Bob Rockefeller Photography

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Back To Capture One


Yes, after plenty of false starts, I think I’m moving to Phase One’s Capture One from Adobe’s Lightroom for good. With version 10.1, Capture One has made enough progress that its good points now outweigh its bad. And it is now overall better for me than Lightroom.

This is not to suggest that Lightroom is bad; quite to the contrary, a huge number of photographers use Lightroom happily and reliably to handle their image organization, editing, adjustment, and output needs. Adobe has a solid, and deserved, reputation for advancing the science of digital image processing.

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.

DAM in Lightroom from Aperture


If you’d like to start a online firestorm, opening a topic on the Luminous Landscape Lightroom forum will work. My move from Aperture to Lightroom offered the occasion for me to review and potentially revise my photo storage organization. So I started a thread there to see how others using Lightroom organized their libraries.

Before all the arguing started, I did get some useful input. The original “bible” for digital asset management (DAM) is Peter Krogh’s excellent The DAM Book; the latest version focuses specifically on Lightroom 5. I read that and felt comfortable with the concepts, but wasn’t sure I liked the strictly date-based “storage layer.”

My system in Aperture was created with projects grouped in folders by location. While there were some exceptions, the bulk of my photos were in this folder-by-location hierarchy. So pictures taken while I was in downtown Savannah, Georgia ended up in the project Georgia > Savannah > Downtown (in Aperture, all images are in a project)

Back To Lightroom


Capture One Pro (C1) is a solid RAW converter with superior image adjustment features. In fact, I like that part of it better than the equivalent features in either Aperture, DxO Optics Pro or Lightroom. There are also a number of options for customizing the interface to match your own working style. Unfortunately, other key features supporting the editor are not yet competitive.

I depend on a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system to organize and retrieve images and in C1, the Catalog is just too immature. PhaseOne also develops Media Pro and perhaps, over time, the features of that venerable DAM will begin showing up in C1. I sure hope so.

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