Workflow: Import to Export

For the past 5-6 years I have been using Lightroom extensively. Recently, I tried my hands on Capture one and fell in love with its image processing engine and the tethering system(all of us have faced troubles with Lightroom dropping the connection every now and then). What I love the most about Capture One is the tethering system, raw engine and the way it treats colors. Although its cataloging system is not as good as Lightroom, its Session management is perfect for the job.

I wanted to take advantage of the Capture One Sessions where I could do the Post-Processing, retouch the images in photoshop; and catalog the images with my existing Lightroom master catalog. After a lot of sleepless nights and umpteen tries I figured out a way to use Capture One and Lightroom and still maintain the same workflow and the same folder structure.

So to make it visually easy I am going to take one of my existing editorials I did called Hollywood Cinema it has 4 looks, with 2 different locations for the 2nd look.

Lets begin!

1. Import

01 Start.jpeg

Creating Capture One Session: The session name for the editorial is 'HOLLYWOOD_CINEMA'. Since its a new project, it will go into my current shoot folder in my local hard drive.

Note: I am using '_' as a delimiter instead of a space and the name will all be in caps to keep it neat and clean.

    • Capture: This is where all the RAW images will be imported.
    • Info: I am not a big fan of moving images out of Capture folder mainly because I cull the images and I can do all sorts of filtering using metadata. So I renamed it into Info. It would contain mood boards, inspirations, reference images; and related documents like Invoices, estimates, model releases. Although, I retain these files in dropbox and other locations, I have an alias/shortcut placed here so that everything related to the project is all at one location.
    • Exports: Originally titled Outputs, I renamed it to exports as it made more sense to me. The Post-Processed files which are to be retouched outside of Capture One are exported to TIFF's, PSD's or PSB's or any other format in this folder.
    • Trash: Where the deleted images would go, overexposed, underexposed, blank shot.

    Creating Folders For Looks: This is something I picked up from Topher Scott he was one of my brilliant professors from NYFA, which really made sense to me.

    Each look would get a dedicated folder in the capture folder (eg. 'HOLLYWOOD_CINEMA_A'; like so). This helps me in looking for a specific image in a look directly without searching though the metadata.

    Same Look but different: If the look has a different variation to it, like maybe a different lighting setup, location change, makeup change etc for the same dress; then the B look will have two different locations so that I can append '_1' at the end HOLLYWOOD_CINEMA_B_1 like so.

    02 Creating Folders For Looks - 3.jpeg

    Test: This contains the light test or look test images. Generally, if the shoot is tethered, the digital technician/me would handle this right away; or I do it during the import.

    Import: Now that your session is ready to go, its time to import the images. Each look has to be imported into its corresponding folder.

    Apply the steps below during import/tether:

    1. Set 'HOLLYWOOD_CINEMA_A' as the Capture Folder. This will automatically add the folder into Session Favorites.
    2. Open import dialog, set Capture Folder as import destination.
    3. Set naming formate as (Destination Folder Name_YYMMDD_seq) i.e. HOLLYWOOD_CINEMA_A-170120-001
    4. Click Import.

    Repeat this process for each look. Rest the 'import counter' in step 3 for each import.

    2. Culling

    Once the shoot is complete the images are culled using star rating.

    • 1 Star: Image is in focus and exposed currect.
    • 2 Star: Unique images from 1 star which has good poses and expressions.
    • 3 Star: Images from 2 Star which convey the story of the concept typically no more than 10-15 images for each look.
    • 4 Star: Images from 3 Star that are the strongest these are the images that go for retouching and are selected be me and the Client/Model/Agency.
    • 5 Star: Retouched images. These are the images that are delivered to the client, posted on social media and printed.

    3. Post-Processing

     Here I take full advantage of capture one raw processing engine and process the 4 star images, close to how the image is supposed to look like at the end, minus the retouching.  Less is more. Exposure, Color Tones, Perspective are fixed here without drastically changing the image. And also the same recipe is applied for all the images in the project to keep the consistency.

    Here I take full advantage of capture one raw processing engine and process the 4 star images, close to how the image is supposed to look like at the end, minus the retouching.

    Less is more. Exposure, Color Tones, Perspective are fixed here without drastically changing the image. And also the same recipe is applied for all the images in the project to keep the consistency.

    4. Retouching

      Export TIF's:  Using the process recipe I export the post-processed images to TIF.  Note: Destination location is set to exports folder by default in capture one sessions.

    Export TIF's: Using the process recipe I export the post-processed images to TIF.

    Note: Destination location is set to exports folder by default in capture one sessions.

      Retouch:  Images are retouched using Photoshop using nondestructive methods.  PS: I will dedicate a complete blog on nondestructive retouching process.

    Retouch: Images are retouched using Photoshop using nondestructive methods.

    PS: I will dedicate a complete blog on nondestructive retouching process.

    5. Export/Print

      Archiving:  Only the exports folder is imported into Lightroom for archival. Here keywords(Model, MUAH, Stylist, Location), IPTC and other metadata are added.

    Archiving: Only the exports folder is imported into Lightroom for archival. Here keywords(Model, MUAH, Stylist, Location), IPTC and other metadata are added.

      Publish Services:  Finally! images are ready for export and print. I have configured published services with presets to export, retouched images into flattened TIFF's and JPEG's into dropbox and export the full resolution JPEG's for clients, publications into dropbox.

    Publish Services: Finally! images are ready for export and print. I have configured published services with presets to export, retouched images into flattened TIFF's and JPEG's into dropbox and export the full resolution JPEG's for clients, publications into dropbox.

    Timelapse of my workflow from import to export on Capture One, Lightroom and Photoshop.

    Credits:

    Model: Kelly MulvihillBMG Models NY

    MUAH: Kelly Mazzini

    Assistants: HughLi, Zurui Mei

    Location: Loew's Jersey Theatre

    Special thanks to the entire team for making this shoot beautiful and successful.