Jaime Demarco describes himself as an “old school guy” because he was trained in the art and the business of film photography, which was another world entirely. Jaime has used Capture One since those days, and we recently spoke with him about how he uses the latest version -- Capture One Pro 7 -- about how it performs for him as a digital darkroom and how it compares with other popular image processors.
“Capture One Pro 7 is the lifeblood of my creative workflow, without it I would be lost.”
What do you find is the biggest advantage with Capture One Pro 7?
“With Capture One Pro, it’s always been about the workflow. It was one of the first ‘digital presses.’ From its beginning, that software was built for professionals and agency people who needed to capture and process as quickly as possible. The point was and is to streamline the workflow so we don’t waste time and money.
“Today it’s the cornerstone of my workflow. I’m doing 60 percent of everything in Capture One Pro 7 for which I used to have to go to Adobe Photoshop.
“What is remarkable is that with Capture One Pro, people shooting today who are using the D800 or 5 Mark II can get the same software functionality as I get with a $40,000 Phase One digital back. Granted, the camera makes a difference - the hardware, lenses, 16-bit capture. But basically, the software will take whatever you throw at it - whether it’s raw from Leaf, Canon, whatever, no hicupping - from a workflow standpoint it’s unbelievable that it can work in all formats so seamlessly.
“I appreciate how Capture One Pro 7 is customizable, so you cat set it up for the workflow that works for you. Of course you need some education on how to have a workflow - how to set up floating tools, where they’re docked, etc. - but the fact that you can design a workflow for how you work saves a lot of time. For example, I use the vignette slider as part of a look so it’s docked with color balance; I use that pane for designing the overall look of the shoot. It’s great to be able to build your own capture machine / darkroom.
“For organizing the files, I use Sessions (I’m an assignment guy) because I like how it keeps all the sessions together, which I’ll eventually BlueRay. But if I were a stock or wedding guy, the catalog feature would make a lot of sense, because you can tag and search. I imagine that the time savings with that would be incredible.
“We love using Capture Pilot. It was amazing when that feature first came out. It seems like everyone has an iPad and iPhone, and you can just log onto the server and the Creative Director and everyone else can be together in a room and follow along with the shoot. That way we don’t have to have two big monitors and 10 people crowding around the monitors to see the latest captures.
“And the web gallery export is excellent; I can take all my selects and put them up on my web site so the client can see the images almost instantaneously. Another big time saver.
"You can really see a difference with version 7 of the Capture One processing engine. Now, I want to re-process everything from the past year! I’ve already reprocessed work in Capture One Pro 7 that I’d done in version 6, and have seen a 25 percent improvement in file handling.
“Back in the day, you used to have to shoot plates; you shot on a tripod to capture the background and foreground and then have the retoucher put it together in post. Now with local adjustments, I can create a mask on the original image and because of the incredible dynamic range of digital backs, I can mask out the background, bring it to the right level and then send it to the retoucher.
“I rely on Capture One Pro 7 as my darkroom. For example, I might make a photo more of a sienna type. I can process it out as a Photoshop file (which is awesome) and then give it to a retoucher. I feel like I’m getting back control, like in the days when I could get film to look the way I wanted. Getting control as an artist again - even when I hand off the files to retouchers. I give them the TIFF processed the way I want them to be processed - means getting back to the place where the photographer is important.
“For me Capture One Pro 7 is invaluable; I could give up Photoshop at this point. I rely on the fact that Capture One Pro accepts so many different cameras - I can plug and unplug them and keep shooting tethered into the same program. I can’t shoot Medium Format into any other software.”
When asked about the competition, Jamis is very direct:
“Let me explain how really phenomenal I think Capture One Pro 7 is: I’m a Creative Cloud member and have downloaded Adobe Lightroom - it’s a decent program, but not for a professional studio. I could not set up an agency shoot with Lightroom and be taken seriously, at least with my group of clients.”