Capture One 12 - Three Boats Re-Edit

Capture One Pro 12 and Adobe Lightroom Comparisons

I have recently been looking at Phase One Capture One as an alternative to Adobe Lightroom.

I’ve spent some time re-visiting some of my favourite (five star) images from my portfolio and in the case of the ‘Three Boats’ Photograph taken on the Isle of Skye, Scotland in 2007 it is interesting to see the comparison of my edits over the years against the output from Capture One Pro 12

I was pleased with this photograph for a number of reasons, not least of which the coincidental alignment of the boats with the morning sun breaking through the clouds.

Adobe Lightroom

I have spent many hours re-visting this image over the years and the version below is the ‘top of stack’ version from Adobe Lightroom (representing my opinion of the best version of the Canon RAW file)

Three Boats
Edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

The version below is also from Lightroom. The tones of the grass on the hills are warmed up vs the original shot. On review - I feel this is over-processed and not reflective of the scene or natural color

Three Boats
Edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

The version below has more of an HDR feel. Again, I feel (now) that this is over-processed, the color feels un-natural and there is a halo at the edge of the mountain and sky.

Three Boats
Edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and processed with HDR software

I re-edited in Lightroom CC for a fair comparison. I like this LR version but still not sure whether I prefer it over Capture Ones output

Capture One Pro 12

I spent about 5 minutes editing the original Canon RAW file in Capture One Pro 12. I only compared the versions of the image after processing and I think that the Capture One output stands out well. It feels closer to the actual scene on the day and has a good level of punch and sharpness.

I like the way that Capture One edits images. The Vignette especially seems to work especially well.

Three Boats
Edited in Capture One Pro 12

Thomas Heaton - Landscape Photography Video

I recently responded to a Photography forum recommending Photographers to follow on YouTube. Thomas Heaton instantly came to mind. Thomas has had a YouTube channel since 2014 and posts regularly. His passion for photography and the great outdoors is infectious. His videos are always entertaining, inspirational and informative. I highly recommend that you take a look..

Have I already taken my best ever photograph?

My brother recently asked me if I thought whether I might have already taken my best ever photograph - Food for thought!

I have been taking photographs on various camera systems for over 10 years and I am not planning on stopping any time soon. I like to think that I am growing as a photographer and that therefore my best work should lie ahead. That said there are many elements that go into making a good photograph and they don’t all come with experience.

What if I have already clicked a shutter button at the optimal time and place?

Light and Location

Every once in a while, light and location combine to produce the wonderful. It has been my pleasure to be standing there with a camera ready to record some of those moments.

My Favourite Photographs

I may or may not have already taken my best ever photograph. The joy of photography is that I can continue with my ‘mission’ to try and shoot a better shot and hopefully get some good shots on the way.

While I am waiting for my best ever shot to come along I have decided to write a series of articles featuring a small selection of my favourite images from the last ten years. In this case, and in no particular order, starting with an image that I captured on the Isle of Skye in Scotland in 2007

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye Scotland

The Old Man of Storr
Isle of Skye, Scotland

I was visiting the Isle of Skye in May 2007 and got up at around 4:30am to catch dawn. I decided to drive along the A855 looking for locations and found this scene. Loch Leathan is located on the shoulder of the road and I was able to park and walk down to the waters edge.

I like the photograph of the three boats for a number of reasons but mostly the morning light and because the boats are so nicely lined up. The boats were drifting freely in the morning breeze and it was luck that they lined up as they are at the same moment that light broke across them and the distant hills. There were a host of midges down by the waters edge not to mention getting soaked by a shower that passed moments later, but it was worth it to capture the shot of this iconic view

Luminar AI Sky Enhancer

Skylum just released a free update for their excellent Luminar 2018 software that adds a Sky Enhancer Filter. The Filter uses AI to improve the sky in the photo and works pretty well in my experience.

Skylum have released a video demonstrating this filter in use

Lumina 2018 AI Sky Enhancer Examples

The examples below show an example of Luminar 2018 AI Sky Enhancer applied to a Fuji X-T2 Landscape of a Castle in Northumberland at dawn. The AI has done a good job of isolating the sky in the scene and the enhancements are natural. In this case dialled back to 60% worked better for the image.

Landscape Photograph before AI Sky Enhancer

Landscape Photograph after Luminar 2018 AI Sky Enhancer applied at 60% of full

Capture One Pro 11 Fujifilm VS Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Ver 8

Apples Vs Oranges

I know what you’re thinking, how many more articles and videos do we need comparing Capture One Pro with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom?

The debate between which RAW converter does the better job has been running for years and there are many in-depth articles and comparisons available.

Why do another comparison?

I’m putting this article together as much about demonstrating to myself the merits (or not) of either switching entirely to Capture One Pro, incorporating it into my editing workflow or ignoring its existence.

Fuji X-T3 RAW Files

I decided to trial Capture One Pro Fujifilm while waiting for Adobe Lightroom to support the RAW files coming out of the new Fuji X-T3. I was intrigued by the recent partnership between Phase One and Fuji and wanted to see for myself just how good Capture One might be for processing Fuji RAWs

This article is not intended to be a scientific comparison but more of a real world test of RAW processing. I decided to take eight Fuji RAW Files (Fuji X-T2 and Fuji X-T3) and spend 15 minutes editing them in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC (ver 8) and later another 15 minutes (actually less!) editing the same eight RAW files in Capture One Pro Fujifilm

I have included galleries of the processed images at the end of the article for reference. In each case these were output as sRGB JPG’s with a longe edge resolution of 2048 pixels and sharpen for web applied (Defaults for both Lightroom and Capture One)

Fuji X-T3 RAW Processing in Adobe Lightroom - wormy artefacts

Click image for 400% crop

Fuji X-T3 ‘Worms’

I presume that if you are reading this article then you will be familiar with the Fuji ‘Worms’ effect.

Adobe Lightroom struggles to sharpen Fuji X Trans RAW files without introducing some wormy artefacts. Adobe has not addressed this issue and it looks likely that they may never do so. Sadly the issue persists in the latest release (Version 8) of the software

The simplest solution to avoid the worms is to disable sharpening completely in Lightroom and sharpen either when exporting the file e.g. sharpen for web sharing or sharpen in Adobe Photoshop using unsharp mask filter.

Fuji X-T3 RAW
Processed in Capture One Pro Fujifilm

Capture One Pro Fujifilm RAW Processing

I investigated using Capture One Pro a few times in the past but to be honest I never really got past the initial hurdle of the learning curve until now.

I got the Fuji X-T3 on day of release and the delay in support from Lightroom and the arrival of Capture One Pro Fujifilm on the scene was enough for me to invest the effort in learning if only to get to see the X-T3 RAW files appear!

I can recommend the excellent course ‘Capture One Pro 11 Essential Training’ by Derrick Story which is available through Lynda and gives a useful introduction to the application

Professional RAW Processing

Capture One Pro is quite different in use than Adobe Lightroom. It definitely has a learning curve to overcome and it will take you a day or two to get up and running. Overall it feels like a tool aimed at professionals which is not surprising given its origins.

It is easy to re-configure the layout to more closely mirror the feel of Lightroom, but I found that this was not necessary to help with my transition. I quite like the way it is laid out and once you learn the shortcut key (option + Command + v) to switch from thumbnail grid to image edit it works well.

The image below shows 100% crops of an image processed in Capture One Pro on the left and Lightroom Classic CC on the right using in application sharpening (Click on the image for a larger view) the Lightroom image has sharpened OK at this resolution but artefacts are present.

RAW Processing comparison 100% crop
Capture One Pro vs Adobe Lightroom CC

Capture One has more punch than Lightroom and overall is sharper using the application defaults. Sharpening can be increased but quickly introduces the unwanted ‘worm’ effect in Lightroom. The subsequent need to back away from sharpening too much (or at all) in Lightroom means that Capture One can give better results.

100% Crops with Adobe LR on the left and Capture One on the right.
In Application Sharpening has ben set to defaults


The output of the applications is of course subjective. I am sure that I could match the output in Lightroom with further editing but the point of the exercise was to compare how 15 minutes of processing delivered ‘blindly’ across the two applications

One RAW, two very different renders

I edited a Fuji X-T2 RAW file of a misty scene taken in late afternoon light. The processed images are quite different in how they look. I was surprised by the differences but again the rendering is subjective.

I think that the Capture One render more closely matches the original scene and also has more mood. It feels (subjectively) more ‘Fuji with punchy color and impact.

Capture One Pro Vs Adobe Lightroom Classic CC - Conclusion

I found it a useful exercise spending some time editing the images in both applications. The renders are very similar in most cases but quite different in others.

Sharpeness

Capture One Pro produces sharper results out of the box. Sharpening does not result in the artefacts that are present in Lightroom and as such can be pushed further as required.

Speed

Lightroom is well known for being slow and Capture One was far quicker at importing and managing files. I understand that a number of these performance improvements have come with the recent version 11 release

Ease of Use

I was surprised how easy it was to achieve good results once I had picked up the basics of the application. I think it might be a case of 2 days to learn and a lifetime to master.

Features

Capture One Pro has features easily on par with Lightroom, in fact it spans the features of both Lightroom and Photoshop. The Layers feature has been well implemented and works extremely well (although I didn’t use it in the processing of the images in this article)

I found common standard editing such as cropping and straightening to be more cumbersome to use in Capture One and while exporting files was less intuitive initially it is full featured.

Switching

There are a few options available when considering switching from Lightroom to Capture One. I plan to incorporate Capture One into my existing workflow and will likely move processing of my Fuji photographs over entirely in the coming weeks.

NOTE: Phase One have made an express version of Capture One available for free which has reduced features but the fundamentals of the RAW processing of the Fuji files are included.

I would recommend anyone who shoots Fuji to at least give this solution a try. It is worth the time to learn the basics of the application to see the results on your photographs. It is likely that the collaboration between Fuji and Phase One will bring further Fuji tailored features and enhancement such as Fuji Film Simulation profiles.

Image Galleries

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC (ver 8) - Image Gallery

Capture One Pro Fujifilm - Image Gallery

Fuji X-T3 - Santorini, Greece - Photography Guide

This is a short article featuring a number of photographs taken with a Fuji X-T3 on the Island of Santorini in Greece. I have highlighted locations and maps for the images with additional information to help you discover these locations.

 

Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens - Fuji Velvia Film Simulation
Bracketed Exposures merged to HDR in Aurora HDR 2019 and merged into a panorama in Adobe Lightroom CC

Fuji X-T3 RAW edited in Capture One Pro Fujifilm (ver 11.3)

Imerovigli

I stayed in the town of Imerovigli which is between Oia and Fira on the West side of the Island overlooking the Caldera. Santorini was once a fairly round shaped island until a huge volcanic eruption sank a high percentage of it below the sea.

The West side of Santorini is the location where the white walled houses and churches line the tops of 300m high volcanic cliffs connected by miles of narrow winding stairs.

I took around 2000 photographs with the Fuji X-T3 with a combination of JPG and RAW. I used the Fuji Velvia Film Simulation for the JPGs as this suits the bright whites and blues that Santorini is famous for.

At the time of writing Adobe Lightroom does not support Fuji X-T3 RAW files and I have been using a trial of Phase Ones Capture One Pro for RAW editing.

I’ll specify editing process and application used in the captions below each image in this article.

In all cases click on the image for a larger light-box version.

Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

Fuji are well known for their excellent Film Simulations and although I usually shoot pretty much 100% RAW, on this occasion I decided to shoot RAW+JPG Fine or in some cases only in JPG!

The shots below are examples of Fuji Velvia Film Simulation. In most cases these are straight from camera (via Adobe Lightroom for cataloguing)

Stray Cats

Santorini has it’s share of stray cats but the ones I found seemed well fed and healthy

Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 55-200mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

100% crop

Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 55-200mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation - 100% crop

Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

Anastasi Church, Imerovigili, Santorini

Do a Google Search for Santorini and you will be treated to a page of classic blue and white images. The many churches on the Island are pristine in their traditional white and blue colouring.

Anastasi Church, Imerovigli
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 10-24mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

This is a photograph of the Anastasi Church in Imerovigli which is very photogenic and typical of Santorini.

It catches the light from both sunrise and sunset and is easily reached from the pathway that runs almost un-interrupted from Oia to Fira (Head up the stairs that are opposite to the trail that leads to Skaros Rock)

It’s a busy spot (especially around sunset) and in the case of this shot I needed to blend a couple of exposures together to clone out tourists.

I think that Anastasi is one of the better located churches for photography and is of itself a reason to consider staying in Imerovigli. Imerovigli is an attractive location with a number of good hotels and fine restaurants and notably is a lot quieter than either Oia or Fira.

 

Anastasi Church from the path above. There are compositions to be made from this wall and potentially from the roof of a room to the left of where this is taken. Take care when accessing the roofs. There are few railings or barriers. The area is popular for Parkour and a google search will show many references to this sport in Santorini and you can see why.

Anastasi Church, Imerovigli
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 10-24mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

There is a handily located bougainvillea adjacent to the Church. I don’t think that it was at its peak at the time of my visit (mid October)

Anastasi Church, Imerovigli
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 10-24mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

Little Church, Imerovigli

Fuji X-T3 with Fuji 10-24mm
Processed in Capture One Pro Fujifilm Version 11.3

There is a small, hidden Church in Imerovigli that can be found down the path towards Skaros Rock. (It is just below the Grace Hotel)

This Church makes for interesting foreground interest and is perfectly well for sunsets throughout the year. It is not easy to avoid including the mass of Skaros Rock in a composition and you have a choice of how to approach the shot.

I’d recommend shooting bracketed and edit for a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image. Utilising HDR you can keep some detail in Skaros rock and the winding steps to it’s summit.

Without HDR the Rock will Silhouette against the setting sun and while this is an option it is hard to avoid the top of Skaros from cutting across Therasia Island in the distance which is not ideal. I used a wide-angle lens (Fuji 10-24mm) to capture this scene.

Oia and Fira

Three Bells of Fira Church, Fira, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

I used the village of Imerovigli as a base on my trip. It is a 20 minute walk to the village of Fira where there are many shops and restaurants. It is busy with cruise ships off-loading passengers at the port below the cliffs.

I recommend taking a walk there and be sure to stop off at the Three Bells of Fira church. This is a busy and popular spot especially with visitors from China who gather here for their traditional Pre-Wedding Photoshoots in there hundreds.

Three Bells of Fira Church, Fira, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

 

The Port of Fira

The steps up from the port at Fira are steep and there are a number of donkeys available to hire should you wish (I would not) the donkeys and the weather worn owners are a good potential for Photography.

Donkeys, Fira, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

Donkeys, Fira, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

Church Bell, Oia, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

The Town of Oia

Oia, pronounced Ia, is the most famous of all villages of Santorini. It is known throughout the world for its fantastic sunsets and is certainly the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini.

The village is situated on top of an impressive cliff and offers a spectacular views over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. Oia is situated on the north of the island, 11 km away from Fira.

Oia is a veritable mecca for photographers looking to bag a spectacular sunset and you can expect it to be elbow to elbow and tripod to tripod during golden hour. I didn’t visit Oia for sunset for that reason, preferring to locate in the far quieter Village of Imerovigli

Oia is very picturesque and there are photographs around every corner at any time of the day. Pristine White buildings, tourists browsing the local shops or models perched precariously on the roofs of Churches with long billowing dresses.

Windmills of Oia

These windmills will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen photographs of Santorini. They seem to appear in almost half of all photographs of Santorini. These can be photographed from Oia Castle with a standard lens. They are located perfectly for sunset which makes the relatively small area of the castle pretty busy at sunset so be aware.

Oia, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 18-135mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

 


Photography Guide to Santorini in summary

Santorini is a beautiful location where there are countless opportunities for memorable photography. It is justifiably famous for its sunsets but don’t forget about sunrise (especially as this is a quieter time of the day)

Be prepared for crowds around the classic view points especially at the ends of the day. I suggest planning your trip at the end of the season if possible. The weather in October remains warm and sunny and the crowds are thinning out. Look at staying in Imerovigli village where you will get the picturesque white houses and churches but with less crowding. I stayed in the Aqua Suites and the image below was taken from the balcony of the room!

Don’t be tempted to book a room with a view overlooking a classic scene... you will find that there is almost no place that photographers, models or Chinese Wedding Couples won’t clamber at all times of day and night :)

Balcony View - Aqua Suites, Imerovigli, Greece
Fuji X-T3 and Fuji 10-24mm lens
Fuji Velvia Film Simulation

Camera Drones

I own a camera drone (Parrot Anafi) and I was tempted to take this with me to Santorini. It is in fact it is not permitted to fly drones on the Island. That being said, there where a few drones buzzing around in Imerovigli. You should decide for yourself if you want to fly a drone but I’d ask you to try and avoid invading the privacy or spoiling the tranquility of the sunsets for your fellow visitors.

Santorini Photography Gallery

This is a gallery of the images featured. Please feel free to get in contact if you have any specific questions

Aurora HDR 2019 - Examples

Skylum Software

Aurora HDR 2019 has been three years in development and builds on the previous iterations released by the company in 2017 and 2018. The new Aurora HDR 2019 uses an AI engine to process images into a high fidelity HDR render. The software does a great job of making HDR creation painless and the many pre-sets included help to tailor a style to each image.

This article is intended to demonstrate some real-world implementation of Aurora HDR 2019 and I encourage you to check out this brief review by the folks at FStoppers and also visit Skylums dedicated Aurora HDR 2019 page for more information

Fuji X-T3 HDR Examples

I took a Fuji X-T3 on a recent trip to Imerovigli in Santorini, Greece. I got up early in the morning and took a number of bracketed shots of the sun rising above the white rooftops to test out the capabilities of Aurora HDR 2019

I shot JPGs in Fuji Velvia Film Simulation mode bracketing -3, 0, +3 stops. I decided to shoot a panorama and took three sets of three exposures in total moving the camera to capture the wider view.

I exported each set of images from Adobe Lightroom into Aurora HDR 2019. The Aurora software can be easily installed as a Plug-In to Adobe Lightroom. Aurora HDR 2019 opened the JPG’s quickly and presented a strong initial preview. There are a number of presets available to tailor the ‘look’ of the rendered HDR and significant editing controls to tailor the image. The examples shown below represent a result base on a natural landscape pre-set.

Santorini Sunset HDR

I shot three more JPGs at sunset and again set the X-T3 to bracket -3, 0, +3 stops. The subject of the classic blue and white church against a dramatic orange sky suits HDR and again Aurora HDR 2019 did a great job of rendering a pleasing, well balanced image without fuss.

Santorini Sunset
Fuji X-T3 HDR

Additional HDR Examples

Aurora HDR 2019 did a good job of handling these challenging sunset shots. In both cases I played around with the filters to fine tune the output to create the look that I was after.

Santorini Sunset
Fuji X-T3 HDR created with Aurora HDR 2019

Santorini Sunset
Fuji X-T3 HDR created with Aurora HDR 2019

The Photographers Ephemeris - TPE

Sometimes photography can be luck and sometimes photography can be planning but often both. There are a number of useful applications available for smart phones that can help increase the chances of getting the shot that you had in mind.

It is invaluable when planning for a photo to be able to identify the location of the sun, moon or stars at a given time of the day and location step up The Photographers Ephemeris.

Screenshot 2018-10-10 at 18.23.51.png

The Photographers Ephemeris

The Photographers Ephemeris is often over looked by photographers. It has an old fashioned look to its logo and user interface and what the heck is an Ephemeris anyway?(pretty technical looking table of astronomical data!) but I recommend that you check it out.

There are a growing number of applications that will help you with astronomical information but I find that TPE does a solid job. Think of TPE as the razor sharp pen knife handed down to you by your grandad rather than the Swiss army knife with USB stick and tools for getting stones out of horses hooves that are the likes of PhotoPills

Santorini

I recently visited Santorini in Greece and used the Photographers Ephemeris to plan the location of the sun for a shot that I planned for dawn. I used the Augmented Reality feature of the application to scrub a timeline of the composition directly from the spot that I planned to take the picture from. You can see from the screen shot of TPE below that the sun will break above the top of the church at around 7:50 on the morning of the 7th October 2018.

 The Photographers Ephemeris - TPE Augmented Reality View showing position of sun just after dawn in Santorini, Greece

The Photographers Ephemeris - TPE
Augmented Reality View showing position of sun just after dawn in Santorini, Greece

The sun does not rise in the East and set in the West - Its position varies significantly with the time of year. The TPE allows you to plan for the position of the astronomical bodies months and even years in advance. It includes a significant amount of data but the AR feature is perfect for a visualisation when you are able to visit the location ahead of the shot.

The Shots

I have included some shots taken on the morning of 7th October 2018 in Santorini, Greece to demonstrate advantages the application. You can see that the prediction made by The Photographers Ephemeris was accurate and was useful in pre-visualising the shot

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece - 7th October 2018 - 07:35:03

An initial shot of the sun about to break over the church at Imerovigli in Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece - 7th October 2018 - 07:48:34

The sun makes its appearance right on cue. This Panoramic capture of the sun rising over Imerovigli in Santorini is a composition of three HDR images created from Fuji X-T3 JPGs

I used Aurora HDR 2019 to generate the HDR images and Adobe Lightroom to create the Panorama.

Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece


X-T3 - Goodwood Spin and Slide

Goodwood Spin and Slide

I went to Goodwood this weekend to try my hand at the Spin and Slide experience. It was good fun and as my friends also had a go I took advantage and captured some stills and 4K video with the X-T3

Goodwood are pretty relaxed with regard to spectators and photography. They were happy for me to take photos from anywhere other than the tarmac itself..

X-T3 Autofocus - 17 image sequence

The X-T3 didn’t miss a beat with regards to focus. I set the camera to AF-C and Zone focus. Switching between CH and CL modes.

 X-T3 Autofocus - 17 image sequence Power slide

X-T3 Autofocus - 17 image sequence
Power slide

X-T3 Classic Chrome Simulation

I shot the day in JPG using the Fuji Classic Chrome Film Simulation. The lighting was challenging but the the X-T3 did a good job of nailing focus and exposure consistently.

Fuji X-T3 and 18-135mm
Slow shutter speed panning BMW power Slide

Fuji X-T3 and 18-135mm
Fuji Classic Chrome Film Simulation - BMW power Slide

Fuji X-T3 and 18-135mm
Fuji Classic Chrome Film Simulation - BMW power Slide

X-T3 4k 60fps Video

I switched between still images and short video sequences. These were shot hand-held with the 18-135mm in IS mode. I did not pay much attention to shutter-speed and I think the output might have been smoother if I had set shutter speed to 2 x FPS in this case 1/120 second.