Why Use HDR in Capture One

HDR/Tone-Mapping has a bad name because of massive over use by the general photographic community. Like tilt-shift, vignetting, clarity, or art filters in Photoshop the technique can be (and very often is) far over used. However, at heart HDR is simply an automated way of applying dodge and burns to better use the dynamic range of a scene. In HDR/tone mapping the areas of the image that are generally bright are darkened and the areas that are generally dark are brightened.

The LCC tool in Capture One can be used as a round-about HDR tool. It’s not the most fully featured, but the image quality (color fidelity, tonal smoothness, etc) is excellent, it’s fairly fast to use, and there are a lot of advantages to a workflow that applies HDR/tone-mapping at the raw level.

Background of LCC

The LCC tool in Capture One is located in the Lens Correction tab. It evaluates overall trends in the frame, such as “the top of the frame is a bit red and a bit darker” so that these trends can be removed or reduced. It was designed to correct for color casts and light fall-off caused by the lens. Since LCC evaluates what areas of the image are generally dark and what ares of the image are generally light and then tries to even the lighting in the scene it can be used for HDR images.

Step by Step: Using the LCC Tool for HDR

  1. Under the Lens Correction Tab select LCC > Analyze (exclude dust) and accept the default name
  2. Uncheck Color Cast
  3. Reduce Light Fall Off from 100% down to something in the 10-40% range
  4. Adjust Exposure, Clarity, and Contrast as desired

Real World Example

Before and After from Above Video

Roll over the image with your mouse to see the “After”

Conclusion

Between Local Adjustments and using the LCC tool for HDR effects the user can now do more in Capture One 6 Pro rather than rely on manual retouching in Photoshop (which requires processing, opening, and re-saving).

Other Uses of LCC

  • Dust removal from any/all raw files from a particular shoot by shooting a reference card
  • Even out lighting (color and intensity) during Art Reproduction to within 1/100 of a stop variation
  • Remove lens-vignette of any lens
  • Remove color cast or light fall off from tilt-shift lenses

Other Before and After Examples

Roll over the image with your mouse to see the “After”

Roll over the image with your mouse to see the “After”

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