questions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a write up on a comparison between light room and capture one. Granted it's a bit dated, but Photography Life is one of the best general photography websites that I have found. There are other articles on capture one on the site if you search for them. I am still using a legacy lightroom version as I do not care to go the subscription route. Thus I've been looking seriously at moving to another processing package. 

https://photographylife.com/lightroom-vs-capture-one

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it really depends on the type of pic you are taking - well exposed properly flashed images in tropical waters need minimal work.  Ambient light images or ones where you were that bit too far away with the flash will need more.  I don't use lightroom but know the tools in PS really well and to me the ability to use levels to correct these types of images is a big plus.   The PS healing brush is very easy to use and makes the Capture One tool seem clunky to me - if there were one or two bits of backscatter to deal with it would be fine , but any more and I would go into PS to deal with it.

A lot of it depends on what you are used to - I don't use a lot of the functionality in Capture One because opening the image in PS is not a big deal and I don't see any benefit in not opening in PS and I'm completely familiar with how to do things in PS.   Capture One raw engine is different to ACR in lightroom and I have seen many reviews claiming it is much better - a lot of this is due to making lots of the adjustments directly on the raw data before rendering the tiff file.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...