About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

How to create a Polariser effect in Capture One

How to create a Polariser effect in Capture One

Using a polariser to enhance the blues in your image was probably one of the first filters that I ever used when learning photography. You can also match this effect in software, although you can’t easily replicate a polariser’s other feature which is to cut down on reflections. In Capture One, the obvious way to replicate a polariser is to use the colour editor tool, however, it’s not as straight forward as it seems. In this short video I show you how to create a polariser effect and save it for reuse.

The basic tab in the colour editor allows you to adjust the hue, saturation and lightness of various colours, much like it does in other software. However, it has one limitation. You an only adjust the lightness slider to a value of -10 and this isn’t enough to replicate the polariser effect. So instead, we need to use the advance tab.

In the advance tab we can use the colour picker (located on the bottom right of the panel) to select a starting colour from the sky. With the initial colour selected, we can then increase the range by dragging on the edges of the arc in the colour wheel. This shows the range of colours selected. You also want to increase the smoothness, to control the fall off of the effect. This makes sure there is no hard edges or artefacts.

Capture One colour Editor Advance Tab.jpg

Now we can make our colour adjustments. In the advance tab, you can drag the lightness slider down to a value on -100, but we don’t need to go that far. A value of 45 seems to work. We can also increase the saturation to around 50. This is now a fairly effective polarising effect, but you can tweak these values to your own tastes.

Finally you can save this by going to the “Preset” menu and choosing the option to save a preset. When the dialog pops up asking which options to save make sure to untick the basic tab adjustments, as we only want to store the advance tab. You can now use this again on any image by recalling it from this menu.


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A Guide to All of My Guides! (Fuji & Sony Guides & Future Plans)

A Guide to All of My Guides! (Fuji & Sony Guides & Future Plans)

Coming Soon: T-Pan for Capture One

Coming Soon: T-Pan for Capture One