Yesterday, October 6, ON1 software released the Public Beta of the upcoming Photo RAW 2018. I downloaded the installer but didn’t have time to install it. Today I was finished with the project that was keeping me from installing said program. After an easy install on my MacBook Pro, I put the program through its paces…after watching an approximately 3:00 video on their blog page.

According to their press release some of the key new features are: HDR, Pano Stitching, Global Mask Editing Tools, Luminosity Mask Updates, Color Range Masks, Blur and Chisel Mask Tools, Versions (Virtual copies of the same photo), Updated UI, Paint With Color Brush, Selectively Add or Remove Noise, ON1 Photo for Mobile, and Additional Camera and Lens Support.

I have a photo that I took back in 2009 using the Sony HX-1 that was taken in the early morning hours and was on the dark side, to say the least. My other 2 obstacles were the dpi, only 72, and the aggressive jpg pattern that seems to be with all photos taken with that camera. I wasn’t looking for a miracle, I just wanted to have an artistic picture of the hummingbird on the fence.

I started in the Develop module and adjusted exposure, shadows, and blacks. I scrolled down through the settings until I saw Noise; I adjusted the luminance and detail as there was no visible color noise.

Now it was time for the fun part!

Step 1

I went into the Effects module and started with Blur. That jpg pattern had to go. I created a mask so that the hummingbird was not affected.

Step 2

In the Landscape Presets, I selected the Golden Hour Enhancer and reduced the Amount to 20.

Step 3

I clicked on Add Filter and selected Textures. I went through all of the textures that come with the program and none suited the mood I was looking for. It took me a while to figure out how to add my own textures, but once I did, I imported the low res Watercolor Cloud Textures I have for sale. I went through them a few times before settling on wc-lr-texture17. I changed Mode to Replace and lowered the Opacity to 65. I masked out the eye so that it still had a look of realism to it.

Hummingbird on Fence - Texture
Hummingbird on Fence - Precision Contrast

Step 4

Loved the color, but it was too flat. I clicked on Add Filter and selected Precision Contrast. I played around with the settings until I got this look.

Step 5

I clicked on Add Filter and selected Tone Enhancer>Clarity. I adjusted the sliders until I came up with the painterly look I wanted.

Hummingbird on Fence - Tone Enhancer
Hummingbird on Fence - Vignette

Step 6

The last step was adding an Vignette. I selected Strong and adjusted the sliders for this look.

Step 7

To finalize the artwork, I opened the saved image along with the image from adjusting exposure and blue, in Affinity Photo. I created a mask with a low flow and used it on the hummingbird to bring a little more realism to that part of the photo.

Hummingbird on Fence - After

So far, I’m very pleased with the Public Beta of ON1 Photo RAW 2018. There were no crashes while creating this piece. I love the Browse feature, especially since I am no longer using Lightroom (or Photoshop for that matter). You can set it up to view pictures on your local drives and cloud storage – Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft One Drive. There is even an app for your iOS device. So far, I’m having trouble getting it to Authorize the app (on both my iPhone and iPad Pro). I’ll update this section if/when I get it running.

Will I continue to use Photo RAW 2018? Yes, I will. Maybe not for every piece of artwork I create, but I will at least see if it gives me the look I want.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is now available for download!

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