Exposure

Exposure / Local Adjustment / Brightness / Contrast / Saturation

Use the Capture One Exposure Tool Tab to adjust exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation, levels and clarity.

Managing exposure

  1. Press the Exposure Warning icon (see circled, or View>Show Exposure Warnings) to highlight areas of an image that may be overexposed.
    A (default) red color will fill any areas that may be burnt out. (Find out how to change the Exposure warning settings).
  2. Use the High Dynamic Range tool tool to help recover loss of detail in highlights and shadow areas.
    The Highlight and Shadow slider will also affect all colors and shades.
    Start by trying to carefully recover the information (pixels) hidden in the highlights and then gently adjust the shadow tones. The Exposure tool will change the appearance of colors.
  3. Use Local Adjustments to alter the exposure if there are specific areas of an image that are overexposed.

Tip: The Exposure tool will change the appearance of colors. Tones will often appear over saturated but this can be remedied by reducing the Saturation Slider value appropriately.

Press the Exposure Warning icon (see circled) to highlight areas of an image that may be overexpose

Adjust exposure

  1. Go to the Exposure tool in the Exposure Tool Tab.
  2. Use the exposure slider to adjust the value up or down.

Note: This slider is calibrated to provide a range of +/- 4 stops. It adjusts the exposure in a similar way to the controls on a camera.

,Go to the Exposure tool in the Exposure Tool Tab, use the exposure slider to adjust the value up or down

Adjust contrast, brightness and saturation

  1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
  2. In the Exposure tool, adjust the Contrast slider to the right to increase contrast throughout the image. Move it to the left to decrease contrast.
  3. The Exposure tool also incorporates a Brightness slider that will primarily affect the mid-tones of an image. Move the slider to the left to increase mid-tone contrast or to the right to lighten shadow areas and reduce contrast.
  4. Adjust the Saturation slider to increase or decrease the saturation of an image.

Adjust contrast, brightness and saturation

Adjust high dynamic range images

  1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
  2. In the High Dynamic Range tool, use the Shadow slider to adjust dark areas and the Highlight slider for bright and over exposed areas.
  3. The Auto adjust button (A) will provide a good starting point. (Press the A icon).

Adjust exposure with this tool

Levels

The histogram in the Levels Tool plots the brightness and RGB values of an image from the darkest/blackest pixels on the left to the brightest/whitest on the right. As a visual guide the plot can reveal a number of characteristics about the image, such as the range and distribution of shadow, mid-tones and highlights, or tonal range.

In the combined RGB Channel mode the Levels Tool may be used to adjust the contrast and brightness of an image, either manually or automatically using the Auto Levels option. Using the Auto option, Black and White points are mapped to the set output levels (0 and 255 respectively, if left as default). RGB values are re-distributed to avoid color shifts, regardless of manual or Auto point selection.

The color balance can be adjusted using the individual RGB channel mode, however there is no auto-option and care is required to prevent color shifts.

The histogram in the Levels Tool plots the brightness and RGB values of an image from the darkest/blackest pixels on the left to the brightest/whitest on the right

Adjust tonal range using input levels Pro

  1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
  2. In the Levels tool, use the Auto (A) function or adjust by pulling the shadow and highlight point sliders until they’re just touching either ends of the histogram. 
  3. Check Highlight and Shadow warnings to identify any clipped pixels, and adjust as needed.
  4. Adjust the middle slider to lighten or darken mid-tones as desired. 
  5. Optionally, press Red, Green or Blue buttons to access and adjust separate R, G and B channels using the sliders.
  6. Levels settings may be saved as a preset and applied to multiple images.

Note: Output levels can be set manually by adjusting the sliders at the top of the histogram or by entering values in the boxes directly above. The default levels of 0 and 255 may be permanently overridden in the Preferences section, see here for more details.

Tip: The Levels preferences can be accessed from the Levels tool’s action menu icon. Press the […] icon and select Preferences.

In the Levels tool, use the Auto (A) function or adjust by pulling the low/mid/highlight point

Adjust tonal range using shadow and highlight picker (optional) Pro

  1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
  2. In the Levels tool, select the Shadow Picker (see highlighted in orange) and click on a dark area of your image in the Viewer.
  3. Select the Highlight Picker and click on a bright area of your image in the Viewer.
  4. Adjust the middle slider to lighten or darken mid-tones, as desired.
  5. If necessary, press Red, Green or Blue to access and adjust separate R, G and B channels using the sliders.

Tip: The individual RGB Channel mode may be used to add a color tint for creative effect.

Adjust input levels using shadow and highlight picker

Adjust curves Pro

  1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
  2. In the Curve tool, click on the diagonal line to set some points, then pull/push the curve line.
  3. You can also add points by selecting the Curve Point Picker and clicking on different areas of your image in the Viewer.

Tip: Press the Manage Presets icon and use a Built-in Preset as a starting point.

Note: Levels are used to control the overall tonal distribution of an image. Curves enables users to remap the area within the shadow and highlight limits that are set by the Levels tool.

Curves enables users to remap the area within the shadow and highlight limits that are set by the Levels tool

Adjust curve tool anchor points Pro

New to the Curve tool in Capture One 8 is the addition of moveable anchor points, in the upper right and lower left corners of the diagonal line. The new anchor points make it easier to remap the darkest and lightest values in the tonal range.

1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
2. In the Curve Tool, position the cursor on one of the anchor points – a guideline will be displayed to help with the positioning.
4. Click and hold the anchor point and then drag it to the desired position. For example, to remap the tonal range, move the anchor points horizontally so that the guidelines just touch the edge of the histogram.

Tip: The Curve tool can be removed and allowed to float anywhere within the workspace, or even on a second monitor. When floating, the tool can be resized and can even retain a slightly enlarged size when replaced in the Toolbar. 

Note: It may not be necessary to make adjustments to the new anchor points, if the black and white points have previously been set using the Levels tool.

More information

The Curve adjustment tool is one of the most powerful tools in Capture One. It is used to remap the tonal range of the original image values (represented by the horizontal axis) to the new, modified values (represented by the vertical axis of the graph). The lower left and upper right zones of the graph denotes the shadow and highlight regions of the image respectively, while the area in the middle represents the mid-tones. Adding control points to the diagonal line and modifying the shape applies contrast and exposure adjustments by either stretching or compressing tones in the image.

New to the Curve tool in Capture One 8 is the addition of moveable anchor points, in the upper right and lower left corners of the diagonal line. The new anchor points make it easier to remap the darkest and lightest values in the tonal range

Adjust clarity

The Clarity Tool now includes a new Natural method setting that applies milder local contrast than either the existing Punch or Neutral options and avoids false colors and clipped highlights. The Classic option from Capture One 6 has also been restored and applies an effect between the existing Punch and Neutral options. Positive values using the Classic setting work well with architecture and on images with a degree of haze. Low negative values may be used for softening portraits, particularly the Classic and Natural settings. The Clarity tool can also be applied as a Local Adjustment.


To adjust Clarity

1. Go to the Exposure Tool Tab.
2. Select the Clarity tool, choose from the Natural, Punch, Neutral or Classic setting from the Method drop-down menu and adjust the Clarity slider as necessary.
3. Positive values increase mid-tone contrast whereas negative values lower it, producing a progressively softer look.
4. The Structure slider is independent and enhances texture when positive values are applied. Edging the slider to the left into negative values has a more moderate softening effect than the Clarity slider.
 
Tip: Zoom the image to 100% in the Viewer or the Focus window to help in choosing the preferred Clarity method type and Structure.

Note: The effect of the Clarity tool depends on the image it is applied to. The Structure slider (value) has a particularly noticeable effect when applied to images that feature complex structures such as a tree where the branch and twigs stand out and become more pronounced.

Adjust clarity with this tool

Vignetting

Vignetting is a controlled exposure adjustment that will either darken or brighten the edges and corners of an image. The edges and corners will be appear brighter when the EV value is added and darker when it is reduced.

  1. Go to the Lens Tool Tab and select the Vignetting tool.
  2. Select an image from the browser and choose the desired option from the Method drop down menu.
  3. Adjust the Amount slider to the right to lighten or the left to darken the edges and corners of an image.  

Note: Vignetting will be effected by any color tone that is applied to an image including the styles Sepia and Blue tone.

Vignetting is a controlled exposure adjustment that will either darken or brighten the edges and corners of an image

Saturation

Decreasing the saturation will ultimately turn an image black and white. This in turn will change the histogram from RGB to monochrome although the image will remain in a RGB color space as chosen by the output color space. This tool uses ‘intelligent saturation’ so it does more than simply affect normal saturation values. The positive values (attained when the slider is moved to the right) are comparable to what third party software often refers to as Vibrance. Vibrance is gentler to the skin tones and will be able to enhance, for instance, a blue sky without over-saturating the rest of the image. The negative values represent regular saturation settings.

Decreasing the saturation will ultimately turn an image black and white