Layers in Capture One bring images to life with local adjustments

okay I've got to capture one tutorial for you guys this will be the latest in our sponsored series from capture one and I want to talk about something a little more advanced today we're going to talk about adjustment layers and masking so when you bring an image into a photo editor in this case capture one usually the first thing you do or you make some adjustments for instance you might tweak the exposure a little bit you might try to bring back some highlight detail bring up your shadows get your contrast just right and we're gonna use sliders to do those things we call those global adjustments because they affect everything in the image when I just move the exposure it affects the overall exposure so this is great for a first pass but let's say you're gonna go back through and you want to a draw attention to your subject a little better and you want to just the lighting now those are not global adjustments you want to isolate something and do something specific so this is where masking comes in and we're gonna use layer adjustments and capture one to make this happen so let's go over and check this out so I've got an image open here and if you look over on the adjustment panels here I'm going to click the exposure tab and the first thing you're gonna see is I've got my histogram on the top but you should have layers right underneath that and we don't have any layers set up right now you just see background background represents what we've got so any adjustments I make will affect the background layer now what I can do for my secondary adjustments is I click on the plus sign here I'm going to create a new layer now there's several different layer types that you can do the default is adjustment that's what we're gonna be focusing on in this video you've also got cloning and healing but we'll cover those separately but anyway I've created a new layer I can double click on this to name this and I'll call this demo layer for lack of a completely unique name here and what we're gonna do is work with this layer so this allows me to draw a mask on this layer to isolate something in the image and then any adjustments that I now make to this layer only affect what's under the mask and so to draw a mask what you're going to do is on the top here you're gonna select the brush tool you can also hit the letter B on the keyboard and it brings up this circular cursor with a plus sign in the middle and if I right click anywhere in the image it'll bring up my settings and I can adjust the size I can make it smaller I can make it bigger I can adjust the hardness the opacity and the flow so you can get this really smooth looking and then I also have some options that we'll talk about in a second under here and so I'm just going to grab a brush and just for our demo sake here I'm just going to paint and one I paint on the image you're going to see a red mask up here and that is everything that is going to be masked out and so if you don't see that for whatever reason you can use the letter M on the keyboard stands for mask and that will toggle the mask on and off so right now it's on if I hit the letter M it will turn it off and we have made a mask adjustments so what I can do now that that's off anything that I do to adjust this layer is going to only show up underneath the mask so for instance if I bring the exposure up you're gonna see that it becomes bright under the mask I can also do things like bring my white balance over and maybe warm that up this is really ugly I'm just using it for our sake of demonstration but that's the idea you have a mask and when I make adjustments to that layer the adjustments only affect what's under that mask let's see what this looks like in a more practical application here so I've got another image this is an image best shot in New York City about a month or two ago and it's a street photography scene I've already done some work on this and let me show you what I've done so this is the way the image came in originally and what the problem is here is our subject which is this guy in the middle is just too dark I don't get any detail out of him and so the problem is is that I want to draw the eye into him but if I make a global adjustment and I just grab the overall exposure on the image and bring that up yeah I can see him now but I also weigh over blue the rest of the image and it's just kind of this was shot on a cloudy day so it's just how my lighting worked out so what I did is I drew a mask around my subject here and I just used the brush tool to do this one thing that will help you when you're just painting freehand like this is if you right-click using the brush tool it gives you an option that says auto mask and what this does is it helps you because capture one's going to analyze the image it's going to look at where you're painting your mask and it's going to look for edge and contrast so it's going to see hey I'm painting this dark jacket but there's a lot of detail it's much brighter behind him and so it keeps you in check and the mass doesn't necessarily be perfect you can make adjustments to that we'll get into one second but I drew the mask and I was able to make him a little bit brighter the second thing that I did is unfortunately I'm not going to control the scene here but this guy I would prefer that he have not have been there but he was and he's also a little bright and so what I did is I did a second mask on this gentleman and show you that one I'll select him and I basically brought the exposure down in the contrast down a little bit so these are minor adjustments but I'm able to do them selectively with two subjects in the frame and especially with this guy in the front and it didn't take much all I did was increase the contrast and the exposure and it makes him pop a lot more than let's talk on the masks than before so that is a really great application just using the paintbrush tool to make a mask now there are other things that we can do with this too maybe you don't want to do a lot of painting but there's other things that you can do in a more sweeping manner and one of them is using the gradient tool this it's a landscape image that I made in California right outside of carmel-by-the-sea and one of the problems that you're gonna have sometimes in landscapes particularly when the Sun is low the Sun is right behind these clouds here so I have a really high contrast this storm is blowing in it's moody lighting and it's fun to work with but you're gonna have extremes so we have really bright bright sup here in fact we've got detail it's just blown out in the sky and then I start losing a lot now I like the moodiness of the rocks and the water over here and I've just made a couple global adjustments I bumped up the contrast I lowered the exposure a little bit and I brought the white balance over so it's a little more warm and the problem that I have is well I like the lower part of this image I don't like my sky the skies kind of flat it's a little bit boring it doesn't really match the drama so I want to be able to bring that down so we're gonna use an adjustment layer and a mask to do this now I could create the adjustment layer let's call this sky so we know what it is and I could just grab the paintbrush and start painting up there but there's an easier way to do it so what I want to do is I'm gonna draw a gradient mask and when you draw a gradient mask if you go up on the top here and if you don't see it it's sometimes we're just under the brush it's under there on the triangle I'm gonna go ahead you can also hit use the letter G on the keyboard we're gonna draw a linear gradient mask so let me show you what this does so when I click and drag just to pull it down here let's hit the letter in to display the mask and you're gonna see that it's a red mask but it's linear so its darkest at the top and it starts to fade out as we go so this is a true gradient another thing that I'm going to do let's delete that or undo it and I'm going to redo this if you hold down the shift key on your keyboard this is a modifier that will keep everything straight so I'm gonna hold down shift draw it again and it's perfectly straight from top to about the middle of the M and now whatever adjustments I make under this mask will have a gradient they'll smooth out as it goes to the bottom let's bring the exposure down and we get a little more drama already maybe bring the contrast up just a little bit bring the exposure down a little more now I've got a moody or more interesting sky the problem that I have though is that it doesn't look natural in the way that it hit these rocks over here that does not look like natural lighting and so what are our options here what can we do well I could rasterize this grab the eraser tool and actually you'll paint through the rocks but that's going to be way too much work and not something I'm interested in doing but one other thing that we can do is use the luma range tool so with the sky selected you're going to see luma range it's a button right over the top of the layers here if I select that this allows us to limit the mask to a certain light range so your darks are gonna be over on the Left highlights are on the right so if I grab these sliders and you can tail them off to kind of smooth them out a little bit notice when I start bringing that over it starts taking the mask out of the rocks over there and it's a little milky looking that's too much let's bring it back really only affecting the sky here what I want to do is I want to extend this toe out just a little bit more to smooth that out there we go now I have less problem going dark on the Hills over here now the problem that I have is I've also blown highlights and by default the luma range actually brings you in a little bit so what I want to do is I want to get all the brights so let's go ahead and grab that handle I'll move it all the way over and now you can see that our highlights are no longer blown out let's hit apply and it's a really cool way to go you can also let's go back to the limo range again another thing I was going to show you you can say display mask so while you're working on it you can see what it's doing there's two more sliders that you can do here there's radius and sensitivity and the radius essentially is going to cover how close to an edge something is sensitivity is a little more like feathering so you can really go in here and smooth this out and work with it I'm actually not want to come out a little more on some of my there we go now I can see the green back in here again so yeah anyway so we can finesse this as much as we want I'll go ahead and hit apply and we have got ourselves a landscape so that was the linear gradient which basically makes your gradient follow a line there's also a radial gradient which puts everything into a circle let me give you an application for using the radial gradient tool so I have this image of a model that I shot and the problem that I have is she's kind of backlit so that's problem number one and as a result her face is just a little too dark here so if I go ahead and I'm going in order to create the adjustment layer we're gonna create a layer called face and if you go back under the tool palette click on that little triangle we have the linear gradient mask selected we're going to go to the radial or you can use the shortcut of the letter T on your keyboard and what I'm gonna do here is I'm going to just go ahead and draw and I'm going to make a circle here let's put it over her face now a couple things that I can do to modify this I can actually bring that out I can make it more of a fade make it less of a fade in the middle you can adjust this accordingly it's probably way too big let's bring it in and I'm gonna bring it up a little bit alright that's starting to look better so now what I'm gonna do is that's where a mask is let's hit the letter M so you can see and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go in let's bring the exposure up so we can brighten her up just a little bit a little bit goes a long way I'm going to bring the contrast down a little bit because she looks a little fun he just was I brought that up and the other thing that I can do is actually go into the color tab I'm gonna move my white bounce over and give her face a little more color just by bringing it more towards the tungsten end of things and that's starting to look pretty good so quick before and after there's before there's after I've brought her very much more prominent in the composition here the other thing I might do is this is just really weird lighting we were under this scaffolding and notice how we have kind of a dark grating at the bottom so let's add another layer I just don't like it down here where we're you know kind of it's it's just too dark and it's also cool because our color temperature is mixed so let's call this bottom so I know what it is well naming your layers is actually very important guys so on the bottom I'm gonna go back to my gradient tool and let's just draw a gradient here I'm gonna eyeball that doesn't need to be perfect and then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go back to the exposure tab let's bring the exposure up just a little bit so just a not too dark and strange down there the other thing I could probably do is go back to your color tab because it starts going a little blue in terms of the light color down there so let's warm that up just a little bit too not too much there we go now we have a much more even image to work with so those are two ways that we can very quickly I didn't have to paint anything at you the brush but we were able to go in just use the radial gradient and the linear gradient just draw your eye the right way into the image and make the subject pop just a little bit there's one other trick that I want to show you too and actually did this in advance cuz it's really ugly on this lens that I used so I'm going to go in here let's just zoom in and I'm going to turn off the layer that covered this up but you can see that this lens suffers from some pretty bad chromatic aberration and this is a problem it just exists in some lenses particular older ones but this isn't that older lens but it's here and it's we call this fringing and you're gonna see kind of these green lines on high contrast areas there's two types of fringing that you're gonna see two types of aberrations the other one is a magenta now the way capture one works if I go over to the lens tab here capture one will correct for purple D fringing I mean you have a slider here if you want to take care more of it or less of it my problem here is I have the other type of fringing I have the green one and there's no easy slider just for correcting that so a little trick that you can do here is we can actually make a mask by selecting a color range let's show you how this is done so I've turned the layer off where I used to correct that let's create another one and it's called this CA chromatic aberration - and I will show you how it works here and so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go down make sure you're under the color tab if you go down to the bottom to the color editor default is basic go to advanced and what I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna use the color picker to select that and that's the tool I'm gonna go in here I'm gonna select the green we're just gonna select a little bit of green and it automatically put that on our color wheel what I'm going to do is I'm going to expand this just slightly I'm gonna bring it out a little bit more down there now I could go in and just desaturate the greens but I would rather make a mask out of this and I'll show you why in a second but I'm going to click on the three little dots here for the options and I'm going to say create mass player from a selection so as soon as I click that it's going to do some thinking it's gonna analyze go through the entire image and look for all of the weird green fringing and it's going to create a mask out of that so now when I hit the letter M by the way it created a new mask for me so let's delete the CA - let's rename this one CA - there we go it creates the mask for you - so anyway what I want to do is hit the letter M to toggle and you're gonna see whoa look at all this greeny got you can also see that it got a lot of green that is not part of the fringing and that's just because it's green and so that's represents one of the problems now this is why I created a mask because I can go in here really easily now and I can grab my let's see let's grab the eraser tool Eon the keyboard or you can select it from the top menu and let's make that much bigger I can use the eraser tool and now I can just bring it all out of these areas where I don't want it I can get out of address and so this allows me to have some control over what in the image is actually being impacted so once I have that cleaned up you can see that we're really going to target the green fringing that just happens in these high contrast areas here so the way I'm going to deal with that is we have our new layer created I have it selected and remember adjustments will adjust what's under the masks so the easiest way to deal with this is go back to the exposure panel and just desaturates only turn the masking off so we we see it as it goes it's green I'm going to just move this saturation slider over it and voila we have just corrected our green fringing problem on and this lens so there's a quick before and after here's the original image let's go ahead and I'll show you how it was originally we came in we brought her face up a little more and we also eliminated the chromatic aberration and then also lightened up the bottom so this is about four different ways here that I've shown you that you can go in and you can make local adjustments to various parts of the image where you want to draw the eye on you either want to make them lighter darker change the color various adjustments that you might want to do and so we even got rid of chromatic aberration with one of them so this is very powerful you can have multiple layers stacked up of course capture one twenty will now allow you to cut and paste layers and adjustments over to second images so this is great if you have variations on an image that you're working with and you don't want to do the work again but there's a set of tools in here you can just draw a mask using the brush you can use the eraser you can use a gradient tool like the linear or the radial it allows you to work really quickly and I think this paired with the luma range tool just makes work so much more fast and so much more easy we'd love to know what you guys think drop me a comment below until the next video see you guys then later