Using and creating Capture One Pro Styles

Among its many strengths, the way in which Capture One handles both third-party and user created styles is particularly nice thanks to its support of styles as layers. While other raw processors like Lightroom apply the settings of a style or preset to the image as a whole, Capture One allows you to apply a style directly to a new layer. This has the benefit of layering a style on top of any other changes you may have on your background layer as opposed to overwriting them, along with the ability to scale back the intensity of that style through the use of layer opacity. While this has tremendous benefits during its use, creating and managing styles is not necessarily as intuitive and simple as it may seem. 

During the creation of your own styles, there are a number of things to consider such as: 

  • What tools are well suited to styles?
  • Which ones should be avoided?
  • How do you create generic styles that will work across a variety of images?
  • How can I group and distribute styles?

These are important questions since you always need to keep in mind that your style must be relevant beyond just one or a few images. You have to consider how you or someone else will use these styles in the future and whether you are providing enough flexibility to make the style relevant, but also not so subtle that it won't have its own character. 

Another non-intuitive aspect is how to group your styles together and manage them as your list size grows. There are no tools built directly into Capture One to rename and move styles around so you'll need to learn how to do this via the file system. 

All these topics are covered in my in-depth tutorial on Capture One styles found below. 

Whether you purchase third party styles such as the ones sold in our store, or create your own, understanding their nuances is critical to getting the most out of them and retaining a look that is still distinctly yours.