Warm-Cool Contrast in Capture One


I enjoy experimenting with classical color contrasts in Capture One!
One of my favorites is warm-cool contrast; it works excellently to enhance your image perception.

When you have a strict warm-cool contrast on an image, viewers can evaluate the picture faster and with less effort. This simplicity of perception makes it easier to recognize objects on an image and understand the general plot. Our brain just loves such warm-cool contrasts!

Here are three Capture One tools that will help you to implement it in your editing.


The main feature of gradients is the smooth transition of the masked area. Thus, you can apply warm-cool contrast accurately, making the overall look way more natural.
Here is how it works. Let’s enhance this image with warm-cool contrast:

First, we create a radial gradient on the lamp:

Now, we increase WB temperature to make lamp lightning look warmer.

To amplify warm-cool contrast, we’ll decrease the temperature of the background. We’re going to create a new layer, copy the mask from the first layer and invert it. Now we can set a bit cooler WB for this area.

If you don’t want to affect skin tone, simply rasterize the gradient and erase the mask from the model:

Luma Range

For some images, you can apply warm-cool contrast way faster with luminosity masks.
Let’s take this image:

It already has a cool component of the contrast, so we only need to make some areas a bit warmer.
We’re going to create a new filled layer and apply Luma Range to remove dark areas from the mask:

Now, you’re free to choose the tool to use. You can easily make this area warmer by increasing WB temperature or apply some color toning with Color Balance:

The RAW file of this image is available for download to my $9+ patrons!
So that you can practice with warm-cool contrast.

Become my patron, and you’ll immediately gain access to:

  • Style Brushes for Capture One
  • Dynamic Symmetry Grids for Capture One
  • Patron-exclusive tutorials

$9+ pledge members receive unique styles for Capture One every month!

Style Brushes

Finally, you can quickly apply cool color using a built-in style brush:

This image can easily benefit from warm-cool contrast:

So, we’re going to draw with Balance (Cool) style brush to enhance areas we need.
We can also slightly decrease WB temperature on the created layer to make the effect even more noticeable:

Keep in mind that you can create custom warm-cool style brushes. Here you’ll find a step-by-step guide on creating style brushes.

New Capture One Styles

Capture One has just released two new style packs:

Nordic Lifestyle Style Pack
“Give your photos a modern feel with these two bright, fresh Styles– in three contrast variations to cover all kinds of settings.”

Nordic Editorial Style Pack
“Explore new color-grading looks with two sophisticated Styles inspired by Scandinavian editorials. Each Style comes in three contrast variations for total versatility.”

Each style pack contains two styles with three variations for every style:

I’ve tested them, and they fit a lot of my images pretty nicely:

Especially street photography plots:

All the styles support layers, so you can apply them locally and adjust impact strength.


· Nordic Lifestyle Style pack: 29 EUR/USD/GBP

· Nordic Editorial Style pack: 29 EUR/USD/GBP

· Nordic Style kit: 49 EUR/USD/GBP

Here you’ll find a full description of the new styles and more sample images.


About Author

Alexander Svet – Professional photographer and photography instructor. Phase One Certified Professional and Capture One beta tester.