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Making the switch: How Andrew Ling went from Lightroom to Capture One

I had always heard about Capture One, but mostly associated it with tethered photography. I quickly learned that this editing software is about so much more than just that. Today, Capture One is my go-to tool for editing and my entire workflow from start to finish.

close up of person working on laptop using capture one software

From the little things, like the efficiency of the engine-saving battery life when I’m working from my laptop, to the major features like the unique ‘Styles’ and advanced color editing tools which help me achieve my exact unique look – Capture One quickly became my favorite tool for editing. Learning how to use Capture One completely changed my workflow for the better. It took my work to the next level and now I want to help you do the same.

Workspace

The first time I ever opened Capture One, I was initially intimidated by the layout. It wasn’t until later that I learned about the custom layouts available. I’d highly recommend anyone just making the switch over from Lightroom, to go up to Window (in the toolbar) -> Workspace -> Migration.

capture one screenshot

On Migration, it’s an immediate relief, to be met with a workspace similar to the one in Lightroom, with the photo browsers on the bottom of your screen, and essential editing tools to the right.

Favorite Features

I read about Emily Teague’s experience switching over to Capture One from Lightroom, and noted how much she loved the clarity and highlights adjustments. Both adjustments are gentle and give natural results, something I was very impressed with. You can see an example of these two adjustments on my photo from Patagonia in this image comparison.

patagonia landscape by andrew ling

Switching experiences

To be honest, when I first thought about switching my main software for editing it was intimidating. But as soon as I launched Capture One, I was pleasantly surprised by what is still one of my favorite features, the Resource Hub. Upon startup, the Resource Hub pops up offering a variety of recent news/updates, and a wide variety of high-quality tutorials. The best part? The tutorials are all free and easy to follow.

person sitting at computer screen using capture one software

I was excited to try all the new features I had been learning about. I started by importing one of my favorite photos to edit, and things felt natural almost immediately. The same key tools such as exposure, highlights/shadows, contrast, etc. were all there in one place and very easy to locate. I began to build new habits with my favorite/most frequently used tools and loved that I could completely customize my own interface. I could easily add/remove modules to my liking, and if I ever felt lost, a solution was just a quick search away.

Switching isn’t nearly as difficult or intimidating as it seems. Surprisingly, my biggest struggle was just thinking about it too much. Once I got started, things quickly became easy. My current favorite feature is the color balance/picker. It allows for complete customization of color and all features are powered instantaneously, with no lag. I have a very specific and distinct style for certain jobs. Something Capture One really helps me create. I’m excited to share how this tool has helped me take my work to the next level, and I’m excited to see others follow and do the same.

close up of person using video workflow in capture one

Seeing so many new buttons all at once can be intimidating, but just to put things in perspective, how many Lightroom features do you actually use? It’s important to focus on just what you need, to suit your workflow, at least to begin with. For me, I look to the essentials – exposure, highlights/shadows, tone curve, coloring tools, etc. Start with those when you try Capture One and take things one step at a time.

screenshot of software showing video workflow in capture one

Summary

I’m still relatively new to the software, but I found it was amazingly quick to learn. I’m excited to see where Capture One continues to take my work. I hope you’ll follow along on the journey!

April 4 2019

By Andrew Ling

Category: Guest Photographers Tags:
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  • Andrew Ling
    Andrew Ling

    Andrew Ling is a Seattle based commercial and adventure photographer, specializing in extreme environments.

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