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Alberto G. Puras
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Alberto G. Puras
A love letter to Capture One

Alberto Puras’ first exposure to photography as a profession was, as he put it, “like love at first sight.”

While doing his degree work in audiovisual communications at Salamanca University and later a specialized degree in photography in Barcelona, he was required to study the profession and fell in love immediately.

"Photography is a very competitive profession. For those starting out, I would counsel patience and perseverance."

Recently, Alberto talked with us about how he got started as a professional photographer, and particularly why Capture One Pro has been so essential to his work. He also offered some free advice to those starting out.

The beginning

"First, some background. I have been influenced by many great photographers; I have many role models: Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, William Klein (I used to work mainly in Black and White). Then, I moved to portrait and commercial/fashion photography. Then, I was impressed with and influenced by others, like Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Leitbovitz, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Mario Testino,  Patrick Demarchelier, Mert & Marcus, Nick Night, and many more.

"My favorite images to capture are many and varied: Cinema, music, literature, any news item, or travel. Sometimes you can choose your own theme and style; sometimes it is already provided as part of the assignment, but you must contribute with your own “personal touch” in every case."

"At the end of the day, work hard, specialize, be ready to fight for your vision and never give your work away for free."

Alberto's first camera was a Nikon FM2, and his first pictures were street photography, reportage. Later, while at college, he started working wth large and medium format cameras and learned about studio lighting. His very first medium format camera was a second-hand Pentax 67.

"In the beginning, I worked only with film photography. I had my own Black and White lab at home and also used the color lab at college. As a professional, my first years were film based, mainly large and medium format, also with scans and retouching with Photoshop. By the time that the first digital systems appeared, I was already interested, as I understood that digital was the future. I bought my first DSLR pretty soon and used it for not very large file jobs (my main assignments continued to be on film)."

"I very much regretted not having worked with Capture One Pro from the very beginning."

"I believe that the first raw converter I used was Photoshop’s Camera Raw, and I also tried Canon’s software when I first purchased a Digital Canon, but only for a while. Then I tested Capture One Pro, after hearing repeatedly that it was the best RAW converter on the market. I first found its interface a bit different from the one I was used to, and could not fully take advantage of it.

"I finally decided to get into Capture One Pro when I moved to my digital medium format system, with my first Phase One gear, the Phase One P40+. Sara Sapetti (from the Spanish Phase One partner, Innovafoto) fully explained to me all that I needed to know about Capture One Pro. Then I watched the video tutorial and checked out the other materials and was amazed. At that time, I very much regretted not having worked with Capture One Pro from the very beginning! And ever since then, I don’t use any other software."

DSLR or medium format? The right Tool for the job

"DSLRs are known for allowing you to work faster; and they are lighter. However, the latest Phase One cameras are faster than previous medium format systems, and the focus is fast, as well. It simply offers a larger file with much more quality. The combination of the Phase One system and Schneider lenses offer a fantastic quality, colour depth, good viewfinder, and all of those factors help you to focus on creativity. This is something you cannot get with DSLR gear.

"What’s great is that the raw conversion with Capture One Pro 7 is exactly the same for different camera models -- whether using a 35mm DSLR or a high-end medium format system. You have many possibilities -- the processing engine is unique -- with a very photographic look, not so “digital” as in other platforms. You can use a selected profile; you can arrange pixel adjustments and fantastic colour adjustments."

"There is no better solution on the market."

"Tethered shooting is outstanding with Capture One Pro 7 and makes this software really stand out. Sometimes I work with the Phase One IQ180 system and one Canon camera both tethered, and the digital technician has to change only the camera selector to shoot with either of the systems. No problems, just an instant switch.

"My relation with Innovafoto, my Phase One partner, is really smooth. Their fantastic team is always ready to solve any doubt, support me and provide the best possible aid to professional photographers like me.

"Overall, Capture One Pro 7 is quite comfortable, fast and versatile. Image import to the computer is fast. Then you can make adjustments on one particular image and apply those changes to more images.

Features in Capture One

"For example, its ability to render skin tones is a key feature for me. You can apply customizable skin tones to an entire session, or even save them for future adjustments, adjust bright, tone, saturation, etc. I also love how contrast and saturation work. You can use channel per channel levels, and colour and pixel adjustments. And for architecture, the Keystone Correction Tool is just perfect.

"All in all, you can process focus, exposure and other adjustments in a very quick and safe way, and you will be able to make changes on the go.

"There is no better solution on the market."

"Photography is a very competitive profession. For those starting out, I would counsel patience and perseverance. We are all now living during a deep, global crisis, and photography is seriously affected. I guess the only advice I can offer is that it’s a question of working hard and offering higher quality each day to your customers. The ones who value quality and your ability to deliver will be your best customers.

"At the end of the day, work hard, specialize, be ready to fight for your vision and never give your work away for free."

Alberto G. Puras has a portfolio that spans advertising, fashion, portrait, food, still life, indoor, outdoor and industrial photography.

See more of his Work at albertogpuras.com

© Alberto G. Puras
© Alberto G. Puras
© Alberto G. Puras
© Alberto G. Puras
© Alberto G. Puras
     
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