Use local contrast adjustments for increased drama!
February 24, 2011 8 Comments
Capture One Pro 6.1 now includes contrast adjustments in local adjustments layers.
Contrast applied locally can be very powerful and add more drama to landscape images. Typically, a sky with clouds can be changed dramatically by applying contrast in a local adjustments layer.
Portrait images can also be enhanced by using contrast locally in an adjustments layer. For portraits both decreasing and increasing contrast can be effective.
The photos above are an example of a landscape image where the use of contrast in a local adjustments layer has a fantastic effect, creating drama in the sky and the entire image. The image to the left has come straight out of the camera. The image to the right has been optimized primarily by adding contrast to an adjustments layer that has been applied to the sky.
Create your own powerfull images:
The first step is to make a mask for the sky. A graduation type mask will work excellently for this image. You can get information on how to make a graduation type mask in the article on this blog “Working with graduation filters in Capture One Pro 6” from the 17th February 2011.
Because the clouds in the image are already quite bright, applying contrast alone will only lead to even brighter clouds. A contrast curve makes dark parts darker and bright parts brighter. So the trick here is to combine the increased contrast with decreased brightness. For this image, a contrast of +50 and a brightness adjustment of -39 create exactly the increased contrast in the sky that I was looking for.