Do you do all your editing in Capture One?

My answer depends on the kind of image I’m working on, whether it’s for a client job or personal work, and whether it needs more intensive pixel retouching – but I always try to do as much as possible in Capture One.

Working on the RAW files gives me more flexibility and power because they contain a lot more information. I can manipulate them more easily than a PSD or a JPEG so it makes sense to do as much as I can in the RAW conversion. Here are some helpful tips!

Client images

  • You need a very flexible workflow to allow for client amends
  • Don’t “bake in” strong edits like color grading or contrast in the RAW conversion if you’re going to be taking the image into Photoshop. Keep your RAW conversion more focused on pulling out all the details using the High Dynamic Tool and correcting color and exposure issues
  • In Photoshop you can work more on color grading and contrast at the end of the process, after retouching things like skin and hair. This way you’re always ready to make edits at the client’s request

Personal images

  • You have full creative control so do as much as you can in Capture One/the RAW conversion
  • For example: if you apply color grading in Capture One before taking the image into Photoshop, you’ll spend less time retouching because the image already feels much closer to being finished
  • When editing, there are always multiple ways to achieve the same look, so if you feel more comfortable using the Color Balance Tool than, say, Curves, that’s absolutely fine!

Thanks for reading!

— Zoë