Capturing a Simpler Approach

I’ve been trialling Capture One for the past week trying to see if it is a good alternative to Lightroom. The way I shoot now requires me to try and get it right in camera with straight out of camera jpegs rather than processing raw files after the shoot. While I enjoy processing raw files, and I don’t usually spend more than 2-3 minutes per file, I like how the jpegs I see after the shoot matches what I see when I bring the viewfinder up to my eye.

Having said that, I’m not averse to processing raw files. I’m still earning to gauge the right film simulation, shutter speed, iso and aperture combinations that achieve the right look. As such, there are still times when my manual approach fails and I need the power of post processing to get the right outcome.

Lightroom worked really well in the past. And I’m sure it still does. There is a lot of talk online about how Fuji raw files get butchered by Lightroom while Capture One treats Fuji files better. Given that I’m not printing my shots commercially and my print sizes are rarely large enough for pixel peeping, I’m happy with how Lightroom manages my raw files. In addition, my migration to using g jpegs with minimal editing also lessens the argument for switch to Capture One.

My week long experience with Capture One indicates that Capture One is a very powerful tool. In terms of photo editing capability, it is more powerful than Lightroom and you can do so much more. However, Lightroom and Capture One provide the same functionality and results for fundamental tools like exposure, colour and composition tools. It is the other more advanced photo editing functions where Capture One excels. For example, Capture One provides a full suit of tools on a layer while Lightroom provides a small suite of tools on local adjustments. The learning and adapting curve is steep. But I enjoy the process of learning something new. Strangely, there is a lot of fun watching YouTube guides and googling for solutions. The honest truth is that given the way I shot and edit, there is little difference between Capture One and Lightroom,.

I’m trying to take a simpler approach to life. From how I dress to how I approach my work life, I’m trying to see how a more casual existence can help me regain a more balanced view of life and a better mental health. The way this thinking translates to real life means that I don’t buy what is necessary, I dress simply, I try to eat healthily and I make time for yoga and meditation. When it comes to photography, I’ve got my one lens per week approach and a simple set of 5 custom settings (recipe) that define my look. I could have easily stuck to Lightroom. It is a simple NZD$16 per month “rent” to use the software. However, the idea that I could potentially purchase a product for less than a year’s “rent” and use it for longer than a year appeals.

I’m still in two minds. NZD$16 is not a lot of money each money. This is especially so when I spend so much more gorging myself on treats likes takeaways and pastries. But if I reduce my expenses, it could help me in the future when a simpler life could mean a different job with less money or moving to more a rural setting with less job opportunities. Oh well. more thinking and exploring. There is still 3 more weeks in my Capture One trial.

These shots were taken today and processed using Capture One.

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