January 13, 2011 37 Comments
Used in the right way, the LCC Calibration feature in Capture One’s Lens Tool can be used to create beautiful HDR images.
The LCC feature is designed to calibrate and compensate for unwanted Lens Color Cast as well as Light Falloff in the lens. It is the Light Falloff compensation feature we will demonstrate here.
For HDR purposes, the trick is to use the file you want to work with as the reference file for the LCC Calibration. In this case, the LCC Calibration file generates a gain map of the different lightness variations in the image. Bright parts of the image will not be gained, but dark areas will get a high gain factor. When the LCC Light Falloff compensation is set to 100%, the system tries to even out the lightness differences in the image. Of course, this does not make sense, but if you set the Light Falloff compensation to something between 10-35%, you will achieve a very useful effect.
Combine this with some negative Exposure compensation and you can achieve some really amazing HDR images.
Create Beautiful HDR Images
The image on the left has come straight out of the camera and shows a too wide dynamic range. The foreground is much too dark, and the sky is almost blown out. The image on the right is the result of applying a LCC Light Falloff compensation of 35% combined with some negative Exposure compensation. Surely a stunning improvement of the image.
A step by step instruction:
Create a LCC Calibration file in the Lens Tool. Use “Exclude Dust” as dust in the image is inappropriate here.
The Color Cast and the Light Falloff check boxes are both automatically checked after the LCC Calibration file has been generated.
Uncheck the Color Cast check box and adjust the Light Falloff slider to somewhere between 10% and 35%.
With Light Falloff at 35%, the image looks much more natural with plenty of details in the originally dark foreground.
In order to recover the highlight details and to restore the original twilight feel of the image, I add some negative Exposure as well as some Saturation.
Two more examples of how the LCC tool can be used as a very efficient HDR tool:
Capture One also has a specially designed High Dynamic Range Tool, which is used to handle images with High Dynamic Range. Normally, I will try to see if I can achieve what I want using this tool. However, sometimes I find that I can do even more dramatic corrections by using the LCC feature or by combining both techniques.