Cameron Davidson

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A blog by Washington DC photographer Cameron Davidson.

Image Alchemist - First in a series

The Image Alchemist is, in his own words, Paul Steunebrink and his alter ego, The site is all about Capture One and how to get the most out of it. Paul offers program training, free and paid presets for use with the program, reviews and a guide to get the most out of the free 30 day trial period - especially for users moving over from Lightroom or Aperture.

I have used a few of his Capture One contrast presets for the past few years and I mentioned his site on the blog page I created for our local APA chapter Capture One training sessions. (APADC.com) Check out that page for a curated list of C1 resources.

https://www.camerondavidson.com/blog/2018/10/4/new-capture-one-presets-and-film-styles

This page and a previous version consistently ranks as the most visited page on my web site. (That is kind of depressing in a way)

Mr. Steunebrink wrote me a few months ago to thank me for including his presets on the list. He mentioned that a lot of people had visited his site from the link on the page and purchased his presets. He offered me the full set as a Thank you. It was not necessary or even needed.

I decided to accept the full-set and see if I could incorporate them into my workflow. So, this blog entry is the first in a series of on the Image Alchemist presets. Not in-depth but a rough overview with examples.

I will use one-image for each blog post so you can see the difference each preset makes.

 Shot in July of this year for an Inc. Magazine story on All Point Broadband. Drone aerial at sunrise near Waterford, Virginia. Straight out of C1 with no adjustments.

Shot in July of this year for an Inc. Magazine story on All Point Broadband. Drone aerial at sunrise near Waterford, Virginia. Straight out of C1 with no adjustments.

Series of Black and White conversions using the Image Alchemist B&W presets.

 Straight B&W Conversion without any adjustments.

Straight B&W Conversion without any adjustments.

 B&W Conversion with adding 100% of yellow.

B&W Conversion with adding 100% of yellow.

 B&W Conversion with minus 100% of the blues. Notice how the trees, valley and shadows are darker.

B&W Conversion with minus 100% of the blues. Notice how the trees, valley and shadows are darker.

 BW Conversion with plus 100% blue. See the difference in the shadow areas.

BW Conversion with plus 100% blue. See the difference in the shadow areas.

These are subtle changes and variable by image. What I like about these presets is how you can make a consistent change and then add to them by changing the RGB or Luma curve, adding structure or clarity or even toning an image just in the highlights or shadows.

I have found that I prefer to use B&W film presets for B&W conversions. However, this is a wonderful approach for slightly modifying an image to B&W using the Capture One tools.

 BW Conversion apllying saturation to the highlights.

BW Conversion apllying saturation to the highlights.

Next blog post I’ll explore color and how to control/create new looks.

This is an unpaid review of Image Alchemist pre-sets. Take a look at the site and download a few freebies to try out on your images. https://imagealchemist.net/downloads/preset-collection-free-trials/

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Cameron Davidson