Adapting to digital capture has been a mixed experience for an old pro versed in traditional large format photography. Getting the hang of the cameras was easy enough. Most cameras have a close connection to the film cameras that preceded them, design and operation-wise.

Cornish

But processing was a different matter. The computer and the darkroom are utterly different. And besides, I'd given up worrying about developing prints long ago when I became a colour transparency shooter. Printing was for printers.

Yet there is no escape from digital technology, and as I was forced to adopt various cameras to adapt to the demands of different commissions, so the reality of raw processing became inevitable. This was especially true with the arrival of my Phase One P45+ in June of 2008. When you invest in Phase, Capture One comes as part of the package, and since the back and the software are integrated it makes sense to use it. At first the sheer complexity of Capture One seemed overwhelming. So many options, so many features, so many menus!

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Oddly enough my eureka moment with C-1 came shooting National Trust assignments with the Nikon D-3 and D-700. With hundreds of files to process I decided to try Capture One, mainly because the appearance of images on screen was so much better than the other software I had been using. With so many different images to develop, often from varying lighting conditions, I had to explore some of the many adjustment options. With practice my technical skill improved, and with it, speed and ease of use. Processing quality is second to none, and my clients are delighted with my Nikon/Capture One files.

So it was all down to practice. Funny that, I find that to be true with virtually every other aspect of my photography! Now I use Capture One for all my raw processing.

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I still use very simple parameters. I process every image on its merits with a view to optimising the quality of light, and use the software in an artistic way (I feel) rather than utilising its undoubted strengths with built-in styles, presets, customisation, batch capabilities etc. Perhaps one day I will use those other features, but right now my priority is to have the ultimate quality from my digital files, which I am confident Capture One provides. Of course it makes a fantastic job with the Phase One camera, but I can never forget that I developed my skills with C-1 processing dslr files!

Joe Cornish

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