In my earlier blog Sessions Explained you have become familiar with the basics of sessions: the folders and their related function inside Capture One Pro. In this second blog on sessions for the intermediate user we take it to the next level: Session Albums and Favorites. So, get ready for Sessions Continued!
Over the years, more features have been added to organize images in a session. Moving your best images to the Selects folder seems a bit dated. An Album is more flexible. A Session Album, you can make as many as you like, allows you to organize images in any combination. There are a few aspects I would like you to know about albums.
Don’t Move, Just Link
First, Capture One is just creating a link to an image in an album, it does not move it on the disk, it does not make a copy. Second, as a result, an image can reside in multiple albums at the same time. Third, you can put images from different folders in one album. Fourth and last, adjusting an image in an album is like adjusting the original. Because there are not real ‘copies’, adjusting one is adjusting all in both the originating folder as well as in all albums the images reside in.
Creating an album in a session is easy as pie: click on the ‘+’ sign at the Session Albums section in the Library, or choose File menu > New Album. It only asks you for a name, that’s all. Your new album is added to the list under Session Albums. You can move albums around by dragging up and down or use the sort command from the right-click menu.
All the above is also true for Smart Albums. But a smart album is smarter because it automatically populates with images based on your definition. A popular use of smart albums is to collect images based on star ratings or keywords. Every new session comes with a Five Stars and an All Images smart album.
You create a smart album just like a regular album, but you choose Smart Album instead. After you defined the search criteria for the Smart Album and give it a proper name, and clicked OK, you will find it listed with the other albums in the Session Albums section in the Library.
Note that you always can edit the criteria of your smart album. Also, note the little difference in the icon for an album and smart album (with small cogwheel).
Think of an Album as a virtual folder. You can see it in the Session inside the Library tool, but not on your disk. Smart Albums rely on Capture One’s search function and the search is restricted to Session Folders, Albums, and Favorites (discussed below).
As you have seen in the screenshot above, you can add multiple search criteria in a single Smart Albums for advanced use. However, it is best to start with one rule at a time if you just started with a smart album.
One Folder Not Enough
The exploration of Sessions continues with adding extra folders.
More comprehensive shoots that contain hundreds or even thousands of images are often divided over multiple sessions to make that amount manageable. The disadvantage is that great session features like (Smart) Albums and Search do not work across sessions.
The Session is the boundary. What if I could add some extra real folders to a single Session and have them made available and visible with the other session folders, searchable and ready to use with Smart Albums? Good idea! In Capture One talk, this is a Session Favorite.
In the Library tool, Session Favorite section, click on the ‘+’ sign or from the File menu > Add Folder to Favorite.
You get a Finder-like window (Explorer-like for Windows users). Optionally, create a new folder first. Next, make any folder, existing or new, into a session favorite. The Library tools list the Session Favorite for easy access. You could compare it to an alias or shortcut to a folder.
The shoot I prepare this session will span multiple days and multiple locations per day.
Extra Capture Folders
I create extra folders inside the original capture folder of the session and make this folder a favorite for easy access. While I add the favorites, I can make the new folder in one go.
When you have a lot of favorites, it is easy to find their location on your disk. In the Library, when I hover the mouse over a favorite, a message displays its location. You can also right-click on the favorite and select Show in System Folders or Show in Finder.
Search actions in a Session look into Session Favorites and Smart Albums. Note that you can move images from different session favorites and session folders into an album.
Album or Favorite?
The difference between a Session Favorite and a Session Album can confuse you. Let us continue to explore Sessions to find the answer.
A Favorite is a Folder, physical on your disk. By making that folder a favorite it becomes part of the session magic. An Album is a virtual container and filled with images from the physical folders and favorites.
Make Your Favorite the Capture Folder
Now you are just one step away from the pinnacle of sessions: assign a session function like Capture to your session favorite! Now the favorite becomes the capture folder and when you shoot tethered, new captures will come into this folder instead of the default capture folder.
Right-click on the favorite and select Set as Capture Folder from the menu. You can find this in the File menu as well. The same is possible for the Selects Folder and Output Folder.
Capture One shows a camera symbol next to the Session Favorite and an indication that this is now the Capture Folder. This way you can easily organize your images during a long, big, or otherwise comprehensive shoot.
Continue With Sessions In-Depth
Maybe this blog got you covered. Great. Maybe you noticed that we skipped some interesting topics like Session Templates and where your adjustments are stored, among others. These topics and more will be explained in a succeeding blog named Sessions In-Depth, meant for the experienced user.