Rick Rose Photography

Los Angeles Photographer

10% off Capture One Pro 8

If you like Capture One Pro 8 by Phase One, using the voucher coupon code AMBROSE will net you a 10% Savings on Capture One license purchases and upgrades for existing v7 users. This will drop the price from $299 to $269, or $99 to $89.

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File Management for a professional photographer

A lot of people have started using Capture One Pro lately, which is Phase One’s Raw Process and Tethering software. Most of which (including myself) have transitioned over from Adobe Lightroom, or Apple’s Aperture.

Capture One is a great raw processor. Second to none in my opinion (though I mainly use a Phase One digital back which is best used with their software) and quite powerful with any cameras files.  The only downside is it’s inability to catalog images as well as Lightroom or Aperture.

What I intend to do with this post is provide some good tips and tricks for using Capture One, while maintaining a catalogued workflow.

As I outlined before in my previous post, it’s ideal to have images stored in the shared folder, by date, and then to work on the session. This post is about what I do after a shoot.

1. Back the session with with up all images to an external drive. This should not need any explanation. I have a portable that I bring with my everywhere that get’s a copy. When I get home I will make another copy to a dedicated drive with an ‘in progress folder’ that I will move the whole session over to. I will give it a red color tag in finder to signify that it is in process, and an orange one to label the folder as a session. (you will see why later on)

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 12.13.25 PM

2. I then use an app called Carbon Copy Cloner (which will simply be referred to as CCC for the remainder of this post) to clone the drives. I clone both the 1TB SSD in my rMBP and the external backup drive. I use Newertech Voyager Q hard drive readers with 3.5″ Sata drives that I store in antistatic cases. I will go over my ideal computing setup in the next post. After this step, I successfully have 5 copies of the shoot’s images on hand. 3 on site and 2 off. (the laptop, the portable external, the in progress drive, the CCC of the laptop, and of the in progress drive) Redundancy is the key.

3. I move the CCC drives offsite afterwords.

4. After the backups are taken care of, I go through the images, make minor adjustments to white balance, contrast, color, etc using the tools in Capture One to get a desired look and feel for the images. During this time I delete any bad images (blinking, out of focus, poor expression, or any other unusable images)

5. I then export all the remaining images as proofs for the clients. I will use a cloud based website such as copy.com to upload the proofs for the client. Copy is similar to dropbox, however you get 20GB for free when you sign up. Use this link to sign up for copy if you haven’t already got an account:

https://copy.com?r=ARWtoa

6. After the clients receive the images, they will make their selections, move them to another folder in copy, or just email me the filenames. I then search the filenames in Capture One and move the images to a selects folder.

7. I do any final adjustments and touchups to the selected images, before exporting them as PSD files. The PSD file destination I have is under the shared folder again, and goes into a folder specifically titled ‘Photos to Edit’ which helps me keep track of jobs I have to edit.

8. After this process is done, and the images are exported. I will then update all the copies of the session. I will first copy it  over to an archival drive with all my work, CCC that, store the CCC offsite, then delete the session from my laptop, and the in progress work drive. I still have two copies of the session with selects made at this point. One on hand and one off site for redundancy. I have removed the red in progress tag.

9. I use Adobe photoshop CC to edit the images.

10. After editing, I move the photos into another shared folder titled ‘Edited images’ This keeps track of any PSD’s that I have edited. I will then open lightroom, and import any updates to this folder. This will include all the images and their parent folder (which will be named the same as the original session folder, but only will contain edited PSD images)

I prefer using lightroom for this as it’s great at cataloging PSD’s and keeps track of all edited work.

11. I export the full res files in whichever format the client needs, and then use copy or a file transfer website to deliver the finished product. In some cases on larger fashion catalogs, it’s easier to ship the client a hard drive with the completed images.

I will then eventually move the edited images while in lightroom to an external drive, where they will continue to remain in my catalog.

My external drives with sessions will look similar to this:

example

It’s easy to find anything by date, especially when used with Toast’s DiscCatalogMaker RE. This app can search for anything and tell you exactly what hard drives you have it on. All you need to do is regularly scan the drives as you update them, so you can easily find any sessions off of the name or date. You can also use finder and sort for all folders tagged with a color. For example: I use Orange for sessions, Yellow for edited Tiffs, Red for in Progress sessions.

This brings up all your work quickly, and can easily open any sessions in Capture one with all selections and raw edits. This can be a lifesaver down the road if any shots are lost either by the clients doing, or if anything additional needs to be edited.

By using this sort of workflow, you can easily free up space on your working computer. My computer has a very expensive 1 TB SSD in it, and that makes anything I do on the computer absurdly fast. The only problem is, that it can fill up quickly. Timely editing, selection, exporting, and editing can help keep your main working drive freed up for more shoots. I typically will shoot several TB of images in any given year, which is much better to store on an external hard drive, than on your computer.

If you do not already own capture one, you can download a free trial from the Phase One website.

http://www.phaseone.com/en/Online-Store/Capture-One-Pro-7.aspx

You can use discount code ‘AMBROSE’ for an additional 10% off the software.  It is currently 50% off at the time of this post. The discount code will work with this discount for a total checkout of $134.50 USD.

Setting up a tethered session in Capture One Pro

A lot of people have started using Capture One Pro lately, which is Phase One’s Raw Process and Tethering software. I am going to be writing several posts on how I have been using program extensively over the last few years in my demanding professional workflow.

Capture One is a great raw processor. Second to none in my opinion (though I mainly use a Phase One P45+ which is best used with their software) and quite powerful with any cameras files. There’s no better alternative for those of us who shoot tethered, Capture One providing the industry standard.

What I intend to do with this post is provide some good tips and tricks for using Capture One as tethering software.

For starters, this is what it should look like when you’re creating a new session:
Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.23.56 AM

1. I have the date listed numerically in YYMMDD followed by the name of the shoot. Today’s post would be 140816 as its August 16, 2014. This makes finding anything by date extremely easily, throwing in a title also helps for obvious reasons. (you will see why this is all so important later)

2. The location. On a mac the best place possible to store your images in the Shared folder.

Macintosh HD/Users/Shared

Why you may ask? This is the easiest folder to recover on the computer if anything goes wrong. If your user gets corrupted, or is unable to be logged in, etc… then anything in the User/Pictures folder will be lost. That is no good. Shared it easy to access and can be a lifesaver.

3. The name of the Capture Subfolder. I typically name this RAWs as thats where I know all my raw images will be. It only is an option if you are shooting into a tethered session. I still do the same when untethered manually.

4. Capture Name. It automatically will name it the same as the session, making images easy to find (only applies to images shot while tethered)

The above settings will give you a window that looks like this:
C1 Window

Say you are shooting something with several looks (be it headshots, or a fashion catalog)

You can easily navigate to the raw folder by selecting ‘Show in system folders’

System Folders

Which will load up the shared folder, the session folder, then the Raw. I suggest right clicking the raw’s folder and selecting ‘show in finder’

Show in finder

This will open the folder for your raws in the finder. Why did we do this? Because now you have the quickest way to create new folders. In the Raw’s folder, I will right click and make a new folder. The first is usually Lighting Tests, as I like to get some test shots before actually shooting, and having them separate helps.

Lighting tests + look 1

I then create a folder titled ‘look 1’ If you hold Option and select and drag it, you will see a green plus show up. This will mean that the folder will be copied to wherever you drag it. You can do this as many times, and with as many folders as you like. Since the original folder was named ‘look 1’ the first new folder will be automatically named ‘look 2’ and so on. You can drag and copy multiple folders over at once to have several easily and quickly.

*added tip is to have a folder titled ‘Raws’ saved in your shared folder with a pre-made folder that you can easily select and option drag into the new raw folder of any future sessions, this saves a lot of time*

raws

After you have the desired number of looks, you can close this finder window.

Now under the system folder’s part of Capture One, you will see that Raw’s has a dropdown arrow, once you click that you can see the new folders you created. Manually click and add each one to favorites, or make each a capture folder as you move along through a shoot and they should automatically become favorites.

add to favorites

The favorites tab after having done this (provides the easiest and fastest access to files)

Favorites

This gives you a great basis for a tethered shoot.

If you do not already own capture one, you can download a free trial from the Phase One website.

http://www.phaseone.com/en/Online-Store/Capture-One-Pro-7.aspx

You can use discount code ‘AMBROSE’ for an additional 10% off the software.  It is currently 50% off at the time of this post. The discount code will work with this discount for a total checkout of $134.50 USD.

Creating a convincing landscape composite

As photographers, we have a vision.

I have now visited Horseshoe bend in Page, Arizona 3 times. Once a year since 2012. The first two visits I went, the ‘perfect shot’ eluded me.

We have the perfect idea of what the lighting could be like, the clouds in the sky, the colors, and the composition. In studio, one can create their vision with controlled lighting equipment, hair, makeup, and models. On location, the factors of nature take into play.

It was time to try something different for a now familiar location. As an artist, it helps to research the location and see the work that others have created at it. A consistent pattern was shots at sunset, with a washed out sky, or a dark foreground. let’s not even start with the countless HDR images of the location.

What really stood out to me was the lack of shots at night. The few I found were not done amazingly well by my standards, so I decided to make it my goal to create a compelling night landscape image of a heavily photographed location. There are a few ways to attempt such a feat: going out there at night, and hoping there is enough moonlight to capture detail in the features (which was unlikely given the geographic features of the bend with its 1000+ foot vertical drop) or to ‘fake it’ in photoshop.

To successfully fake a night image in photoshop, a few things had to be taken into consideration. The angles and direction of the light, the color pallet, and the exposure. For this I waited until after the sun had ducked down over the horizon, and underexposed the shot. This gave a darker image that was flat. I used a Canon EF 17 f4 TS-E to get a proper perspective of the landscape.

Flat raw of Horseshoe Bend

Flat raw of Horseshoe Bend

Not that compelling of a shot. It’s dark, there’s no detail in the sky, and there is not much going on. I braved the edge of the cliff with my camera setup to get as little of the cliff wall on my side in the frame. I took several images and this happened to be the one that I chose for the final photo.

I started by importing the images into Capture One Pro 7 (Phase One’s amazing raw software) which played a significant roll in my final image. In there I made some minor exposure, contrast, highlight/shadow/ and levels adjustments. The most important was removing the generic 5d Mark II color profile, and using ‘Phase One – No Color Correction’ with a linear response blending mode. This gave me the above image which is relatively flat, but with incredible dynamic range. I exported it as a 16 bit .Tiff.

I made the decision to capture all of the water, and given the massive scale of it, was barely able to fit it in the 17mm full frame DSLR frame. I had a little space on the horizon, but not nearly enough as I would have liked. A square frame suited it well, so it was extended in photoshop to be a square image.

Square image

A good start compositionally, but that sky really is lacking with all that negative space. Earlier this year I was in Death Valley National Park, by the Eureka Sand Dunes. It was extremely clear and I managed to capture a number of clean night sky images of stars. I typically have several skies on hand, as sometimes you get a beautiful scene with a dull sky, and changing that can make a much more impactful image. Careful masking will make a seamless image. The next photo is with the sky added and masked accordingly. Still, it doesn’t look right.

Sky added

Careful dodging and burning can help to make the transition more seamless, a detail that should be very carefully and tastefully done to achieve a convincing end result. This next image has undergone dodging and burning, as well as some general cleanup with the clone stamp tool. I reflected the sky in the water, used a different blending mode, and masked in some of the stars to make them ‘reflect’ the stars from the night sky and add another realistic detail to the image.

Dodge + Burn

More seamless, but not exactly ‘Wow’. The color is the most important part to come.

Earlier, when using Capture One, we made the image flat by removing the camera color correction profile, and using a linear response mode. This was done on both the RAW image of the stars and foreground that was blended together for this shot. Doing this gave us a file that has significantly more potential with color work. When used with a combination of Curves, levels, hue/sat, selective color, brightness/contrast with appropriate layer masking it was able to convincingly blend the colors of the scene together. Stylistically the overall image was given a very ‘cool’ look to appear as if it was shot late at night and lit by the moon. With the right amount of adjustments the image was able to pop off the screen and and capture my vision and goal.

The end result of this process?

Evening at Horseshoe Bend

Needless to say, I feel that the 3rd time’s a charm.

Larger view on 500px.com: http://500px.com/photo/67256105

If you would like to try a similar color editing technique, I suggest going and downloading a trial of Capture One Pro 7 to play around with it yourself. A single curves layer will do wonders to an image processed in such a way. If you would like to purchase a fully licensed copy of it, there is a 10% coupon code at the bottom of this page.

Capture One Pro 7 can be purchased here from Phase One directly:

http://www.phaseone.com/buy-co7

When checking out the coupon code: AMBROSE will save you 10% ($30)

I hope you enjoyed this first post. Any feedback would be appreciated, and I will try to answer questions. Expect more in the near future.

-Rick

 

 

 

New blog

I am a landscape, commercial, portrait, and fine art photographer based in Los Angeles, California. I’ve decided to start blogging about my ventures in the photographic world, and hope to provide insightful information for those interested in my work. 

Look forward to some more posts in the near future.