We’ve all been there. Our client is begging us to turn around photos in no time flat, without giving us a chance to breathe after our photoshoot. The good news is, today’s tools have made it easier to edit and deliver photos quicker than ever before.

And with Capture One 21, it’s even faster, thanks to a new tool called Speed Edit.

Once you’ve used Speed Edit, you’ll wonder why other editing tools haven’t come up with something similar. Using a series of shortcut keys, you can easily adjust things like exposure, contrast, saturation, highlights, saturation … the list goes on.

Instead of pointing to each slider and switching between tool tabs, you can just hold down a shortcut key and use your mouse or tablet to adjust the values.

Where it comes in handy

If you’re thinking this is perfect for event photographers, well, it is. As someone who photographs countless corporate and community events each year (pre-COVID), I understand the pain that photographers go through in having to quickly turn around photos.

But it’s also great for any photographer looking to quickly go through photos, or add adjustments to a group of photos.

How many times have you caught yourself realizing you forgot to apply a vignette on a few images? Or forgot to bump up the saturation a bit? Speed Edit makes it easy to edit a series of photos in no time flat.

How it works

A few of the Speed Edit keys you can setup.

Capture One 21 comes with a series of default Speed Edit shortcut keys, which are accessible through Edit > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts. You’ll see most of these filled in by default, but a few of them will be blank. You can fill these in with the keys that make the most sense for your workflow.

In the default settings, Capture One does a good job of grouping the sliders together based on the tool they’re located in. For example, you’ll find that the Exposure tools use the Q, W, E and R keys, while the High Dynamic Range tools use A, S, D and F keys.

You can print out a list of keyboard shortcuts by clicking the List Shortcuts button at the bottom of the window.

Then, simply hold one down and drag your mouse or stylus to the left or right. Left decreases the value, while right increases it. You can also move your mouse or stylus up or down for the same effect (down decreases values, up increases them).

The full screen workflow

But where Speed Edit truly shines is when you’re viewing your image full screen, without any of the interface showing. Using the same Speed Edit shortcut keys, you can adjust the values of different tools in your image.

Capture One makes it easy to see the value as well, putting a translucent display at the very bottom of your image. This shows in regular view too, but in full screen, it’s super handy.

Using Speed Edit with multiple photos

It doesn’t end there, either. If you have multiple photos selected, you can adjust the exposure of all of the photos at the same time.

Note that in this view, it doesn’t make all of the selected photos the same value. Instead, it increases or decreases them by the same amount. So if you have an overexposed photo that you’ve already edited down, but need to make some tweaks to that and some similar images, you can, without screwing up the values you’ve already chosen.

Finally, when working with multiple photos, adjustments are made to the background of your images, meaning that layers are ignored.

Needless to say, while Speed Edit certainly isn’t a groundbreaking feature, it’s one that will make pros pretty happy. You can adjust your sensitivity settings for Speed Edit, too, in Capture One’s preferences.

Thanks to Capture One 21, I’ve already sped up my workflow with Speed Edit, making it easier for me to edit on-the-fly.