Burgh Island and Capture One Pro 8

Burgh Island
Burgh Island showing the causeway to the mainland.

I like the morning – it’s the best time of day for me, I get most work done before lunch. Mornings are also often the best time for landscape photography. The day I photographed Burgh Island I got up a little later than I would have liked, the Sun had already risen but I decided to go anyway. Walking through Thurlestone village about 6am I was a little surprised to see an old guy waiting outside the only pub in the village. We exchanged greetings and I moved on to the cliffs. Two old guys wondering what each other were doing up so early in a tiny village on the Devon coast.

I had been to the location  a couple of times previously so had a good idea of where I was going to shoot and had three spots sorted out. However the light was changing really quickly and by the time I had reached the third location I decided to call it a day, so I was done before 8am.

I should have started out by saying that I don’t consider myself a landscape photographer but I like going out and shooting landscapes when I can – my work is mostly not about landscapes. I kind of always feel that I should be using a 5×4 camera instead of a Canon DSLR when I’m out shooting this kind of stuff. I used  5×4 and 10×8 cameras many years ago for studio work but I don’t think that I could bring myself to carry around a large format camera these days – but you never know, I might go back to one sometime.

So, instead of using large format, my way to bring up the Canon 5D3 to the best it can do is to use Capture One software to process the RAW images. I started using Capture One a few years ago, at the time I wasn’t happy with Adobe Raw Converter which I had been using to process my images. I tried Capture One and saw that it could pull out more detail.

So with this image of Burgh Island I noticed the edge of the shot (the mainland) was a little unsharp. I used the Canon 24-105mm lens – which although a reasonable lens, it has some sharpness fall-off at the edges. This image was taken at f9 – wide open at f4 the lens is pretty bad at the edges. Most people wouldn’t notice in normal use but viewed at 100% the fall-off at f4 is very obvious.

To correct the fall-off I used the Sharpness Fall Off  tool in the Capture One lens correction panel. The screen grabs below show the change in sharpness when using it at 250% compared to 0%. The centre of the image remains unchanged in terms of sharpness. It’s a fairly subtle but noticeable change which in my opinion brings the image from the lens up to a good enough standard.

Image  at roughly 100% with 250% edge sharpness correction.
The extreme right hand edge of the image at roughly 100% with 250% fall off sharpness correction.
Image at roughly 100% with no edge sharpness correction.
The extreme right hand edge of the image at roughly 100% with no fall off sharpness correction.

To be honest in normal life nobody ever notices as images are rarely viewed at 100%, and some don’t care anyway. The important thing for me is that I know I’ve got the best out of whatever lens I have on the camera and using Capture One Pro 8 enables me to do that.

Burgh Island, located just off the Devon coast, is known for its Art Deco hotel which famously inspired Agatha Christie.