March 7, 2013 19 Comments
The Clarity tool in Capture One 7 has had a couple of new features added which can be used to great effect, especially in landscape photography. Within the Clarity tool, there is now a Method drop down menu containing three choices.
Classic uses the same method found in Capture One 6. Neutral uses an improved method of Clarity, introduced in Capture One 7. Punch uses the same Clarity adjustment as Neutral but also increases the local saturation a little. Additionally for all methods there is also a Structure slider.
Different Clarity Methods
Clarity has always been a very popular adjustment in all kinds of photography. The addition of Punch and Structure can be quite useful for landscape photography. Clarity essentially adjusts local contrast in the mid tones and this effect can be seen on all three methods in the Clarity tool.
The image below is split in two halves. The left hand side has no Clarity adjustment, whereas the right hand side has a Neutral Clarity adjustment of +100.
The result clearly shows a contrast bump in the midtones, especially in the water and sky. Punch makes the same contrast adjustment as Neutral but with a little extra saturation too, subtly visible in the beach. Again, the image with no Clarity adjustment is on the left and the image on the right has a Punch Clarity adjustment of +100.
The final new addition to the Clarity tool is the Structure slider.
The structure slider is useful for adding details to complex structures, especially edge definition. In this close up example the image on the left has a zero Structure setting, and the image on the right has a Structure setting of +25.
Now with the addition of Structure, it seems like there is a many ways to add micro contrast and sharpening to an image. Perhaps the following analogy will help. Consider an image of a tree and you have the option of using Clarity, Structure and Sharpening. Clarity will enhance the tree trunk and the large branches. Structure will enhance the smaller branches and leaves. Sharpening will enhance the structures on a leaf itself.
Each of the adjustments play a different part in affecting the image so it is worth spending some time with the Clarity tool, to see how it changes your images.