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Digistock – Gold 200 Advanced for Capture One
Digistock – Gold 200 Advanced for Capture One
AN EVERYDAY COLOUR CLASSIC…
DIGISTOCK ADVANCED SERIES: Beautiful hybrid styles developed by meticulously shooting, scanning and analysing the real film. Available for both Lightroom and Capture One, with almost exactly the same looks whichever version you choose.
We work hard to create the best film emulations possible for Capture One, and the Advanced series are without doubt our most geeky and complex yet. Which is why we called them ‘Advanced’, I suppose… For the first time in Capture One history, we’ve combined traditional adjustment-based presets with custom colour profiles to get the most accurate recreation of analog film possible; yet it’s still versatile enough to use more subtly as a general-purpose colour grading tool.
ABOUT THE FILM
Back in the 80s and 90s, when film was king, Gold 200 was Kodak’s omnipresent consumer film – affordable enough to use for your everyday snapshots, while still offering beautiful rich colours. It’s still available today and though it’s not the sharpest, the most accurate, or the finest-grained stuff on the market, it still holds a special place in many photographers’ hearts. The emulsion sold today isn’t much different from the 1980s formula, so it’s a quick ticket to nostalgic vintagey mojo.
On the technical side it’s an ISO-200, C41 negative film available in 35mm format (110, medium format etc were discontinued long ago – they don’t exactly fit the ‘consumer’ demographic these days!). It gives warm colours – but not oversaturated – and a rather pleasing grain that isn’t the finest available, but still gives you plenty of detail.
It’s the stuff of holidays, family trips, casual snapshots, endless summers; the warm fuzzy haze of fond memories. And we’ve done our best to capture that.
We shot and scanned a variety of test scenes on Gold 200, covering a range of typical shooting and lighting conditions (along with matching shots on digital). After many late nights of studying and tweaking, we ended up with 14 unique colour profiles.
Lightroom supports this sort of thing natively, but getting them into Capture One is a lot less simple. Although it supports ICC profiles, these also have to handle the basic initial raw adjustments, which are different for every camera.
So we spent many long hours analysing the output of different cameras to find a suitable neutral ‘middle ground’ – a base profile which would give good results with any camera – to build our colour profiles upon. In the end we’re really happy with the results; each camera will have a slightly different look, but they’re no stronger than the differences you can get developing and scanning film. As far as we know, this is the first time anyone’s done film emulation in Capture One with this method, but we think the extra effort paid off.
One lovely bonus is that our Capture One and Lightroom styles duplicate each other almost perfectly, so users switching from one to another (or using both) can get matching results. In the following pages we’ll explain a bit more about the technical stuff and – much more importantly – how you can use the results of our complicated nerdy work to make your pictures look good.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
We try and find a balance between giving you lots of options, and not making things too cumbersome or fiddly to use. You’ll see a lot of folders when you first install the styles; don’t be alarmed! It’s like the giant mixing desks you see in recording studios; they look like an insanely complex sea of knobs and switches, but really it’s just the same few things repeated a bunch of times…
The five ‘strength’ folders contain our 14 advanced styles (profile-based), but progressively less strong in each folder. 100% are the ones which match the real film scans as closely as possible; then you’ve got 75%, 50%, 30% and 15% if you need something a little more subtle. They’re otherwise identical. Start with the 100% folder and if it’s too much of a big change for your tastes, try one of the others.
You’ve also got a sixth folder containing our 10 classic styles. These use only Capture One adjustments so you can add them to a layer, adjust opacity, change the settings etc. By nature this makes them less accurate as the profiles when it comes to perfectly matching the film, but that’s by no means a bad thing. They’re a little easier to use as creative looks and highly tweakable. Use both – or mix the two!
There’s a final folder which contains Grain, Toning and Tools. The grain presets leverage C1’s exellent grain engine to create plausible looking texture. They also slightly soften the image in a very natural, analog way. Toning presets are designed to be added as a layer to give you extra control over dynamic range and contrast.
It’s worth mentioning that if there’s any folders or styles you never use that are cluttering things up, just delete them – it won’t break anything.
Now we’re getting into the real meat-and-potatoes of the pack! Once you’ve picked your desired strength you’ll be greeted by 14 lovely new styles. You can read this to find out a bit more, or just jump in and start clicking – after all, if it looks good, it is good.
- A1) Gold 200 – Classic
A rich, balanced starting point that adds instant mojo to any photo. You’ll see blue skies shift towards cyan, and a general warmth in reds and skintones.
- A2) Gold 200 – Classic+
A slightly more ‘analog’ looking version of the Classic, mixing in a little bit of the 1 Hour Photo drugstore vibe. Slightly cooler and brighter.
- A3) Gold 200 – Bright Sun
We shot some tests under harsh midday sunlight for this profile. Similar to the Classic but with some shifts in the greens and less saturated reds.
- A4) Gold 200 – Shade
Based on test shots taken under outdoor shaded and cloudy conditions. A little more subdued – don’t be afraid to warm up the white balance a bit if skintones look dull.
- A5) Gold 200 – Soft
Very balanced; has a less dramatic effect on skintones and warm colours but still imparts some Gold mojo.
- A6) Gold 200 – Warm
A more subdued look that really puts the ‘gold’ into Gold 200. Rich, soft greens and gentle skintones.
- A7) Gold 200 – Underexposed
We intentionally shot some underexposed frames, in shadow and low light, to get a feel for how the film responds. Pair with the heavier grain styles for maximum realism.
- A8) Gold 200 – Underexposed+
More fading, more colour shifts and perhaps a little less saturation. You might want to roll off the highlights as well (though we’ve left the slider alone for you to set how you like).
- B1) Gold 200 – Tungsten
‘Tungsten’ indicates the colour of old-school lightbulbs, and other artificial light. It’s much more orange than daylight, and Gold 200 is a daylight-balanced film so this orangeness becomes pretty obvious. We’ve modelled the colour response and tonal shifts but not the actual orangeness – that’s what your white balance slider is for! Great for indoor and night shots.
- B2) Gold 200 – Tungsten Underexposed
Generally if you’re shooting under tungsten light, you’re either out at night or indoors – and both of those situations are pretty tough for a slow ISO200 film! This is based on slightly underexposed shots under 3200K light, and has very cool shadows like we saw on some scans.
- B3) Gold 200 – Tungsten Underexposed+
Similar to the previous style, but with the warm orange-green faded areas of shadow we saw a lot shooting Gold 200.
- C1) Gold 200 – 1 Hour Classic
The drugstore Frontier scans on CD came out generally cooler, brighter and with muddier shadows than our own manual scans. We’ve replicated that here so you can get the 1 Hour Photo look (no relation to the rather decent Robin Wiliams movie)
- C2) Gold 200 – 1 Hour Bright Sun
Interestingly those quick store scans had a noticeably different look with the shots taken in hard sunlight (probably more due to the scanner’s auto balancing rather than the film itself ). We thought it was worth emulating since it’s a little colder and less saturated than our own scans.
- C3) Gold 200 1 Hour Shade
The shade shots on the Frontier came out looking quite contrasty and nice – this style is deep and punchy but with warmer, less saturated skintones and reds/oranges.
These are your traditional Capture One styles, where everything happens using C1’s own adjustment tools rather than relying on profiles. They’re totally camera-agnostic since they apply on top of your existing camera colour profile, and are fully compatible with layers so you can dial in the opacity exactly where you want it.
They offer looks a little different from the profiled ones, and in some cases stronger (we designed em so you can adjust the opacity to taste), but still very much the same Gold 200 look. Try applying them as a layer on top of an Advanced style for really strong toning!
- D1) Gold 200 – Classic
We designed this to look like the Advanced style of the same name, but it’s a little warmer and punchier, with the contrast centred a touch lower. Warms up skintones beautifully!
- D2) Gold 200 – Classic+
A little more faded and with a hint of red in the shadows. Skin tends to be a little less bright with this, for a less shiny look. Does some interesting stuff to foliage.
- D3) Gold 200 – Shade
We based this on images blended between the 1-hour scans and our own scans, so it’s a little more stylised than the profiled version. Yellows/oranges shift a little towards pink.
- D4) Gold 200 – Shade+
The same shade with a little more fade! Emulates a very slight underexposure, with a green tint to dark areas (while actual green tones are less cyan than the previous style)
- D5) Gold 200 – Under
Another take on the look of poorly-exposed Gold that’s been lifted back up during scanning, giving you rolled-off shadows with a muddy warm cast. Did you ever you mix all the paints together in school thinking you’d invent a cool new colour…and it just created a kind of mucky brown? That’s the colour Gold 200 shadows get when you underexpose by two stops…
- D6) Gold 200 – Under+
Even more faded and muddy; negative film really doesn’t handle shadow detail that well compared to digital (though it handles highlights far better) – if you try and lift an image you’ll find the dark areas are mostly just grain. I guess that’s where the popular ‘matte’ look originated, which we now associate with a moody, vintage feel.
- D7) Gold 200 – Expired
A while ago I shot a roll of really old Gold 200 – dated about 2004 I think. It came out looking very blue/teal which was fun, so we dug out the negatives and tried to replicate that vibe here….
- E1) Gold 200 – Tungsten
Like the Advanced tungsten, try warming up your white balance with this for a more accurate look. This is a little more neutral than the Advanced version so it’s good for general use too.
- E2) Gold 200 – Tungsten Under
Like the previous style but warmer, more saturated and faded, with prominent skintones. Maybe not a general purpose one, but useful when you need a distinct ‘look’, especially at lower opacities.
- F1) Gold 200 – 1 Hour Everyday
A style specifically targeting the clean, bright consumer look of the 1-hour Frontier scans. Skies are a little less teal and colours are generally a little cooler.