How to Use Capture One Styles

Capture One is an extremely powerful RAW processor that also comes with plenty of options for using Capture One Styles as part of your post-processing workflow allowing professional and enthusiast photographers to stay efficient and be creative at the same time.

Capture One allows you to apply both presets and styles to one or multiple images to speed up your workflow and give your images an amazing look and feel.

In this article, you will learn how to use Capture One Styles in your post-processing workflow.

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What’s the Difference Between Styles and Presets in Capture One?

To avoid confusing styles with presets and the equivalent in other photo editors it is best to get is straight from the start.

Styles: are a bunch of settings across several tools in Capture One to achieve a specific look or style. You can think of it much like a recipe for giving your images a special look (or style). You can access styles from the Styles and Presets tool. You can also apply styles by right-clicking on a layer.

Presets: are what the name says. A pre-setting, but only for a single tool. With presets, you can save i.e. a specific sharpening level, or save a specific curves adjustment setting. This presetting is only for each specific tool, and can easily be applied from the tool itself.

What are Styles in Capture One?

Styles in Capture One are equal to what is known as presets in many other photo editing apps like Lightroom. This is what confuses many when they are first introduced to styles and presets in Capture One, but at a second glance, the naming makes sense.

Styles are a saved set of adjustments that you can apply to one or several images with just a single mouse click. Using styles allows you to quickly get a consistent look to your images. You can save the adjustments or tool settings you use for one image and easily apply it to any other image you want for a faster post-processing workflow.

When you process your images, you will find that some settings give you a particular look that you want to mimic for several images, allowing you to create a coherent set of images. This is where styles really comes in handy. You can either create your own styles or buy professionally developed styles that enable you to get the look you are after.

Even though you can use styles as an apply-and-forget way to process your images, you will often want to make final adjustments to make the style fit your particular images and exposures.

A sample of different looks available with a single click by using Capture One Styles

How to Use Styles In Capture One?

We are all different, as photographers, and have our own preferences in post-processing as well. Some like to add styles right at the beginning when importing the images from the camera. Others prefer to add them to individual images. Some photographers aim to make a coherent series of photos and therefore want to add styles to multiple images in one go. All these different options for applying styles are possible in Capture One. Below you can see how to apply styles using all of these different approaches.

High-quality styles can be applied to your photos both before and after you have done the necessary corrections to exposure, white balance adjustments and cropped your images. Styles should generally not include those settings. Instead, styles most often modify the color balance, color editor and other adjustments, like clarity and structure or curves.

This also means that you will get the best results if your images are correctly exposed and use the correct white balance settings together with the Capture One styles.

Applying Styles To a Single Image

The Adjustments Tool tab is where you find the Styles & Presets tool

No matter how great a photographer you are, you sometimes need a bit of inspiration with where you want to go with editing a particular image. This is when you should go to the Styles and Presets tool under the Adjustments Tool tab.

Browse through the styles to get a bit of creative inspiration by seeing a lot of possible looks of a specific image.

Capture One Styles
A list of User styles in Capture One that you can hover over to see the effect applied to your image.

Select the one you want to go with and do the final modifications to make it suit your particular photographic vision.

To apply a style to your image:

  1. Select the image you want to apply the styles to in the Capture One browser.
  2. Go to the Adjustments tool tab.
  3. Under Styles and Presets, preview the styles on your images. As you hover over each style you will see a preview of the effect on the selected images or the image you are currently viewing.
  4. Click on the preferred style to apply it to your images.

Using Multiple Styles on the Same Image

It is actually possible to apply or stack multiple styles or presets to the same image (or multiple images). You should take care though as it might be confusion to keep track of how each style affects the final image. If works best when you use styles that only includes a few adjustment settings, or presets (which only change the settings for a single tool).

If you apply two styles which both adjust the contrast. Then it is the settings from the latest applied style that overrides the previous settings. So for instance, if the first style applied adjust the contrast to +10 and the next style applied adjusts it to +20, then the contrast adjustment applied to the image is +20.

If you, for instance, have specific workflow styles that i.e. add specific keywords or styles that add specific sharpening settings that usually works well for you, then it makes sense to stack those on top of any other color editing style that you want to apply.

You have to enable the Stack Styles option in order to apply multiple styles to a single image. If you don’t enable the Stack Styles option, then applying a new style will replace the previous style applied.

C1 Styles - Enabling the Stack Styles feature
Enabling the Stack Styles feature in Capture One

To enable Stack Styles, do the following:

  1. Go to Styles and Presets tool (in the Adjustments Tool Tab)
  2. Click on the Action menu icon – the three dots in the upper right corner of the tool (…).
  3. Select the Stack Styles option, so it shows a checkmark in front of it.

Add styles like before, by hovering over the styles and selecting the one you prefer. The difference is that styles no longer replace each other, but are added to a list of added styles which you can see at the top of the Styles and Presets tool under Applied Styles.

This is how it looks when two styles are applied (with the stack styles option enabled)

If you want to remove one of the active styles, click on the style again to remove the checkmark. You can also remove it from the Applied Styles list.

How To Add Styles To A Layer in Capture One

You can apply styles directly to a layer in Capture One. If you want to give the whole image a new look, you should add a new filled layer to the image, and then apply the C1 style to the filled layer.

Capture One Pro styles - applying a style to a layer
Right-click on the layer to apply a style to the layer

If you, on the other hand, want to selectively apply a style to a specific area, you can choose to add an empty layer and apply the style to this and then use a brush to add the style where you want or use the gradient tool make the style effect fade in according to your preferences.

To see the selected area press M to enable the mask view.

C1 styles - view the mask of the layer, the style is applied to

However, to best view the effect of the style you should turn the mask off (M). If you want to experiment with between different styles to a specific selection, make the selection first, and then apply the style to it. To try with another style, simple add a new style to the layer.

You can apply multiple presets to each layer, however, you can only apply a single style to each layer. If you want to apply multiple styles to your images from the layers panel, you should create a new layer for each style you want to use. This also opens up for a whole new level of creativity of blending different layers (and thereby styles).

Note that some of the styles or presets might be grayed-out in the list. This is because they include adjustments that can’t be applied to the image.

Follow this approach to add a style to a layer:

  1. Select the image in the Capture One Browser.
  2. Next to the Layers tool.
  3. Click on the + icon to add a new layer. Depending on what you want to do, select either a new filled layer or a new empty layer:
    • New Filled Layer – Do you want to add the styles effect to the whole image, like when color grading it, then select New Filled Layer.
    • New Empty Layer – With an empty layer you can use the brush or gradient tool to apply the style selectively.
  4. In the Layers Panel, select the Action menu button (…) and choose Apply Settings From > User Styles / User Presets. This will apply the style to the layer. Note that you cannot see it if you chose a new empty layer until you begin brushing in the effect or apply a gradient.

If you want to change the style, simple repeat step 4.

Remember that you can change the opacity of each layer to decrease/increase the styles effect.

Applying Styles to Multiple images

If you are an event or wedding photographer or any other photographer doing client shoot, you might prefer to apply styles to multiple images at the same time. For obvious reasons, you are interested in processing large batches of maybe hundreds of images in a short amount of time. Styles can often take you a long way in your workflow. This means that you can edit and deliver your photos sooner to your client.

Applying a style to multiple images in Capture One
In this example, the first seven images are selected, but not the last image. Under the Adjustments Tool tab, you can see the style applied to all the selected images by just hovering over the style.

In order to apply styles to multiple images in one go, follow this simple recipe:

  1. Select the images you want to apply the styles to in the Capture One browser.
  2. Enable Edit > Edit All Selected Variants, or enable it by pressing the below icon in the upper-right corner of the Capture One browser.
  3. Go to the Adjustments tool tab.
  4. Next, under Styles and Presets, preview the styles on your images. As you hover over each style you will see a preview of the effect on the selected images or the image you are currently viewing.
  5. Click on the preferred Style to apply it to your images.

You have now applied the style to the chosen images. Under Styles and Presets you can always see which styles are applied to the image you are currently browsing.

Applying Styles During Photo Import

When importing your images you have the option to apply a style during import to great a head start so you see your images in your browser with the style applied instantly. You can, of course, remove the style at any stage of your post-processing workflow. This is done by resetting the full image to get back to your original RAW-file or reset the parts of the Style that you don’t like.

Even though you decide to apply a Style right from import, I suggest that you take a look at each individual image and check if any modifications are necessary to make each image look no less than amazing.

To apply a Capture One Style during import, unfold the Adjustments panel and select the Style to apply.

How to Add a Style During Tethered Capture?

If you do a lot of product, fashion, studio shoots you might be interested in applying a Style while shooting tethered.

If you have a client in the studio with you, it can leave quite an impression when you show them the capture result with the style directly applied so they can see a nearly finished look. You can also get a good idea where you what you need to change during capture (i.e., lighting when you see the look immediately upon taking the shoot. As usual, you can always remove the style again to go back to the original RAW-file or tweak the settings to your liking whenever you want.

To apply a Style during tethered capture, go to the Capture Tool tab and select the style you want to apply from Next Capture Adjustments. This will apply the Style directly to all images captured into Capture One using tethered shooting mode.

You can apply Capture One Styles during tethered capture
To apply a style during tethered capture chose the style under the Next Capture Adjustment panel

How To Create Your Own Styles in Capture One?

When you have found a particular look that works well you can save the settings a new style that you can apply again and again on new images. You own styles is saved under User Styles in the Styles and Presets tool.

When creating new styles you should be aware that some settings like are not suitable for including in styles. This includes settings like white balance, exposure, noise reduction, crop settings, and ratings and so on. These are too specific to each image, and you will get a style that might turn out less than usable if you include these kinds of settings in the style. So you should avoid both using those settings to create a look, that you will base a style on, and remember to avoid including them in the style when you save it.

Use the Action Menu Icon to Save your current settings as a C1 User Style
Use the Action Menu Icon to Save your current settings as a User Style

To save your own styles, do the following steps, after making the image adjustments need to create the look you want:

  1. Go to the Styles and Presets tool under the Adjustments tool tab.
  2. Click on the Action menu icon (…) and select Save User Style. This will open a dialog with all the modified settings checked. Remove/uncheck any of the settings that you don’t want to include in the style
  3. Click Save to go to the next dialog window, where you can name your style. The window automatically opens in the User Styles folder on your computer, where you should save the styles for them to work in Capture One.
  4. Name the style with an appropriate and “meaningful” name. It could be something that either tells a bit about what the main effect is (i.e. “Vintage Look”) or the kind of images, you believe can benefit. The main consideration though is that it should make sense to you.

After saving the style, you might want to test it by applying it to a couple of images and see if it does what you expected.

How to Import a Single Style?

You can easily import the user styles that you have created on other computers into Capture One. This could be your own user styles or some that you have bought in an online store.

Being able to import capture one styles is very useful, in the case that you want to re-import backed up user styles after a computer crash. You might also want to share your C1 styles across computers, so you can easily create a coherent look no matter which computer you use to edit your images in Capture One.

Capture One styles work independently of which computer platform you use. So you can share them across both Mac and Windows computers.

You can import both single styles and a whole style package into Capture One. Style packs are covered separately in the next section below.

To import a single styles do the following steps in Capture One:

  1. Go to Styles & Presets under the Adjustments Tool. Click on the Action menu (…) Select Import Styles.
    Alternatively: You can do step 1 by going to Adjustments menu > Styles > Import.
  2. In the Finder/Windows Explorer dialog that opens navigate to the place where you have saved the single C1 Style, you want to import.
  3. Select it and press Open.
  4. This will import the selected styles into the User Style Folder, under the Styles & Presets tool.

Importing c1 styles can be done using the action menu under styles and presets
Once again, you should use the Action Menu Icon (…) to Import Styles into Capture One

How to Import a Styles Pack into Capture One?

You can easily install Capture One Styles Packages into Capture One. You have three different options for doing so.

However, first, you need to unzip the downloaded file to a location on your hard drive. You should then have a styles pack file ending with the .costylepack extension.

After unpacking the downloaded file, you can:

  • Open Capture One Pro. Next, simply drag and drop the Styles Pack file (.costylepack) into the Capture One window.
  • Alternatively, you can go the Styles and Presets tool, and click the three dots in the upper right corner (…). Here you can select Import Styles…, and then browse your way to the location where you extracted the Styles Pack file. Select it and click Open.
  • The third and easiest option is to simply double-click on the Styles Pack (.costylepack) directly.

After importing you can use the new styles from the Styles and Presets tool under User Styles.

Please note that you have to use Capture One Pro 10.1.2 or newer to be able to use styles.

Concluding words

Styles can help you build both an effective workflow in Capture One, and help you give your images a particular look on all the images you want, making it much easier to create both amazing images and create a coherent body of images.

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Hey I’m Peter. I’m the owner and editor of Photography-RAW. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography. I hope you enjoy the site 🙂
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Hey I’m Peter. I’m the owner and editor of Photography-RAW. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography. I hope you enjoy the site 🙂
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