Bob Rockefeller Photography

Getting Comfortable with Capture One Pro


I am getting more and more comfortable using Capture One Pro in place of Lightroom. I still import my new images to both programs, but I find I’m not using Lightroom for the new ones anymore. However, I have not moved all my old images to Capture One Pro just yet.

Maybe a third of those older images have been copied into Capture One Pro to be sure importing works as expected and that Capture One Pro’s catalog works well with multiple albums and a medium-sized keyword library. Just as I did with Aperture, I’m using a managed, as opposed to referenced, catalog.

I still love Capture One Pro’s interface and adjustment tools. I’m coming to grips with the lack of printing presets and I’ve worked around the DAM (Digital Asset Management) limitations, for the most part.

And I’ve learned several things.

Capture One Pro is a RAW Processor


I don’t think that it will surprise anyone to hear that Capture One Pro is a RAW converter first, and foremost. In its early days (my first introduction to it was somewhere around version 3), it was only a RAW processor. The standard workflow was to load images into a session folder, demosaic the file, and allow you to make darkroom-like adjustments to it.

From there, you exported a JPG or TIFF and did what you needed to with the resulting file. Capture One did not concern itself with libraries, catalogs, keywords, or much of anything else. Put a RAW file in, get a nicely developed TIFF out. It was then, and may very well still be, the best RAW image developer available.

But times have changed.

Capture One Pro Customization


One of my favorite things about Capture One Pro is the ability to customize its interface. By making customizations, even multiple customizations for multiple tasks, and saving them as Workspaces, you can create a number of different editing environments within the application.

So, not only does the interface look reminiscent of Aperture’s, but you can mold it to even a greater extent than you could in Aperture. And you’ll find that more of the interface can be changed than is at first apparent

My Capture One Catalog


The two primary systems for tracking photo images within a DAM (Digital Asset Management) system today are referenced and managed. In a referenced system, the image files are stored somewhere in the computer’s file system, on arbitrary storage devices, and a database keeps track of where they are, allowing for organization of those images within the application.

A managed system gathers the image files together into a file system package (really just a special folder type) stored on a single device and from there a database keeps track of where they are. A virtual file organization is then created within the application.

Lightroom has only referenced images, Aperture allowed managed or referenced images, and Capture One allows managed, referenced and even a separate sessions arrangement (which I don’t use) for images. My favorite has always been Aperture’s way, but as I convert to Capture One, I am adapting my needs to its managed catalog method.

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