Adding the right mood to your photo can help truly convey the environment. This holds especially true for street photography. Depending on the time of day, location, weather, and overall feel your shot could be entirely different.
Sometimes you’ll want to increase the heat and warmth in an image. Other times you’ll want to keep the temperature subtle. It all depends on what you ultimately want the viewer to see.
In this Capture One tutorial, we’ll be covering street photography and how to add a moody edit to your photos.
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1. Import Your Photo(s)
Start by importing the photos you’ll use for your moody street edit. For this tutorial, I’m working with a catalog of images from a trip to Paris. This effect works best on street photos with lots of light. Sunrise and sunset photos of the street are perfect.
2. Adjust Exposure Settings
Start by jumping to the Exposure Tab to get your light and details properly situated. When starting an edit out, you always want to get the exposure settings accurate first. Then you can add colors and effects to fully complete the mood.
For this edit, I bumped the Exposure up to ‘0.15’, the Contrast to ’12’, the Brightness down to ‘-4’, and the Saturation up to ‘5’. Finally, I raised the Highlights to ’20’ and raised the Shadows to ‘5’.
Unlike many other editing programs, in Capture One Pro when you raise the highlights it reduces them. This helps remove overexposure from the sun and strong light sources.
3. Draw a Curve
To get the matte-like faded shadows in Capture One, you simply draw the curve as shown below. Place one marker point on the bottom left side of the top right box. Then drag it down and to the left to brighten the image. Place another marker point in the very bottom right box and drag it down from the top right of the box. This darkens the image and brings out the details.
Next take the top right point and drag it down very slightly. This will fade the whites/highlights a bit. Finally take the bottom left point and slide it up a bit. This is what will fade the shadows and lighten them for the matte look.
PRO TIP: If you want a heavier matte, lower the second point (from left to right pictured below) and drag it down slowly. You will see the shadows darken. You can also play with the first (left most point) and move this higher up for a more dramatic effect.
4. Add Color
Adding color is crucial for fully setting the mood in a photo. It’s best to capture this as much as you can in the RAW photo itself. Using a program like Capture One, you can accentuate the colors you see in your image and help bring them out in the final edit.
For this moody street edit, we’re going to be adjusting the color in the shadows, midtones, and highlights.
Drag the shadows slider left and slightly down to get a dark blue tone in the shadows. Next, bring the midtone slider up and slightly to the right to add warmth in your photo, finally drag the highlight slider just barely to the right to add a little more orange/yellow warmth to your image.
Here is a closer look at the adjustments made to the Shadow, Midtone, and Hightlight sliders in the Color Balance tab.
5. Final Adjustments
At this point you can make a few more adjustments and customize the edit to your liking. Sometimes I enjoy a bit of noise in my shots. Especially when the shadows are heavy and noticeable. For those edits you can add some noise/grain using the Film Grain tool in Capture one.
Depending on the settings the grain can be very fine or extremely harsh. For this edit I went with the ‘Tabular Grain’ and se the Impact to ’22’ and the Granularity to ’55’. If you want a softer grain, try out the ‘Fine Grain’ setting.
Here is what the final effect looks like. I’ve included a different exports from other photos to show you how it applies in different lighting conditions.
Capture One Tutorial Reference
Find more tutorials for Capture One Pro. Learn how to add retro effects, sharpen your photos, and more.
- How to Install Capture One Styles
- Dreamy Retro Colors in Capture One Pro
- Sharpen Your Photos in Capture One Pro
Have a question about Capture One Pro? Whether you are unsure of how to use a tool, work with certain effects, or organize your photos, we’re happy to help. Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.
Don’t forget to check out the Travel Collection Capture One Styles to save a bit of time on your travel edits.