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Tips & Tricks

Complete Portrait Retouching With Only Capture One Pro 8

By Leujay Cruz on October 8th 2014

So much attention goes to Lightroom and Photoshop. The majority of tutorials, tips and tricks and workflow info are centered around the two most popular post production software choices. Rarely do we see quality content based around other options like Aperture or Capture One. Michael Woloszynowicz of Fstoppers goes against the grain and gives us a very in depth start-to-finish portrait retouching executed completely in Capture One Pro 8.

When I first started shooting fashion, I dabbled a little in Capture One Pro. At the time, it was an interesting choice because Joey L was climbing to fame, recently placing first in the Professional Portrait division of the International Photography Awards, he frequently mentioned his use of Capture One as he produced his early educational DVDs.


I was intrigued on how Capture One was attempting to combine the uses of Lightroom and Photoshop into one conclusive software choice. I started out using Capture One Pro 6 and since then they’ve released two versions and now the current release is Capture One Pro 8. After watching Michael’s video, I’ve realized the software has made improvements in interface usability and performance on memory handling.


One of the main things I take away from Michael’s video is a detailed explanation of his workflow in Capture One. Not only is his personal workflow aimed at efficiency, but also aims to take advantage of Capture One’s computing power by reducing the memory power needed to execute the program’s tasks. Below is a progression of steps he recommends:

  1. Perform basic exposure and high dynamic range adjustments
  2. Dodging and burning using local adjustments
  3. Additional local adjustments for detail recovery, eye brightening and sharpening, cloning or healing, color correction/matching, etc.
  4. Spot healing tool for any leftover blemishes
  5. White balance adjustments
  6. Color grading
  7. Vignetting, grain and other finishing tools

To hear Michael explain the steps in detail and watch the entire workflow unfold, check out his video below:

If you’ve given Capture One a try and still prefer the popular Adobe software choices, don’t forget to check out our newly revamped Lightroom Preset System. The new system is designed to help you achieve popular looks with just a few clicks. By utilizing our Lightroom recipe community, you’ll be able to see what others are brewing and share your own creations.


via Fstoppers

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Leujay is a full time wedding photographer with Lin & Jirsa Photography and a freelance runway fashion photographer. He currently lives in Palm Desert with his wife and two dogs. When he’s not enjoying quality family time he fancies himself as a work-in-progress world traveler.

Connect with Leujay on Facebook and follow him on Instagram.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Caitlin Gordon

    If you really want to make a natural skin editing you should follow High-End level of retouching. Thanks to it the photo takes a more expensive and expressive form as if from the cover of a popular magazine.
    Professional magazines’ High-End retouching, as well as any other, has the same difficulties and peculiarities, but despite all of this, is ready to accept any level of complexity dealing with this style of post-production. The most important nuance of such types of retouching is that it suggests using a large number of tools and a set of effects to achieve the desired goals.
    It means if you are tired of trying to edit skin professionaly by yourself, try these guys. Good luck!

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  2. Daeshawn Ballard

    This seems really cool!

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  3. Basit Zargar

    love it

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  4. Peter McWade

    But is the end result a more realistic image of the model or a totally different look? I prefer to only have to do any post work to bring the original to a more realistic image. It is amazing what these programs can do but my take is to do realistic vs plastic.

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  5. Eric Mazzone

    I just won a copy of C1 at a workshop. This video gave me some ideas one who to get that system going. However I’d love to see adoptions of the SLR preset system for C1. The one thing I really don’t like about C1 is that you can’t save local adjustment presets, like you can with brush presets in LR, and while C1 uses layers in a way, you’re limited to no more than 10. Each brush uses 1 layer, so if you need to do, hair, lips, eyes, irises, skin soften, skin desat, background, clothing, you only have one more layer to work with, which doesn’t work well if you need two to dodge and burn your image.

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