November 15, 2022

Photography has seen many transitions. Glass plates to film, black and white to color. One of the biggest was the film to the digital which saw many photographers unable to transition.

Will we photographers be needed in a world of Ai?

I’ve shown you in recent videos how the Lightroom Ai with tools like Elegance Speed mask presets makes advanced retouching of portraits unreal. Watch that video here. But while we can’t do this in Capture One yet, it’s perhaps not as big a deal as it looks. I’ll show you why…

(or watch on YouTube)

There’s more than one way to develop a photo.

I’ve always started edits with presets like Filmist or Natural HDR. These work across LR and C1. Then I would go into Photoshop and use Alchemist or BlackRoom and others to refine. I still do all of this, but the new Ai tools make me do more in Lightroom.

We need to stay ahead of the curve but we don’t need to let every new tool change our look. Artificial intelligence is the buzzword. But tools like the Lightroom Ai masks are still not really that intelligent. They do however bring a sign of what’s to come.

For now, things like Lightroom Ai are about saving time. But do we really need the Ai, Is Lightroom really better than Capture One because of it? Is it the best way to edit or should we still use a little Photoshop or Affinity to refine our photos?

It’s pretty amazing what the Ai masks can do. This transformation was virtually instant using my Elegance Speed-Masks which define the parameters and stack the LR Ai masks in one click. But as we see in the video, other methods might take a tad longer but can yield nearly the same result.

In the end, it’s what we create in the camera that defines our photos. Let’s not get blind-sighted. But I also think software can be overhyped. A focus on creating with emotion and soul comes before the edit. The shadow hunt. I think those things are still king.

Don’t miss my next live Shadow hackers workshop so we can talk more about this. Also, leave a comment to share what you think about all these Ai tools such as Lightroom Ai.

Keep creating – Gavin Seim

Add on’s I used in today’s edits… Elegance Speed Masks, Filmist Presets, BellaDonna presets, Alchemist Actions.

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August 12, 2022

Should you use Capture One or Lightroom for your black and white edits? PLUS where does Photoshop for black and white fit in?

We’re going to test that in today’s video with direct comparisons. Taking the sale filed and editing them in each to see what gives us the best black and white in the least time. I’ll give you tips for all of them along the way.

Also, see my Lightroom vs Capture on 2022 video here for a general overview of these two great apps. For now, let’s watch today’s video and do some black and white tests.

Since I started digital photography 20 years I’ve seen just about every technique for Black and White in digital Some needless complex. some are just ugly. Simplifying that process led me to bypass plugins and create tools Like Silver 4 presets and Blackroom BW Actions.

Pure Capture One. While there are fewer BW sliders, you can make up for it with the more advanced color tools and get a stunning result.

Honestly we B&W lovers occasionally get a little snobby, so this question can be complex. But since we no longer have the chemicals we used to use in the darkroom the traditional color filters do not have the same effect. Today to take the same principle and make it work digital.

The best black and white conversions usually start for a color photo because with those color channels we can convert and extract the colors, much like we did with filters in the film days but with more detail. Darkroom like green filter, lighter reds, etc. If you bake black and white in camera, you lose all that power. That’s not to say your BW photos are wrong. Just that they are not as flexible.

So I usually convert on the raw file. In LR or C1. I use my SIlver 4 presets if Filmist. But whether you use creative presets to go further, or all manual. You don’t want to supply desaturate. Use those channels and the power of your RAW.

Watch today’s video above, because we’re looking at Lightroom VS Capture ON in a side-by-side level. Does one give you a better black and white conversion than the other and what are the advantages between Lightroom and C1.

After that, you can go deeper into your black and white edits..

If I’m going to edit my best work. I go beyond RAW. I’ll restore the color channels before going into Photoshop, leaving my other edits in place. Then I can go deeper with my black and white edits. But they are also more complex in Photoshop.

Sometimes it’s not even clear how you can make a better black and white in Photoshop. I use Blackroom to convert to a more complex BW because it always helps me find a way to improve the edit without stumbling around. That’s what it was built for.

More about how I do those more advanced edits in this video and on the Blackroom page.

Lightroom is a little more user-friendly compares to Capture One. But with Styles or presets, you can get your look fast in both.

In conclusion. Which is best? LR, C1 or PS

When it comes to Lightroom VS Capture One for black and white. I think Lightroom has the edge for ease of use and results that just work. Capture One with its other available tools can perhaps give you more options but with more work. Both are going to work great if you save presets or styles or Have a pack like Silver 4 or Filmsist on hand.

In the end, both are good and the results will be good.

But comparing both to Photoshop. Photoshop offers more options, but with a lot more time spent. Even if you use Photoshop actions to vastly speed up these more advanced edits, Photoshop should probably not be where you start.

Edit normally in Lightroom or in Capture one or another RAW-type editor. Then take the very best images you want to showcase to Photoshop to give them that edge that makes them win.

Lastly, plugins for black and white are heavily hyped. I used them when I all this starting out but native tools have improved a LOT since those days. As I mentioned in the video, a plugin adds another step and takes away control.

Yes, using presets and styles and actions help a lot because they make hard tasks fast. But they use the native app tools in Lightroom, Capture One, and Photoshop. So instead of a new file or a flat image. You just highly refined sliders, adjustable layers, and a totally transparent process. To be that’s a huger win.

Let me know if the comments what you think is the best black and white tool.

Gavin Seim

The detail in Photoshop is almost impossible to beat. Layers and details equal more refinement. So I still take by best photos here in the end after using a RAW style editor.
Don’t be afraid to edit your black and white a little more. Whatever app you use. In the end, it’s all about shadow and contrast.
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July 9, 2022

I made a blog post the other day where I showed you the new Filmist 1.7. It has better Portra presets and my new Fuji Classic Chrome preset for Lightroom and as a Capture One Style and a video LUT.

Even if you don’t like the Classic Chrome look. You’ll find this video useful for your own editing as I’m going to share secrets about how to make more nuanced color edits that work across all kinds of photos and cameras.

Even if you don’t like the Classic Chrome look. You’ll find this video useful for your own editing as I’m going to share secrets about how to make more nuanced color edits that work across all kinds of photos and cameras.

NOTE: If you have my Filmist film presets pack, the latest Classic Chrome-like preset is included in. But in today’s video, I’ll show you the recipe so you can make your version if you prefer.

VIDEO: How to create a match of the look as a Classic Chrome preset.

Download the latest Gen.2 version of my Classic Chrome Like preset with Filmist presets. You can also get the the classic Negative film preset free in the Filmist sampler pack.

Why use the preset over the Classic Chrome camera profile…

Seim Fuji Classic  Chrome preset on a Canon 5D MK2 file.
Balanced greens are still vibrant but not over the top. Bring that slide film feel even applied to a Canon RAW file like this one.

Simulations in-camera can be beautiful. But to get all the options you have, you have to bake them into a JPEG. This means throwing away information for a color recipe. Custom simulations can be made too, but they only work on the baked-in JPEG also.

The other option is to shoot RAW. Most cameras will then allow you to apply that look as a camera-specific profile. Fuji is one example of this. In Lightroom and Capture One you can select Classic Chrome to look as a profile and it will look very similar to it’s baked-in JPEG counterpart.

I wanted a Classic Chrome Preset that works on everything. I apply the Classic Chrome from FIlmist, I can do it on any file regardless of what camera it came from giving me a consistent look. And I can see every slider that’s been affected, adjusting it as needed.

Classic Chrome Lightroom preset and Capture One Styles recipe on Sony file
Classic Chrome look in LIghtroom applied to a Sony RAW file. It produces those nice sift colors with rich tones inspired by Kodachrome

In Lightroom and in Capture One I can even adjust the intensity of the Classic Chrome preset. I can’t with a baked-in profile.

So In this video, I want to show you how the new Classic Chrome look stacks up with the Fuji version of this Kodoachrome-inspired look (hint it’s almost perfect). Then we’re going to rest in it non-Fuji file to get the Classic Chrom to look on Sony, Canon etc.

And in case you don’t have my Filmist pack and don’t want to buy it, I’m also going to spill the beans, showing you my settings and channels in case you want to make your own variation of Classic Chrome.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. And subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos like this.

Gavin Seim

The Classic Chrom preset works on any Fuji file even  when the camera does not include it
While I can use camera-specific color profiles on Fuji files like this one from an XT3, I find it easier to just use the Classic Chrome preset or capture one and have the added control.
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January 11, 2022


The Fuji worm invasion came after the film! In today’s video, I’ll show you how to fix it.

Fixing fuji worms LIghtroom vs Capture One

I want to tell you a story as we continue the LR vs C1 experiments because today I going to show more important ways to control details like the wormy artifacts sometimes caused by ISO noise.

I was starting photography in the late 90’s when I saved up for a Canon EOS 3. Oh I thought I was the coolest ever (hint, I was not)

I devoured the magazines. In those days we talked about fine-grain films like the new Portra 400, but words like worms and color noise were not topics. 1600 ISO was about the limit and it was noisy. Take it or leave it!

These days I’ll sit for hours and tinker with a formula for presets like Natural HDR 4 to get the best detail and tone from our files. Photographers that use presets actions and tools get better results. Because they see more without working harder.

35mm film was like having 10-20 megapixels.

This was me in the early 2000’s with my prized EOS 3.

Serious pros of the day said 35mm was not enough. Strangely they downgraded a few years later to the 6MP generation of digital SLR’s.

No matter. My EOS 3 cost $1000 without a lens and I used it for years, starting out my portrait and wedding work and being the official photographer at the local speedway. It had eye control focus, meaning it focused where you looked in the viewfinder. It did not detect the subject’s eyes like today’s cameras. It was just cool and it worked, some of the time.

Each Saturday I would go early to the speedway and pre-sell photos for 15 bucks. Then I would sit all night in the center field taking photos, playing with pans, and getting dusty. On Monday I developed 6-10 rolls of film, sort 4×6 prints, store the negatives and give the prints to my racers, hoping to profit about $200

That 35mm film with it’s noisy ISO 800 grain was what I had and I made it work and I learned a lot in that dusty center field.

But noisy was relative and more organic then. It was silver. These films were classic and looked beautiful. The formulas I’ve created in Filmist presets are more high-res than we had then, but they look great because they look like film.

PS: Download my FREE Filmist pack to get my noise presets and the film looks if you missed it. You’ll see what I mean about film color and detail.

Download Filmist mini here to get my free noise formula preset.

Today I think about the hurdles we had to get a good print and how many stages of noise and artifacts and dust and scratches could be introduced.

Today we pixel peep and panic over a little blip in a sensor or a little noise that as I showed in last weeks video is easy to clean up with good use of detail and grain tools

Watch my worms video and learn how to control detail.

I love doing testing. It’s experimenting like in this week’s video that help us understand more. It’s that hunt that results is tools like my presets and like Emulsion 3 and Lumist for Photoshop.

So this week I uploaded another video looking at more grain and noise. It’s a focus on Fuji files, but also another look at LR vs C1 and how it will handle noise regardless of what camera your worms and artifacts come from.


That’s all for this week. I’m hitting the streets looking for light like I found here and processed with Filmist. Come Monday I’ll be back to my experiments, working on formulas and ideas for next week’s email.

See you then, Gavin Seim

Fuji X100V ISO 800, Filmist process and Gavs detail preset

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December 21, 2021

What Should you use Capture One or Lightroom

I promised I would make a video about Lightroom VS Capture One because it’s been a while. The Capture One vs Lightroom workflow is similar, but not the same, and there’s a lot of debate.

UPDATE: There’s a new 2023 version of my Lightroom vs Capture One Review. Watch it here.

In 2022 both editing apps have advantages. So in today’s video, I’m going to get hands-on and show you Lightroom and Capture One, and how to get the most out of both so you can decide which one is better. Should I use Lightroom or Capture One Pro? Let’s find out.

Watch my video: Lightroom vs Capture One 2022

Get my Free Lightroom presets and free Capture One Styles.

Try my Natural HDR , as well as packs like Silver and Filmist film presets. Presets/styles make a huge the diffence in both apps if you usequality recipes. All my develop preset packs have Lightroom Presets and Capture One Styles inluded. Even the free preset packs you’ll find around the site.

Is Capture One or Lightroom more feature rich in 2022?

In the past, Adobe also tended to move slowly, but in the past year, they have started innovating with Lightroom. Probably because of competition from apps like C1, One One RAW, and others. So we all win here.

Lightroom and Capture One are powerful tools, and I’ve been using both for a long time. I develop editing packs for LR and for C1 side by side. I see their ups and downs. You’re here to compare Lightroom vs Capture One. So I will in my conclusion and in the video above.

While they both have advanced, I feel that Lightroom is edging out Capture One and I think it’s mostly happening because Phase One does not listen to customers. There are things in C1 2022 that are just finally improving after many years of customer requests and frustration.

Lightroom AI and auto mask tools are far ahead of Capture One. Capture One in turn has more panels and adjustments than Lightroom. This can be good, but also confusing to new users.

Capture One can be purchased. Lightroom on the other hand is all subscription based. Unless you go with the old Lightroom 6 version bought used. It’s a good app but getting very dated.

But Gavin, Capture One is better for Fuji files and WORMS!

Fuji files in Capture One are always said to be better. Are they really? If you use Fuji you’re in the right place. We’ll look and see if C1 still handles details better in the video, so you can make the best choice for your Fuji workflow in 2022.

The short answer is no. For more in-depth analysis on this, watch my other video here on worms on Fuji files in LR vs C1.

The results of both Lightroom vs Capture One are good, but they have distinct differences that may sway you to one or the other. There’s nothing wrong with switching back and forth, but I like to choose a main primary editor each year, and that’s how I manage most of my work.

capture one vs lightroom fuji files
Lightroom handles Fuji and any other files perfectly in 2022 and so does Capture One.

What about older versions? Like Capture One vs Lightroom 6

I don’t dig into this in the video. But if you’re holding out because you hate the cloud model and won’t subscribe to Adobe. I get it. and for you, it’s time to switch. LR6 is very dated, and the processing tools you can get in Capture vs Lightroom 6 are better, hands down. Stop clinging on and get upgraded to something better like Capture One, One One, or another RAW editor that does not demand a subscription.

Conclusion – Lightroom vs Capture One?

I’m noticing more people starting to switch back to Lightroom as the price of Capture One rises. though available as a standalone, it actually costs more than Lightroom and Photoshop combined in 2022. But at least you own it.

Capture One Pro has some more advanced tools that some of you will like, and Lightroom os more essential. Capture one has a Levels tool and a Curves tool, for example, while LR only has curves. In the end, both these tools do more or less the same thing, but having both can be handy,

Lightroom is improving at a faster pace. For years Lightroom was pretty stagnant, but people moved away from forcing Adobe to up its game. As of 2022, mask tools, particularly AI tools, are more powerful in LR. The layers in C1 are nice, but the interface is dated, and they have not had substantial feature updates to layers in years.

Don’t think you can avoid a real layer-based editor like Photoshop or Affinity by going with Capture One or Lightroom. It’s not a replacement. C! and LR are still RAW editors and if you try to replace Photoshop with it alone, your finished images will suffer.

Since this video, there have been a few interface updates as C1 tries to get more modern. But Phase One is very slow to listen to customers and make changes. Though Adobe is also guilty of this, you would think Phase One would want to be on top of it to gain market share. Sadly, they don’t seem, to care about customer happiness any more than Adobe does.

If I was asked right now… Capture One vs Lightroom Gavin? It will have to be Lightroom. But it’s a personal choice and this could change with an update. They are close. Get a trial of both and see for yourself.

Final Capture One VS LIghtroom Thoughts.

When I first started testing Lightroom vs Capture One years ago, I was impressed, and it seemed like a viable way to escape Adobe. But as time goes on and prices go up, Phase One seems to be ahead of itself.

In the end, these are both very good editing apps. Lightroom is easier to use and has more features overall. Capture One has more nuanced color control, but there’s little I can do there that I can’t find a way to do in Lightroom.

If someone tells you that Capture One gives you better images. I have not found that to be the case in 2022. Lightroom produces equal results. So try them both and use the one that feels best to you. they are both good. In the end, these are simply tools, and if Capture One takes a big leap, I will be right back here talking about it and not afraid to switch.

Meanwhile, Lightroom wins the overall Capture One vs. Lightroom battle, but both apps are good and produce excellent photo edits.

Make sure you check out my presets and styles store for great tools for both.

Gavin Seim

Capture one interface. Is it better than Lightroom

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