Tell it with colors

Introducing Capture One 21

The editing software to unleash the power of color

What is the power of color? It’s a question that has driven the evolution of our photo editing software – and why we’ve pushed the boundaries of color editing and reproduction since 2003. To explore the potential of the newest Capture One, we challenged pro photographers to harness a color to tell us about their world.

The Blue Story

 

Freshwater springs by Jennifer Adler

A self-described “science storyteller,” Jennifer Adler is a photojournalist and marine ecologist who has spent her career travelling the world, documenting aquatic ecosystems in a changing climate. But when the pandemic struck, her assignments dried up.

“It’s part of my identity to tell stories and be in the water, so it felt like part of me was missing,” says the scientist-meets-photographer from her base in Florida, USA.

Recently, she returned to her photo archives to re-edit images from an ongoing project: documenting Florida’s “gin-clear” freshwater springs, with the goal of connecting locals to the forgotten freshwater that flows beneath their feet.

“I don’t ordinarily have the time to re-edit a long-term project – it feels important to revisit those photos and rethink how I tell the story of the springs, especially because documenting changes in the environment is an ongoing story.”

Explore the new features in Capture One 21 (14.1)

 

“Getting the colors right can help the viewer feel like they are there with me, exactly as I saw it.”

- Jennifer Adler

 

Learning new creative skills

The pandemic also gave Jennifer the opportunity to try editing her old photos with Capture One 21 – learning new postproduction skills to support her science storytelling.

Want to build your editing skills? Check out our free tutorials.

“In Lightroom, I would only work with white balance sliders. Capture One’s Advanced Color Editor is a game-changer. I can precisely control every nuance of color – highlights, shadows and mid-tones – and get the colors to look exactly like what I saw in real life.”

“There’s often lot of backscatter in underwater photography – the Heal Brush is ideal for removing it; it’s better than any other photo editing software I’ve used before. Water can also make whites and blacks appear more muted in a photo, so I can increase the intensity and contrast.’”

By perfecting color, Jennifer says she can better transport her audience to the freshwater springs.

“Many people will never see the springs first-hand. I try to capture the beauty in the breakdown – a photo that is sad, but beautiful, may help someone realize an ecosystem is in trouble and inspire them to protect it. A lot of this work happens underwater, but it also takes proper editing of colors and contrast to make an image really speak to someone.”

Inspired to create your color story? Download a free trial of Capture One 21.

Telling stories with blue

"For Jennifer, the color blue is critical to her storytelling. “If I am immersed in blue, it means I am surrounded by water. My creative process hinges on being in the water, it’s like I’m an entirely different person beneath the surface.”

Blue also tells the story of the springs. “Freshwater is often clearer than the ocean. As a photojournalist, it’s important that I portray the water clarity faithfully, so I can show people the degradation of the aquatic environment over time.”

But capturing blue in water is no easy task. “Water is about 800x denser than air and absorbs light quickly. Colors begin disappearing as you descend – red is the first to go, then orange, then yellow at about 20 meters.”

By editing these colors back in, you can help eliminate the greenish-blue cast that often dominates underwater photos. Getting the colors right can help the viewer feel like they are there with me, exactly as I saw it.”

Jennifer used Capture One 21 to edit her images. Download a free trial here.

Discover the color possibilities with a free trial

 

Blue – the rarest color

The rarest color in nature, blue is hard to pin down. The Greeks and Romans didn’t have a word for it, while the Ancient Egyptians loved blue gemstones so much they created the first synthetic blue pigment. Blue dye and paint were so expensive in Early Modern Europe that only the richest could afford it, but it eventually became the color of the world’s most popular garment – jeans. In the 1950s, French artist Yves Klein famously invented his own shade of blue – inspiring today’s creatives to continue reinventing this unique color.

The Green Story

 

Eat your greens by Maciek Miloch

Still life and food photographer Maciek Miloch created this playful series about his coping mechanism during the COVID pandemic – comfort food.  

“Green usually means healthy eating – I gave it a twist and made it represent candy. The photos also portray a mashup of home office and food settings, which began to blend for me as I worked more from home.”   

With Poland in lockdown and stores closed, the Warsaw-based creative worked with just two collaborators and relied on his personal collection of vintage items to give the shoot a retro-inspired feel. Maciek also created a DIY set by painting his workspace different shades of green with gold and copper tones.  

“When the pandemic first hit, I felt paralyzed – but slowly my creative thinking returned. This shoot was about being creative with what’s available.” 

 

 

 

“I was afraid of green – it took me out of my comfort zone. The human eye can identify more nuances of green than with any other color,  so I had to get it exactly right.  But ultimately I find it a hopeful color, vibrant and positive.” 

Maciek Miloch

Discover the tools that empower your color creativity

Maciek Miloch – The Green Shoot

Go behind the scenes

Green – the complicated color

With almost 30 shades, humans can see green better than any other color. It’s what helped our ancestors identify different plants – and why visual creatives must work hard to get the exact tone right. Green is often linked with good health, but it can also kill – in the 19th century, people died after wearing popular green dyes made from arsenic. But with its connection to nature, green will always be a powerful symbol of new life and the protection of our planet.  

The Red Story

 

Solaris by Michelle Watt

During the COVID pandemic, New York-based fashion photographer Michelle Watt found herself on the other side of the country as fires ravaged California. Her series is inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s novel Solaris.

“A woman is trapped on a spaceship orbiting a mysterious planet, which triggers simulations of herself and her past. Are these figures real, or in her mind?”

Far from her studio, Michelle used one model and a DIY set in a deserted office space. “It’s inspired by my experience of the pandemic – I paused my life in New York to be with family in San Francisco. Amidst wildfires and social tension, I feel alienated and trapped while the outside world feels toxic. New and old versions of myself collide as I struggle to embrace the new normal.”

“Red is heat that stands strong even when the air is cold. It is the feeling in your heart that someone you love is nearby, even when in real life they are far away. Red is sometimes unbearable. If blue is protection, red is strength.”

- Michelle Watt

Discover the tools that empower your color creativity

Michelle Watt – The Red Shoot

Go behind the scenes

The oldest color.

Humans have been telling stories with red since the beginning of time. It’s the first color newborn babies see – and the first color we used to create art on ancient cave walls. It represents all our most powerful feelings, like rage or love. And from Coca Cola to Netflix, brands love using red to stand out. Red even makes our hearts beat faster – making it one of the most powerful colors of all.

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Take the #capturecolors challenge

How do you interpret green? Share your photos on Instagram using #capturecolors for the chance to be featured in our community gallery.

Capture One 21

A powerful color engine. And beyond.

A revolutionary Speed Edit tool. A Dehaze slider for the clearest possible picture. And with new color profiles, even the faintest hues look exactly as they did when you captured the image.