December 8, 2020No Comments

Capture One 21 is released

Capture One 21 is released today! We're very happy to be affiliated with Capture One for the very good reason that we've been using their software for five years now, for all our studio work and some location work too. Basically for anything that requires tethered shooting we use Capture One. We think it's the best software for our studio requirements bar none.

Before I get into why I like Capture One so much, I should say that anything I write about software is as objective as I can make it, but it is still my opinion. Here's the official disclaimer.

​This page is owned by Helter Skelter Media Ltd and is not an official Capture One website. Content on this page may contain affiliate links meaning that I earn a commission on sales generated by you using the link.

Our history with Capture One goes back to the day we opened our studio in Birmingham, we had been using Lightroom for tethered shooting and found it unsatisfactory. I downloaded a trial copy of Capture One and it worked beautifully. I particularly liked composition mode where I could "build" the shot, adding lights, flags, diffusers etc until it looked perfect, without cluttering my drive with unusable images.

The second revelation was how well the RAW converter works. It produces a fantastic image with great detail, giving me exactly what I needed to work with on high end product shoots.

The third revelation was the way I could inherit settings from my last photograph. This facility allows me to set the lights until the photograph looks good as a RAW, then add the basic edits until it looks ready to export. So White balance, Exposure compensation, Contrast, HDR, Clarity etc. I can set the framing and apply all of these settings or a subset to my next shot automatically. In a controlled studio environment this can take hours off the time I take processing.

The fourth revelation, though it probably should have dawned earlier was the beauty of the automatic file structure. When I create a new session Capture One generates a new set of directories including Capture, Selects, Output and Trash. All my shots begin in Capture, I typically shoot, tweaking the arrangement until I'm confident I've nailed the shot, then I move that one shot to the Selects and anything that's unusable to Trash.

After the shoot, I typically carry out further processing and move the chosen shot to Output. Once I'm satisfied I've got all the photos my client is expecting I'll empty the Trash. This one step saves me gigabytes of space over the year as I'm typically 100% focused on delivering for my client. The clean up is something I get round to, well, never in some cases!

Anyway, enough about me and my workflow, here is a summary of the new features from the Release Notes.

Feature walkthrough

Speed Edit
Speed Edit allows you to edit images without having to click the sliders in the interface. The available for Speed Edit tools have the assigned keyboard shortcuts. This enables a workflow where the adjustments can be made in a matter of seconds without having to locate the editing tools in the interface or taking the eyes away from the image.

Eliminate haze and improve saturation in flat-contrast images. The new Dehaze tool will automatically analyze the image and detect where the changes in contrast and saturation are needed. An automatic Shadow Tone is detected. If the result differs from your expectations, use the picker to select another area. For optimal results, pick a shadow tone in the dark and hazy area.

HEIF support
Capture One now supports 8-bit HEIF files. This format can be imported, edited, and exported to other supported formats. Exporting to HEIC as a format is not supported. Support covers Apple HEIC and other photos converted to 8-bit HEIF.

ProStandard camera profiles

Capture One 21 introduces a new type of camera profiles that render colors more naturally. The profiles have multiple purposes:

  • Better preservation of color across contrast gradients, resulting in more natural colors from shadows to highlights.
  • Better transition between colors of different hues.
  • More standardized colors across different camera models.

The new profiles are particularly suitable for portrait photography and product photography of products with saturated or otherwise challenging colors, such as orange and neon colors.

Capture One 21 provides ProStandard camera profiles for the following cameras:

  • Sony: a7 III, a7R II, a7R III, a7R IV, a7C, a6000, a6300
  • Nikon: D810, D850, Z6, Z7
  • Canon: 5D II, 5D III, 5D IV, 5DS R, R5, R6
  • Phase One: IQ3 100MP, IQ4 150MP
  • Leica: S3, SL2

Additional ProStandard camera profiles will be added in future releases.

Leica tethering
Besides regular support for Leica S3, basic tethering* for Leica S3 and Leica SL2 is now supported in Capture One.

*Live-view is currently not supported.


Improved Importer
The Importer in Capture One 21 has several different improvements:

  • Picker functionality to easily make the import selection
  • Bigger import window with high-resolution thumbnails
  • Improved terminology and descriptions of import destinations in Catalogs
  • Option to select multiple folders to import from at the same time
  • Option to select images directly in the Folder Browser
  • First-time import requires fewer clicks


Easy brush adjusting
It is now possible to easily change the size, hardness, opacity, and flow of any brush by using modifier keys and a mouse / trackpad / pen. Hold down the modifier key(s) and click-drag to change the parameters of the brush.

Improved performance
Capture One 21 brings improved performance to different asset management tasks.*


  • Faster opening of Catalogs and Sessions
  • Faster importing of images
  • Locating offline images in Catalogs up to 4x faster
  • Faster general browsing in Catalogs and Sessions


  • Faster general browsing in Catalogs and Sessions
  • Searching in collections now supports multi-core (up to 7x faster search on an 8-core CPU)
  • Trashing images and emptying trash up to 10x faster

*Performance improvements depend on the individual setup of the operating system, hardware, and other running processes.


Enhanced tooltips
The learning curve of Capture One has been flattened with enhanced graphical tooltips. Hover cursor tools and tool names to see a description. If applicable to the tool, an image example, shortcut, and links to mini introduction videos and more educational material is shown in the tooltip as well. Optionally, these tooltips can be disabled in Preferences > General.

Easy access to Tutorials
It is now easier to find the best tutorials directly in Capture One. A new ‘Learn’ button has been added to the toolbar, opening a new section with curated tutorials for the best learning experience.


So, Capture One 21 is released! If any of this is new to you and you'd like to investigate further you can download a trial version here. Look out for the review I'll be posting soon and there will also be video tutorials appearing on my YouTube account. Links will be posted as soon as they're ready.




November 30, 2020No Comments

2020 – The Year of Living Dangerously

2020 - the year of living dangerously. What a year! It's been our best year ever but there have been times when it's looked bleak. I was hospitalised with Covid 19 between Xmas and New Year and nearly died. Not an experience I'll easily forget. But I recovered and now even our accountant is happy! Read more

October 2, 2020No Comments

Photography and Covid-19

Photography and Covid-19 don't mix! This post shows how we survived the lockdown period and continue to build our business.

Some of you may know that I was hospitalised last Christmas with a condition that in hindsight was almost certainly Covid-19. It was possibly the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. Read more

June 2, 2020No Comments

What is WebXR

The WebXR Device API replaces WebVR in products such as Oculus Quest, Google Chrome and Firefox browsers.

What does it do? It brings Augmented Reality under the same overarching API as Virtual Reality, opening the door to special effects like the one here (Chrome or Firefox) What does the X stand for? Nothing, it's a wildcard that stands for anything you like- its your reality after all! Maybe this will stop the tiresome debate around whether 360° Photography is counted as VR! Read more

May 6, 2020No Comments

Build your own Zoom Room

We've been advising a client on the equipment they need to deliver training in a socially distant way. Along the way it occurred to us that you might want to build your own Zoom Room too. This will also be relevant to Facebook Live, YouTube, Vloggers and anyone inviting family and friends onto a video call. There is no better way to see your friends in Lockdown! Read more

April 28, 2020No Comments

Luminar 4 Review

We are members of Skylum's affiliate program, so please don't expect this Luminar 4 review to be bad. I will say only that we never endorse products that we do not use ourselves.

Luminar 4 is an AI powered processing tool from Skylum that challenges Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop combination. I have used it professionally for real estate work for a year now and have been impressed with what I've been able to achieve, particularly in the extreme light conditions of Spain. Skylum also make the excellent Aurora HDR software. This review is of Luminar 4. Read more

March 23, 2020No Comments

Digital Marketing in times of Corona

At Helter Skelter Studios we've been racking our brains as to what we can offer our local community in these troubled times. We looked on the internet for inspiration and came up with a few ideas..
1. Nude self portraits tutorial .... hmm REJECT
2. Cat and Dog portrait tutorial... not really our thing REJECT
3. Free portrait photography... self defeating and not our thing anyway.. REJECT
4. Recipe Videos.. hmm MAYBE - as long as their Viv's recipes and not mine 🤣
5. Video Diary... we're not that interesting - REJECT
So we're not planning on offering anything to do with video or photography pro bono - unless somebody comes up with a compelling idea.

Digital Marketing in times of Corona

We have, with slightly less than perfect timing, been working on a new offering in the area of Digital Marketing because we spent significant amounts of time doing that last year - (Funky Frankwell and for a couple of much larger clients in Shropshire). We're launching a new website Helter Skelter Design on 1st April dedicated to this side of the business.
We are Google certified (for Google Ads) and we've worked in and around the web design industry for twenty years designing and building sites for clients as diverse as the University of North London (School of Computing), Orange, de Beers (diamonds really are forever).. So we may be in a position to offer something of real value to the community after all.
We know there are numbers of small businesses and organisations in the Frankwell Area who are in all probability sitting at home wondering how to make sense of Web Sites, Google and Facebook advertising. Which, Why and in what order? So...
If you are Frankwell based and self isolating, we are offering free access to Digital Marketing Advice via Zoom (teleconferencing software that we host). First call will be 20 minutes. For as long as people are self isolating all advice will be free within the boundaries of Frankwell. No catches, no tie ins. Free.
If you're interested - mail us at
We'll get back to you with some suggested time slots...

February 15, 2020No Comments

Colour Management & Product Photography

Colour Management & Product Photography go together like cheese and biscuits. You can have one without the other but at best you risk nuance, at worst you have a mouthful of dry biscuits.

Colour Management solves a problem that bedevils all types of photography to some degree. The colour you see when you open the image in Lightroom is not the same as the colour you saw when you shot it. And here's the kicker. If you're colours are off because your screen is uncalibrated then what will look good to you will look different to other people. They will be used to seeing colours consistently even if their screen is uncalibrated  Read more

January 16, 2020No Comments

Funky Frankwell in 2020 – The way forward

What is in store for Funky Frankwell in 2020?

We designed and built the website and took over the social media feeds for Funky Frankwell in 2019, growing a successful brand in the process and providing an online focus for events, shops and business owners in the area.

So what worked?

Read more

October 22, 2019No Comments

Why WebVR is important to VR Providers

What is WebVR and why WebVR is important to VR Providers.

First things first. From the WebVR Project: "WebVR is an open specification that makes it possible to experience VR in your browser."  The goal is to make it easier for everyone to get into VR experiences, no matter what device you have. Read more

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Frankwell Studio
54 New St

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