ON1 Photo RAW 2019 Review

The post ON1 Photo RAW 2019 Review appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Leanne Cole.

This November, ON1 released the latest version of their standalone-editing platform, Photo RAW 2019. It is a sophisticated program aimed toward all levels of photographers from the absolute beginner to the professional. The program is there to help photographers edit their photos to achieve the best possible images.

Many features in the previous version still exist. However, some obvious changes are in the user interface — specifically, the removal of the different modes you had to switch to as you processed your images. They are now much easier to use, and access to each is all done in the same window.


When you open ON1 Photo RAW 2019

Some of the significant aspects of Photo RAW are still available but have been improved to make them more efficient to use. ON1 have always listened to their users. They find out what their users want the most from the software and use that feedback to make product improvements, via the ON1 Photo RAW Project.

User Interface

One of the biggest changes with Photo RAW 2019 is the basic layout. The Browse section is much the same, except for a few minor changes. However, some of the most significant changes are when you proceed to the photo editing section.

In the past, you have had to go to different modules to make particular changes. In the latest release, you the Develop, Effects and Layers features are all integrated in the same place. You can now move between each of them easily, and more importantly, quickly.


The User Interface has been updated as well.

You no longer have to wait for changes to get saved when moving from one module to another. In previous versions, when you moved to the Layers module, you lost all of the non-destructive settings used to create your image. However, now you have access to them all the way through the editing process of your image.

When you open your image in Edit Mode, you can see on the right side that it still looks similar to the previous version with Tone & Color windows opened first. However, above it, are now tabs for Develop, Effects, Portrait, and Local. When you want to use aspects that are in a specific tab, you click on it and you are taken to it straight away. You can move around them very quickly.

Above those tabs, is a larger one that has Layers written on it. You can now add layers at any stage of your editing and go back and forth between the other tabs as well.


Now layers is in the same place as the other tabs.

The new Layers tab is a bonus because you don’t lose any of the previous edits you have done. As you go back to the other tabs everything you have done previously is still there. You can change adjustments and filters at any stage of the process too. This ability is new to Photo RAW and was not available in previous versions.

Effects and Filters

Nearly all the adjustments are now under the Effects Tab. When you click on Add Filter, a new window pops up with a range of filters available for use. While this isn’t new, in the previous version they were split between the Develop and Effects Modules, and you had to keep swapping between them, depending on how you used them.

In the 2019 release, the filters are all in one place under the Effects tab. Along with the existing filters, ON1 have also included some new ones.


All the filters are now under the Effects tab.

These filters include Curves, Color Adjustments, and Film Grains. Curves is a very welcome addition as it is something that many people use in other editing programs. This filter is addictive. Once you start using it, you want to use it on everything.

Some people enjoy the Film Grain option. It is excellent for imitating the effects of analog film. If you had a favorite film type, you could make your digital images have a similar feel to them.

Color Adjustments give you more options for individual colors in your image. You can saturate or desaturate them. You can also change the hue tones or change the color entirely. If you like that sort of control in your editing, then this filter is perfect for you.

Tool changes

One of the things I have noticed is the tools are now in the left sidebar. In the previous version there were many of them, and as you moved through the modes more appeared.

At first glance with Photo RAW 2019, it appears that there are not as many tools. There aren’t many sitting in the sidebar, but when you click on one, you should also look at the top of the window. There, you can find the settings for each one, and you find other similar tools. You can click on them to use the ones that you like.


Some of the tools are now located in a different section.

If you have used previous versions and can’t find tools that you previously used, go through each one along the top to see what is available. It looks as though all the original tools are still available. They are merely in a new location.

Text Tool

One of the really exciting additions to the latest release is the Text Tool. You can now add text to images. You can make memes or other designs.

This new feature is excellent for watermarking your image too. Love them or hate them, many people want to put watermarks on their work. It allows them to prove they own the copyright if their image is stolen or used without their permission.

The Text Tool also features a range of font options, and you can choose the size and placement. Like most adjustments, you can change the opacity as well, which is perfect for watermarking.

The Text Tool is a welcome addition to Photo RAW and something that many people are going to like.


The new Text Tool is a very welcome addition.

Processing RAW images

Some programs are not capable of processing your RAW files; however, ON1 can process these files with Photo RAW. It can process them quickly, and the file sizes are not an issue.

Many of the modern cameras produce images with enormous file sizes. I use a Nikon D850, and the RAW images are often over 50MB. Each image I have processed in Photo RAW 2019 has handled with no problems.

Lightroom Catalogues

Many people who have used Lightroom for years have cataloged all their photos using the platform. Lightroom users may be hesitant to switch to Photo RAW 2019 for fear of losing access to all of these catalogs. However, there are now some new AI algorithms that power Photo RAW giving the user access to all their photos from Lightroom catalogs using the Lightroom Migration Assistant. The Migration Assistant adds the top-level folders in the Folders panel in Lightroom to Cataloged Folders in Photo RAW. All of the photos inside of these folders are cataloged automatically. Your collections and Metadata changes made in Lightroom are migrated and include keywords, descriptions, ratings, labels, orientation, etc.

Lastly, RAW processing and editing settings from Lightroom’s Develop module including crop, retouching, and local adjustments are migrated non-destructively so they can be re-edited in ON1 Photo RAW 2019.

You can also see the photos you have edited in the other program as well. This feature was an essential development for ON1 because it offers users an alternative to paid monthly subscriptions such as Lightroom.


Now you can access all your photos and catalogs from Lightroom.

Creating HDR images

While HDR Images editing is not new to Photo RAW, the 2019 release has seen some significant improvements to the programs ability to edit them faster. The workflow has improved significantly too.

The process starts the same way – select your images and click on the HDR icon. However, once the images are merged, the changes made to the overall image are not set in stone. Once the HDR is created and opened in the Develop tab, you can continue making other re-adjustments. This feature allows you to alter any mistakes you may have made the first time.


Creating HDR Images is now easier.

The most significant and best change is how fast your HDR images get processed. It is fantastic and makes them so much easier to do. While other programs make you wait (you can make coffee while it is doing the merging), Photo RAW completes the process before you know it. This feature is an excellent addition for time-poor photographers.

Many of the other features remain, and you can choose various options for how you want your HDR images to appear when the merging is complete. If you are familiar with how ON1 does HDR photos, the previous features remain, with the added bonus of new ones that are sure to impress.


Make changes anytime.

Focus stacking

If you love macro photography or are keen to get everything in your images in focus, the Focus Stacking feature is a great new feature for you. Photo RAW 2019 allows you to highlight all the images you want to Focus Stack via the Browse section, and you simply click on the Focus icon. The icon is located on the right side of the window.


Use Photo RAW 2019 to merge images for Focus Stacking.

Photo RAW aligns all your images together and displays a preview of your stacked image. It then blends all the selected images to make a final focus-stacked image. There is a reference panel to ensure you get the image you want.


All the images are aligned and everything that you want in focus is.

Who is ON1 Photo RAW 2019 for?

The latest version has been designed to appeal to a wide range of photographers who want to edit their photos. Professional photographers can find everything they need to process their photos in Photo RAW 2019. If you have many photos to process, all the tools and adjustments that you used in Lightroom are available. Accessing all those images that you have previously processed with Lightroom is simple.

Hobbyist photographers who want more say on how their final images look may find Photo RAW 2019 brilliant. You can make all those basic adjustments, and more. It is an excellent program for learning layers too.

However, the best part is that many new photographers don’t want to sign up for monthly subscriptions set out by Adobe. The monthly expense can be expensive. With Photo RAW, you can purchase it outright and not have ongoing monthly costs. On top of that, with monthly subscriptions, you aren’t paying for many extras that you may not need.


ON1 have many tutorial videos on YouTube to help you learn how to use the Photo RAW 2019 software if you are new to it. There are also tutorials for the latest release.

If you want more from the program and the company, consider signing up for ON1 Plus. ON1 Plus provides in-depth monthly courses on using ON1 Photo RAW and courses from top photographers. It is something that I would highly recommend.


ON1 Plus gives you so much more support.

In Conclusion

The latest addition of ON1 Photo RAW 2019 was thoughtfully developed with the use of current user feedback. One of the great things about ON1 is how much they care about their users and try to make sure their software delivers for their needs. This latest release is sure to impress their users.

If you are looking for an alternative to mainstream editing programs, you should consider ON1. It does everything you need and is a program you can continue to learn. No matter what level of photographer you are, Photo RAW 2019 can cater to your editing needs.


Disclaimer: ACDSee is a paid partner of dPS

The post ON1 Photo RAW 2019 Review appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Leanne Cole.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5

There are many genres within the framework of photography and one that is very popular is portraits. As such, many photographers are looking for great software that can help them make their portraits so much better. ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has some great tools and adjustments for portrait processing to give them a professional touch.

In ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 you will find all the tools you need to retouch out blemishes or any imperfections that the person or model may have. You can give the skin the same hue all over to get rid of blotchiness. Finally, you can make the eyes whiter and the teeth brighter. Your subjects will love the results.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - portrait image

Portrait processing with ON1 Photo RAW

We are going to start with the basic skin retouching before heading to the Magic Eye Fixer and finally the Toothbrush.

Basic Retouching

Open the image you want to work on in the Develop Module of ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5. Here you can make the basic adjustments like correcting the exposure or the white balance. Play around with the sliders to get what you want.

You can see what was done to this image below.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - basic adjustments

Basic adjustments.

No girl wants to be seen with acne on her face, so the next step is to get the Erase tool and remove as much of it as you can.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - blemishes

There are still blemishes on and around the chin, so now it is time to take it a step further with the skin retouching. ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has some great adjustments you can use to do just that.

If you are working on images of people that you know or clients, consult with them first about what they are happy with you removing from their skin. It might be good to remove scars, for example, however, if they are proud of those scars, it might upset them. Always ask.

Skin Retouching

You can do skin retouching in either the Develop or Effects modules. For this article, we will use the latter so click on Effects in the right-hand panel.

Once you are there click on Add Filter under the Overall settings.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - Effects Add Filter

Effects > Add Filter

When you click on that you will get a big list of options from which you can choose. For this tutorial, click on Skin Retouching.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - skin retouching filter

Skin Retouching filter.

You should see a new window open up that has all the adjustments for Skin Retouching. The first thing you want to do is select the eye dropper that is next to the square color patch. You will see a cross-hairs cursor so that you can make a selection on the skin.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - skin selection

Choose a part of the skin that is somewhere in between the darks and the lights. A mid-tone is the best option and a good place to find that is on the forehead.

Once you have your selection you are ready to retouch all the skin. You can now set the range of how much you want to do on the face. Use the Range slider at the bottom.

As you move it around you will see parts of the image that are covered in black while others are now. The black parts will not be affected, which as the lighter sections and places where it doesn’t cover it you can use the skin retouch. It doesn’t hurt to move it up a lot.

As you move the Range slider along you will see parts of the image covered in black while other areas are not. The black parts will not be affected by the retouching. However, the light sections, or the parts of the image that seems like they are not being affected, is where the skin retouching will apply to the image.

It doesn’t hurt to move the Range slider up a lot.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - range of skin retouching

Add a Mask

Next, you need to add a mask. You can do that at the top of the layer window, it is the white rectangle with the black circle inside.

You will see more options appear and along with the mask. The cursor will also change and the brush will come up automatically once you have done that.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - mask and brush options

Once you have the mask, go ahead and invert it. When you do this the mask will go black. When it is black it means that nothing from that layer is affecting your image. The brush is already chosen and now it is time to work out what parts of the image you want to add the skin retouch.

Make sure you brush is set to Paint In. You can change the brush options including feathering along the top above the image. You don’t need a lot, my brush was set at 31.

Now paint over the skin you want to affect. You should see parts of the mask going white where you are painting. Avoid the eyes and the mouth.


Once you think you have done all the skin it is best to check and make sure.

Along the bottom of the window, you will see the button for a preview. Press it to see your original image. However, on the left, you will see a rectangle with a grey dot in it. If you click on it you will see the image go to solid black and white.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - mask

This shows you what your mask looks like. Pressing the letter O does the same thing if you like keyboard shortcuts. It can be hard when it is like this to really see what you have got painted and what you haven’t.

Go up the Main Menu > Masks > View Mode and finally choose Red Overlay.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - red mast overlay

The red overlay will show you where the black part of the mask is (the unaffected areas), so you can now refine your mask.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - red overlay mask

In the above image, you can see what has been selected. The areas with no red are where the skin retouching will be applied. If you have areas that should be red, change your brush to Paint Out and it will cover them.

Click the circle at the bottom to change back to the image, or press O to show it.

The skin retouching can seem very subtle, but if you toggle the layer on and off you should be able to see the changes.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - toggle layer

Final Adjustments

Now to do some final adjustments. At the bottom of the layer you can see Blemishes, Smoothing, Shine and Evenness. Move all the sliders to the left.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - sliders at the bottom

Slowly move each slider up and see how they change the image. Take them all the way to the right to see how bad would be if you go too far, then bring them back to where you want.

The one you have to be really careful about is the Smoothing slider. You can make the skin look like plastic very easily. You can see what was done for this image in the following example.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - sliders adjusted

The next step is to again turn the layer off and on to see the results and whether you think it has improved the image.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - skin retouching before and after

Magic Eye Fixer

The Magic Eye Fixer is great to help whiten the white parts of the eyes. It can make the subject’s eyes seem a lot brighter. However, this one needs to also come with a warning, it is very easy to take it too far and make the eyes look ridiculous.

To use this tool, go to the Local Adjustments tab and then select Add Layer.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - new layer

In the new layer window, you will see options like Lighten, Darken, Vibrance, and Detail across the top (just below the Opacity slider). Then there is a square with a down-arrow that says More underneath. Click on it and a drop down menu will appear.

Look down the list and you will see Magic Eye Fixer. Click on that.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - magic eye fixer

Once you have clicked on it you will see some of the adjustments change automatically. The brush tool will also be automatically selected. Paint over the eyes.


Obviously with the automatic changes that ON1 Photo RAW makes for the adjustments are too much. You may also find it too hard to paint exactly over the eyes. Don’t forget you can change the brush to Paint Out to deselect the areas you don’t want if you mess up.

Enlarge the image view so you can get a better look at what you are doing; make sure you are only changing the parts you want to affect. You can also press O to check the mask as well.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - masked eyes

You can see that the adjustment is too much. Now you can change the exposure slider to make it look more natural. You can also use the Opacity slider at the top of the layers panel. That will also help you tone down how much the layer affects the image.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - eye settings

You can toggle the layer off and on to see if you like the effect or want to make further adjustments. Just remember not to go too far.

Healing the Skin

You could leave the image here, but there are other things you can do to make the skin look even better.

In the left-side panel, there is a brush called the Retouch Brush. This is a good one to use to help remove unwanted skin blemishes. It softens them, without removing them completely.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - retouch brush

Paint this Retouch Brush over the areas where you would like to remove imperfections. For this image, we will use it for the bags under the eyes, the scar on the forehead and the one over the right eye. It will also work well for the acne marks on the chin.

The brush is feathered and the opacity has been changed to around 50%.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - after retouch brush

After the Retouch Brush

It is a great tool, but as with all things, you can go too far. Sometimes it is good to leave the image for a day or two, then go back and take another look. It gives you a better perspective.

Whitening Teeth – Toothbrush

You will find that many people like to have their teeth appear whiter in photos. We aren’t all blessed with brilliant white teeth and now you can help them achieve that. ON1 has included an adjustment that will help you do the job very easily.

So still in the Effects Module, go to Add Layer. As you did for the Magic Eye Fixer, click More and select Toothbrush this time.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - toothbrush

You will see a new layer open up with many adjustments already made, so it is ready for you to go.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - preset adjusments

Do much the same as you did for the eyes. Click on the mask and then the brush will come up. Paint over the teeth. It may be easier to do them one at a time. If you go outside the teeth click on the brush to Paint Out and go over the areas you don’t want affected.

The teeth should be very white.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - overly white teeth

Obviously, it looks terrible like this so you will need to make further adjustments to get the right look.

You can change the opacity of the layer, or turn down the exposure slider so the effect isn’t so bright. For this image, I changed the exposure because there was something else I wanted to do.

These images are of my daughter, who has never thought looking after her teeth were worth worrying about. So, I wanted to get rid of the yellow staining. The best way to do that was to lower the saturation so the teeth appeared whiter. Move the Saturation slider to the left until you get the result you are happy with.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - teeth whitening

Now we can compare the final image by turning the layer on and off. You do that by clicking the Yellow dot in the top left corner of the layer panel you are working in.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - layer off

Layer off.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - resulting image

Layer on, final result.

The image could be left there, but I decided that her face and hair could do with some brightening overall. So I choose a new layer, and did a mask with her face, that included her hair. The exposure was brought up slightly and so was the White balance to make the image warmer.

Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - lighten the image

Looks much better now. She even likes it as well.


ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has everything you need to do the most amazing portrait processing. You can give people skin that is attractive or remove unwanted hues that the camera adds. Everyone wants to look beautiful in photos and now you can help them look the way they see themselves.

The people at ON1 have created an amazing community for all their users and there are many other videos to help go to the next level. Don’t forget to check all of them out and see what else you can do with your portraits.

Disclaimer: ON1 is a paid partner of dPS.

The post Tips for Portrait Processing with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5

For many students, as they start learning photography they want to know how to take photos at night. It is a mystery to them and they often think it is so complicated that they will never be able to do it. That is until they try it and discover just how easy it is. The next step is editing those images and ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has a lot of tools and adjustments that are perfect for processing night photography.

HDR architecture image - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

An image created using the HDR option in On1 Photo RAW 2018.

Night photography options

First, we should take a look at the different types of night photography that you can do. There is the easiest option of setting your camera up on a tripod and photographing lights somewhere.

The city at night is very popular if you live in an urban area. Perhaps capturing town lights can also be good. You just need something that is making light. HDR has had a lot of bad press, but it really is good for some images, and night shots of cities are perfect for it. ON1 Photo RAW’s HDR processing is one of the best I’ve seen.

When the sun has gone down and there is a lot of traffic you can photograph light trails. Taking longer exposures with your camera on a tripod will make all those lights look like streaks. If you want to make it look like there were a lot, then you can stack the images together, so all the streaks will show in one final image.

One type of night shot that is hugely popular right now, especially in Australia, is astrophotography. Photographing the Milky Way. It is the season for it here and with the low population, you are spoilt for choice where to do them. If you have ever tried doing any astrophotography then you will also be aware that your images have to be processed or they can look at washed out. ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 has you covered there as well.

Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - astrophotography milky way image

An astrophotography image processed with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5

Photographing the City

Night time in the city can be so magical and to be taking photos of it even more so. Processing your images taken at night is much the same as processing any of your images.

Open your image in ON1 Photo RAW and take it into the Develop module. Make the adjustments as you would for other images. Move the sliders around to see what you can get. Take them too far and then bring them back.

sliders in ON1 Photo RAW - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

When learning it is good to take the sliders too far, see what happens.

If you want to make adjustments to particular areas, then look at local adjustments which is the best place to do that.

However, what if you want to do something to your image to really make it pop?

HDR photography, or High Dynamic Range, can be perfect for this. It is a process that has copped a lot of criticism over the years. People say it is too much, that the images can be ugly. But that really only happens when you don’t use it for the right images, or overdo it.

There are some scenes and images that are perfect for HDR and night photography is one of those times.

HDR Night Photography

When you are to decide which images would work best for HDR, look for ones that have a lot of dark areas, and a lot of bright parts as well. Usually, your camera will struggle with getting an even image of a high contrast scene. It will either make the image too bright or too dark. Night images have those problems. Once you get the lights exposed right, all the shadows become too dark or black.

The best way to do HDR is to take a series of images or bracketed shots. If your camera will allow you to bracket then it will sort out the exposures you need. The most common number of shots is 3 or 5. For this article, five images were taken.

Next, select all of your bracketed images inside the ON1 Photo RAW browse module. You can do that by clicking the first then pressing the shift key followed by clicking on the last image. If you have put the images into a subfolder you can then just use Ctrl/Cmd+A.

Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - bracketed set of images

Work out which images you want to use.

Once they are selected you should be able to see the HDR button over on the right-hand side of your screen, underneath all the different modes.

select images and HDR button - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Select all your images.

ON1 Photo RAW will then merge all your images together. The first time you do it, a window will pop up asking you what look you would like. The options include Natural, Natural Auto, Surreal and Surreal Auto. You can make the changes once the image has been merged to HDR. There are lots of choices with ON1.

Let’s take a look around the HDR working window

Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018 - HDR looks

Selecting your HDR look in ON1 Photo RAW.

There are several places where you can set the amount of de-ghosting (remove spots where something moved between brackets) you want the program to do. You can change the HDR look you wanted if you think you made a mistake. You can select which image you think should be the main one.

Go through and change the image to suit the look you are after. I know I say this a lot, but the best way to learn is to play around with the settings.

HDR options - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

All the different things you can do to your image.

Like most images, you need to experiment to see what you like. Remember that ON1 is non-destructive so you won’t ruin anything. Try everything, it is the best way to learn. Take it all too far and then bring it back.

Lastly, choose where you want your image to go when you are done. You can have it open in Develop, Effects or go back to Browse. The last choice is Cancel. If you want to save it then click Save.

Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Taking the image further.

Once the image is opened in the Develop module, you can then make more adjustments to as you would normally.

Develop module - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Where to go next.

ON1 Photo RAW is one of the best programs for doing HDR. You can make so many changes to it as it is happening and after it is done. Nothing is final.

final HDR - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

The final HDR image.


For anyone who has ever done astrophotography, you know that the images always need to be processed.

Here is an image that was taken a couple of years ago. This is the raw file and you can see that it needs a lot of work.

night image Milky Way and lighthouse - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Raw image from astrophotography shoot.

Open the image up in ON1 Photo RAW and go to the Develop module. Everything you need to make the best astrophotography images is all right there.

develop - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Open in the Develop module.

Noise reduction

The first thing you want to do is to work on the noise in the image. All astrophotography images have a great deal of noise. You have to increase your ISO quite high in order to get the Milky Way in your image. Usually, it is going to be somewhere between ISO 3200 up to 6400.

The image for this article was taken at f/2.8, for 30 seconds at ISO 6400. It was taken at 14mm using a 14-24mm lens.

In the Develop module go to Details. This is where you can help reduce the noise in your image. Click on the image to zoom in so you can see the noise better.

noise and details section of develop - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

The first thing to do is to fix the noise in the image.

Under Noise Reduction, you will see a Luminance slider. Move that along until the noise almost disappears. Be careful not to go too far or you might lose all the stars (noise is just white specs so the stars can easily be misinterpreted as noise if you go too far).

This slider smooths out the image and you can lose a lot of detail if you go too far. Bring up the Detail slider to help maintain it. It is about experimenting and seeing what you like as well.

You can also bring up the Sharpening amount as well but be careful. Over sharpened images can look terrible. Go easy with this slider.

noise adjustments - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

You can see how much was changed.

Tone & Color

It is time to go back to Tone & Color and make more adjustments.

tone and color - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Take the image back to Tone & Color to make basic changes.

The main things you want to add back into your image are the blacks and lots of contrast. The added contrast will help the stars stand out more from the dark sky. The blacks will allow the darker parts of the sky to appear as you saw them when you shot the image.

The highlights can be brought down to stop the lighthouse from blowing out too much. If you take the shadows down it helps make the darker parts of the sky richer as well. However, be aware that it can also make other parts of the image go black, like the foliage at the bottom of this image.

The whites were brought up a fraction, as this helped to lighten up the Milky Way and make it jump out more.

slider adjustments - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Some of the changes that were made in Tone and Color.

Color Adjustments

Most of the changes are made to the image now, but if you look closely there is quite a bit of blue in it. It shouldn’t be there and to remove it you need to go to Show More and then Color Adjustments.

color cast - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Taking out the blue cast color in the stars.

A new window for this will open up down below the other adjustment windows.

As it is the blue you want to change, click on that color square. Once it is selected you can move the saturation slider until the blue in the image disappears or is to your liking.

reducing blue saturation - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Changing the saturation of the blue.

You can try adding presets to your image as well, though most people with astrophotography just do the basics and leave it there.

You will need to play around with your photos to see what you can do and what is to your tastes. These are just suggestions as to what other photographers do. Experiment, take the sliders too far and then bring them back.

This is the final image.

final image of lighthouse - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

The final image of the Milky Way over the top of the lighthouse.

Light Trails

In cities, or anywhere there is a lot of traffic, you will see photographers trying to capture the trails of the lights as the cars go past. For most places, the best time to capture this is during peak hour when a lot of vehicles are moving. However, it also needs to be dark.

Unfortunately, there are times of the year where it is impossible to get both at the same time. For instance, in Australia during the summer daylight saving means it doesn’t get dark until after 8 pm. Getting good light trails is reduced because there isn’t enough traffic at that hour.

However, there is a way to make it look like there was more traffic, that is to stack your images. You can also do this for star trails too.

Stacking light trails

Work out which image will be the first one. Take it the Develop module in ON1 Photo RAW and do what you want to process it normally first.

But do not straighten it or do any lens correction on the image. If you do then the other images won’t align up properly, you can do all that after.

original image for light trails - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

The first image used for the light trails.

Once you have your image ready, go to the Layers module.

layers - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Take the image to the Layers mode.

Next, add all the other photos that will make up the final image. The best way to do this is to put all the images into a subfolder. Select the images you want to use, then right-click and go to Add Subfolder.

add subfolder - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Putting your images into a subfolder.

A window will pop up once you click Add Subfolder. You can name it as you want, or ON1 will name the folder the same as the filename for the first image. Make sure the box is ticked for Move Selected Items into Subfolder.

add subfolder - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Creating the subfolder.

Now you are ready to add all those images as layers to the original photo.

Get your image to the Layers module which is where you will add the images for your light trails. Go up to File in the main menu at the top. Select Add Layer(s) from File.

add images from file - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Now it is time to add the layers.

A window will pop up where you can go to the subfolder that you put the images into. Select all the images, Ctrl/Cmd+A, then press Open.

select images - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Selecting all the images you want to use.

ON1 Photo RAW will ask you if you want to open them all, say yes. Depending on how many images you are trying to do it can take some time for this to happen. The images used for this demonstration are quite large and took a few minutes.

images added as layers - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

All the images are added.

Next, you need to blend each layer. You want the lights to shine through from each but not everything else. For each layer, go up to the blending pull-down and select Lighten.

blending options - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Blending all the layers with Lighten.

You can now save the image and then you can do more processing if you wish. If the image needs straightening, lens corrections, etc., you can do it in the Develop module.

light trails image - Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018

The final image.

Star Trails

If you enjoy doing star trails then you will be able to use this same method for processing and stacking those images using ON1 Photo RAW. Just add them all as layers and use the Blending option Lighten.


There are many things you can do with your night photos in ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5. With things developing constantly you will be able to do more and more with time. The HDR feature is one of the best I’ve seen and I’m sure most of you will enjoy that.

With all software, experimenting is the key. Take what you learn and see what else you can do with it.

Disclaimer: ON1 is a dPS paid partner.

The post Tips for Processing Night Photography with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Time-Lapse Photography – Beyond the Basics

Time-lapse photography is a different way to show the world around you. They are videos which are made up of a serious of still images and combined to look like a movie. The frame-by-frame gives a sped-up view of the world. People find them interesting to look at and if done well they are fascinating.

Time-Lapse Photography – Beyond the Basics - sunset and lighthouse

One of the hundreds of photos taken at Point Lonsdale while trying to get a time-lapse there.

There are a few ways of making time-lapse videos The obvious way is to do a video and speed it up, however, most are made from lots of individual still images. Using special programs, you can put them together and set the time for the video to run.

In this article, I’ll share my experiences with you testing out some time-lapse gear and settings so you can learn along with me.

Basic Time-lapse

Doing time-lapse photography is relatively simple. All you really need to do is set your camera up on a tripod and get it to take a photo every few seconds. Put the images on your computer, batch process them if you like, then run some software that will allow you to make them into a time-lapse. Here is an example.

That is a very simplified way of looking at it. Of course, there are many other factors, like what is moving in the scene, how quickly it is moving, etc.

As you experiment more you will learn how to work out what time is best and how many images you need. On average, you will need 30 images for every second of video you want. So if you want a one minute video you will need 30 x 60 = 1800 images.

Adding panning to your time-lapse

Over the years I’ve played around with doing time-lapses, such as I just described. It didn’t seem hard and I thought that adding some new equipment would be fine, That it would just work. I was wrong.

Recently I was loaned quite a few products from Syrp here in Australia to try out. It seemed like the ideal time to step up what I was doing with these. Perhaps get more serious about doing time-lapse photography.

I was loaned enough gear to do panning, tilting, and sliding. In the kit were two Syrp Genie Minis, the tilt bracket, the Genie and the magic carpet rails.

Time-Lapse Photography – Beyond the Basics

Photo by Syrp showing a kit with the magic carpet rails, Genie, and tilt bracket.

Initially I decided to try just the Genie mini. Start with the easy one.

Time-Lapse Photography – Beyond the Basics

One of the stills from the first attempted time-lapse.

Syrp Genie Mini – first attempt

My first attempt was at the Tesselaar Kabloom Flower Festival. There were fields of flowers and lots of clouds, the conditions were perfect time-lapse photography. For a successful time-lapse it is best if there is something moving in the image.

I moved around a bit to various places, but the very first series I shot had to be deleted. The exposure was okay, but none of the images were in focus. It was my first big lesson with doing them this way. I learned that you have to focus the image and then turn off autofocus, otherwise, the camera will attempt to refocus for each image.

The Genie and Genie Minis are all controlled by an app on your phone. It is fairly simple to use, but the arcs for shooting can be confusing.

Next, I worked out how panning worked and wide it should be. Several different arcs were attempted and when I got home and loaded the photos, the problems were clear to see.

The first one was okay, but that was probably more luck than skill. I didn’t really know what I was doing and just let it go for ages, with the camera taking a photo every two seconds. There were around 450 images total.

For the next few, I told the Genie Mini to run for 6 minutes, and for the camera to shoot an image every two seconds. This time it took 360 images. The area it was panning over was increased. When converted to the time-lapse it was jerky and the panning was too fast.

Solutions, if you are going to do a wide pan, you need to take a lot more photos than you think you will need.

flower garden - time-lapse photography

Another one of the stills from the flower center.

Next attempt

I went down to a local area to try it out again, this time giving it more time. Unfortunately, I made a similar mistake.

As I was setting up, I had it in my head to do an image every 5 seconds and to set the pan to last for 20 minutes. This only gave me around 240 images for the video. It wasn’t enough, and the same problem occurred. Next time if I only want to do 20 minutes I should take a photo every two seconds. That will yield 600 images, which should make it a better time-lapse. That is what will be attempted next time.

A couple of other problems happened as well. While panning, the camera was not level for the whole scene. So, I need to work out how to make that happen. Practice will make it easier.

All the tutorials I’ve been watching say to use manual mode for exposure. However, this really only works for constant light. If you are shooting a scene where it is variable, then you may need to use aperture priority.

Working it out

There did come a point when I realized the smaller the arc the better. Not covering such a wide area was better. Making sure there was something interesting in the image as well, something moving.

The number of images and how far apart they are shot is another aspect that can be hard to work out. Taking a photo every 2 or 5 seconds is good for some scenes, but not others. However, it is a good place to start and as you do more time-lapse photography you will begin to understand what settings you need.

Most time-lapse series will result in a video of around 5-10 seconds. When you are compiling it, you need to think about how many images you will need.

As a general rule most are done with 30 frames per second, or 30 images per second. In theory then, for a 5-second time-lapse you will need 150 images. However, if you are adding panning to that, then it will depend on how far you pan. If you are covering a really wide area you might need a lot more images.

time-lapse scene at sunset

You have to make sure there is something interesting in the scene, and that there is movement.

Adding Tilting

Once you think you have worked out how to pan you can try tilting the image up and down as well as panning. I only tried this a couple of times, as the biggest problem I had was my camera is very heavy and the tilt bracket struggled with it. You could see that it was too much weight for the system.

I found that using the Genie Mini with it was a bit tricky and it would tilt the wrong way. The lens would hit the bracket if it went the wrong way. It was the most frustrating aspect.

Again, you have to be careful what you use this for. There needs to be a reason to tilt up or down. Waterfalls are a good choice for tilting. Maybe looking up at a building. Think about why you would do this beforehand.

Gliding along the Magic Carpet with the Genie

The magic carpet rails with the Genie on top will glide the camera along in a straight line. It can add a small amount of movement to your video to make it appear like the camera is moving.

The Genie was very complicated to use and after doing so once, I really didn’t want to use it again. It wasn’t as easy and intuitive to use as the Genie mini. I had been shown how to use it, but when I went to do it myself, I had trouble working it out. In the end, I only used it once.

It does add a nice effect to the final time-lapse, but I’m not sure it is worth the aggravation. Perhaps, if you really wanted to get into doing time-lapse photography seriously it would be worth spending the time learning how to get the best results.

However, Syrp have now upgraded it to the Genie II. It is supposed to be easier to use and can do a lot more. Though at $1599 USD, the price will put it out of the range of many photographers, myself included.

Syrp gear

For most of the time that I had the gear on loan, I used the Genie Mini the most. It was small enough that I could carry it around in my bag most of the time and it was easier to use. Using the phone to control it was never a problem.

It is something that will take a lot of getting used to, but for anyone starting out doing time-lapse photography it would be enough. The Genie Mini is what I would recommend. It isn’t cheap, for what it is, but not that expensive that if you really wanted to do time-lapse. The Syrp Genie Mini sells for USD$249.

In the end, by the time I had to give the gear back, I knew I wanted to do more time-lapse photography. So I have since purchased the Genie Mini. I like what I can do with it, it’s simpler to use and the price-point is doable for most people.

Storage and processing the time-lapse

Everyone recommends you take raw images for your time-lapse series, that way you can process them in Lightroom. The biggest problem is the size of the raw files. My D850 has raw files that are approximately 50MB each, so when you are taking a few hundred images, that requires a lot of space.

Thankfully, the D850 has the ability to change the size of the raw files, so I can use smaller ones for time-lapse. If your camera has this feature, then I suggest you do so. Once the images are processed and the time-lapse is done, you can delete the raw files as you will be unlikely to use them again.

time-lapse still Princes Pier

Princes Pier is a popular place for photos, so it seemed like a good idea to try a time-lapse. This is one of the still images from the series.

Using Lightroom to process the images is good as you can edit one image, then sync the rest of them. This will help give all your images the same look. You can then export them to make the time-lapse.

I used Photoshop to build the time-lapse. However, there are many different programs available to try. Some will give you more control, however, Photoshop is quite basic. It’s a good place to start.

If you have trouble getting Photoshop to work it could be the sequence of images you are using. They have to be consistent, or Photoshop won’t load the images properly.

Getting into time-lapse photography

If this is something you want to try, then start with your camera on a tripod. Take photos every few seconds.

However, if you want to get some camera movement, then I would try the Syrp Genie Mini. Learn how to use it completely to get the best videos. If you decide to add more then you can look at doing tilting and gliding. Don’t confuse yourself by trying to learn it all at once.

Read more on time-lapse photography here:

The post Time-Lapse Photography – Beyond the Basics appeared first on Digital Photography School.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 – A Beginner’s Guide

When people start photography, or even after they have been doing it for a while, they find a time when they want to start learning how to do some processing on their computer. Then they are faced with a heap of options. There are so many choices and trying to work out which one to choose can be hard. One option that is becoming very popular is ON1 Photo Raw 2018.

You can buy the software outright, so you don’t need to worry about any monthly subscription costs like others are offering. It is easy to learn and you will find that ON1 can likely do everything you need to do. One of the best aspects is the community of photographers around the program as well.

On1 Photo RAW 2018 - A Beginner’s Guide - textured image

Having fun with layers and the textures.

Here is a beginner’s guide to help you find your way through ON1 Photo RAW 2018 and give you the confidence to start working on your photos. You can download the program from their website.

There is a 30-day free trial available to see if you like it before buying, which of course you will. You can also just pay for it which isn’t very expensive either. Finally, if you do purchase it you will have the peace of mind knowing it is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

Browse Module

This is where you start when you open the program. Here you can find all your folders that contain your images. This is where you should start exploring what is possible inside ON1 Photo RAW. You can’t break anything and it is good to see what is available.

Hover over all the menu items along the top of the main window. You will see File, Edit, Album, etc., each of those has different options. While you may not use many of them at first, it is always good to know what is there. It will help you understand what is available and if you watch the many ON1 videos you will understand what they are saying and how easy it is to learn.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

In the Browse module. Hover along the top to see what is in each of the menus.

On1 Photo RAW 2018 - A Beginner’s Guide - photo of a marina

An image with only basic adjustments made to it using ON1 Photo RAW 2018.

The most important thing to do is to find where your photos are located. Then click on Browse and look below. You may have to go searching, but just use the same process that you would if you were looking for them on your computer.

Again, it’s simple. Just point Browse to where your photos are located for them to appear. You don’t have to import photos to start working. You can add folders, subfolders, albums and smart albums (collections) so that they are easier to find in the future as well.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

In Browse, you can see all your folders and subfolders.

Now it is time to pick a photo. Once you have one selected, double-click on it, press Enter, or you can just go to the side panel on the right, go to Develop, and your image will open there. Watch the short video below on the Browse module.


In this module, you can start to make changes to your images. This is where you can begin the process of creating the image that you had in your head when you took it. This is also where the first steps in raw processing will occur if you are shooting raw files.

Overall Settings

In Develop you can make many of the most common adjustments. Most images need something, whether that is changing the exposure, or perhaps bringing out the shadows, and you can do it all in the Develop module. If you’re just starting out with editing, the Tone and Color Mode is a good place to begin. From there you can make many adjustments to your image that will help make it look a lot better.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Overall Settings is where you can make most of the adjustments you will need to do.

You should play with all the sliders to see what they each can do. Don’t worry about going too far, nothing is fixed, and you can undo everything. In the photography industry, we call that non-destructive editing. You aren’t doing anything to your image that is permanent.

When using the sliders you don’t have to click on the actual pointer, just click anywhere you want and the pointer will catch up to you. You can slide along underneath it as well.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

You will make the changes by using the sliders in the appropriate panels.

Go to the Extremes

Another reason for going too far is that it can help you work out where you need to be with your image. Take the slider to the max, and then you bring it back to where you think it should be. As you do this, you will start to understand what each slider is for and how you can use it. Don’t forget to try it in both directions.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Take the sliders to the extreme, see how far you can go. Don’t forget to bring them back.

Resetting or Undoing

If you want to go back to where you were at the start simply go to the top of the section (where the heading is) for example, Tone and Color. On the right, you will see a half-circle with an arrow. Click on that and everything will be reset.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

Press the icon in the top right of the adjustments window to reset everything you have done.

For individual sliders, if you would like to reset just one, double-click on the name of the slider.

You can see in this section you can also change the white balance, vibrancy, and saturation. You can add structure to the image, though this should always be applied with caution. Many people think it will help sharpen their image, but if the image is not sharp already structure will not do that. What it does do, is give your sharp lines more definition.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

This is the section where you can change the color aspects of your images, like White Balance.

There are a couple of other settings used for portraits. If you are doing photos with people you should try them out and see how they work with your images.

Lens Corrections

Most lenses affect your images and it is in the Lens Correction area of ON1 Photo RAW that you can correct that. Most of the time the software can detect your lens is, but if you use an unusual lens then you may have to add its profile or tell the program which lens was used. You don’t have to do this, but if you are using a wide-angle lens then it can be good to apply this setting.

Lens Correction is where you can fix the distortion that your lens can cause.


The Details section is where you can reduce noise in your photos and do some sharpening. Both need to be used with caution. Overdoing it can cause unwanted halos and give your images a weird harsh texture.

As with the other sections, you should play around with all the sliders to see what they each do. Some will seem to make a difference, while others will look like they’ve done nothing. To really see what they do try enlarging the image to 100 or 200 percent. Some of them only work on individual pixels.

Details is the area where you can sharpen your image and reduce the noise in it.

Along the top of Details, you can see a default, low, high, and other options. These are like presets that you can use, or you can set your own and save it.

On1 Photo RAW 2018 - A Beginner’s Guide - pink flower

Using Detail to help reduce noise and sharpen the image.

Show More

Under Overall Settings, you will see a button that says Show More, click it. More adjustments will then be shown. If you select one a new window will appear under the others. Scroll down so you can make the necessary changes. Like many of the other settings try them all to see what you can do.

Under Overall Settings, you will see Show More. You will be given more options for adjustments to your image.

Local Adjustments

If you would like to make adjustments to particular areas of your image only, then this is the place for you to do so. Local Adjustments allows you to target parts of your images as opposed to global edits that apply to the entire image.

Local Adjustments is next to the Overall Settings tab.

If you decide that you want to make a certain part of the image darker or lighter (or add vibrance or detail) then choose Add Layer and a brush will come up. The brush has feathering which you can change to suit your image. The solid circle in the middle is how big the solid part will be and the dotted line around the outside is how far the feathering will go. To change that you can do it along the top, click on Feather, and move left or right to change the size.

The brush comes with feathering and it is good to know how to adjust it.

Along the top is where you change the brush settings.

Choose a setting that will make a big a difference for your image, like lighten or darken. Brush it over the area you want to change, this is how to make your selection. This is a good way to figure out and select the area that you want to edit or adjust.

In Local Adjustments, you can make the selection of the part of the image you want to work on.

Once you have the area you want to adjust selected, you can change the settings however you want. Undo the lighten or darken, go to the adjustments in that window and make the changes you really want. You can add as many layers as you want to make lots of changes to different parts of your image.

Experiment with this. Have a go at all of them to see how they work. It is a good way to learn what is possible. When you are done testing, you can delete any unwanted layers. Click the cross in the top right corner of each one.

Tools in the Develop Module

On the left side of the program, there are some tools. Some of them you can use straight away, other tools you can only use within the Local Adjustments tab.

Straightening Your Image

One of the questions that I get asked the most is “Why are all my images crooked?” It is such a common problem and something everyone does. Part of my answer is that it is so common, that most editing software has very easy ways to correct it. ON1 Photo Raw is no different.

The first tool in the left-side panel is the Crop Tool. Click on it and then look at the top panel across the image where you will see a small level. Click on that.

To make your image level you need to click on the crop tool first, and then look for the level icon along the top.

Pick a straight line to use in your image, like the horizon, or a tall building. Click on one end of your straight line, then hold and drag down to the other end. Keep the line along the straight edge and then click at the other end. You will see the image straighten, then just press enter to apply and crop it. The image should now be level.

Click along a straight line to make the image level.

Sometimes it can take a few times to do this, so if it doesn’t look level then just undo and repeat.

The image is now level or straightened.

On1 Photo RAW 2018 - A Beginner’s Guide

Making an image straight and level.

Removing things from your image

It is in the section, that you will find the tools you need to remove unwanted items from your images. The Healing Brush, the Eraser, and the Clone Stamp are all here. Again, you should play around with them to see how they each work and the effect they will have.

The tools you will use to remove unwanted things in your images.

Use Ctrl/Cmd+Z to undo what you have done.

The first two options, Erase and Heal are like brushes so you can apply them to the items you want to remove.

The third one is called Fix, but you need to take a sample of the image to copy over the unwanted thing. You can do this by looking for an area that can be copied and then apply Fix to that area. Once you have selected the area press Alt or Option and a circle with a cross will appear, click on that area. Now you can release the Alt or Option key and then click on what you want to get rid of.

Using those tools to remove a duck from this image.

It might take a few attempts, so don’t be discouraged. Just make sure that what you are replacing the area with something that will match.


There are a number of presets that you can apply to your image. These are great when you first start as they can really show you what is possible with the program. You can add a preset, but each time you add a new one it will cancel out the previous one. If you want to stack presets on top of each other, simply right-click on the preset thumbnail preview, and choose Insert Preset.

On the right-side, you will see a number of new windows appear with all the adjustments that were made to help get that effect. If you study them you will start to understand how ON1 Photo RAW works and what you can apply to your own images.

ON1 Photo RAW comes with a series of presets.

As all the adjustments are there from the preset, you can also make your own changes to fine-tune the preset to your liking You might find parts of it are not exactly how you would like them.

On1 Photo RAW 2018 - A Beginner’s Guide

The preset Firenza was added to this image.

When you go to Develop you can see all the presets on the left. Click on the different folders and quite a few of them will come up. You can see them applied to your image in small preview versions.

There are many different presets that you can use. You can see a small version (thumbnail) of each as a preview of how it will look applied to your image.

However, if you would like to see them a lot bigger then all you need to do is click the square in the top right corner of the window with the presets. It has four small squares inside a larger one.

Click on the four dots in the upper left corner to get bigger previews of the presets.

This will give a grid view and you can see how each one will look applied to your image. This is a much easier way to plan and choose which one to use.

The larger previews.

If you would like to see even bigger versions then simply click Ctrl or Cmd and the plus key. You can really see how the preset will look on your image. To exit, press Escape or the arrow in the top left corner.

Applying the preset to your image.

Moving on to Effects

One of the first things you will notice in the Effects Module is that there are more tools available. There are brushes and gradients that have masks attached to them. The mask will make it easier to make changes and corrections later on if you decide you don’t like them. Masks are good to use, but you do need to get used to them. It takes a bit of practice.

When you go to the Effects Mode you get a lot more tools to start using. Many come with masks.

Presets and Filters

Over where the presets were in the Develop mode, you will now find a series of Filters that can be applied to your image. As you did with the previous module, you can click on one, then the four preview thumbnails of the filters for that set on your image.

In Effects, you also get to use special filters to apply to your images.

You can also select the filters on the right under Overall Settings. If you know which one you want to choose then you can just select it there. When you do make the selection you will see that a new window will open up. In there you can adjust the filter as you want it. You can change the opacity, along with other settings that are used to make the filter. You don’t have to accept everything the filter gives you, feel free to tweak the options to your liking.

Click on the four dots again to get larger previews.

Over on the right under Overall Settings and Local Adjustments, there is a button called Add Filter, click it to see a list of the ones available.

Once again, you should try them all and see how they work. Try adding several filters to the same image. If you don’t like it you can press Ctrl/Cmd+Z to remove it. Otherwise, click the cross in the top right corner.

For each filter there are windows where you can make adjustments to the filters you have applied.

Working with Layers

Layers can be scary, but once you know what they are and how to use them you will see a lot more opportunities open up for your image.

The Layers Module has a lot more tools and adjustments you can use. Plus it also gives you the added bonus of being able to apply other images and work with layers.

You can change the sky if you aren’t happy with what is there in your shot. ON1 makes this very easy with the masking brush. You can make it so that you only mask particular colors, for example, so you can remove just that one and show the image that is below.

To replace your sky or to add textures you have to be able to work with layers and learn about blending them. It can be very hard to grasp at the beginning, but if you keep experimenting you will figure it out.

Here you can see the effect of several textures added and blended to completely change the look of the image.

Resizing Images

This is where you can resize your images depending on what you are going to do with them. For most of us, that is probably going to mean doing images for Social Media. However, there are a lot of other options available so you can prepare your images for printing or whatever you need.

If you want big prints, Resize uses Genuine Fractals® technology to enlarge your images.

Resize is where you can get your image ready for social media or printing.

The ON1 RAW Community

If you really want to go to this level then consider watching the many videos available on their YouTube channel or on their website under product training. ON1 also has a great community (called ON1 Plus Pro, which is $149 annually, regular price) and always includes the latest edition of ON1 Photo RAW as a perpetual license. Or you can buy the lower priced standard membership, ON1 Plus, for just $49.99 per year without the upgrade to the next version of ON1 Photo RAW. ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is available for $119.99 for new customers and an upgrade price of $99.99 for previous owners.

The entire community is always happy to help you learn. The membership also includes different coaches, themes, and topics each month to teach to the Plus community. Some of the names coming to ON1 Plus this year include Matt Kloskowski, Tamara Lackey, Don Komarechka, Colin Smith, Hudson Henry, Colby Brown, James Brandon, Jim Welninski, and Dan Harlacher the Product Director.

You will find many videos that take you through the more complicated parts of the program step by step. Dan has a great voice and is a great instructor. They are all really good.

Editing Your Photos

Whether you are a beginner or more advanced user, ON1 Photo RAW will have what you need. It isn’t a hard program to learn, especially with all the added support that ON1 offers. If you are a very beginner then it is the perfect place to start and grow into.

Disclaimer: ON1 is a dPS advertising partner.

The post ON1 Photo RAW 2018 – A Beginner’s Guide appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography

One of the questions that a lot of photographers ask, is how much I should charge for my images? It is very hard to do, and hence a lot of artists struggle with it. There is so much more involved, and many don’t quite understand. So, how do you go about pricing your photography?

How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography

Flinders Street Station, this image took me about 3 years to get and I spent hours processing it. Hence it would have a high price on it.

Learn from the masters

There is a great story about Pablo Picasso, the famous artist. It goes like this.

Picasso was sitting in a Paris Café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin – but not before asking a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked and asked, “How can you ask for so much? It only took you a minute to draw this.” Picasso replied, “No, it took me 40 years.”

Whether this story is true or not is hard to know for sure, but it has a very good point. Most people do not consider the experience of the artist. Along with that are many other factors, like your education, the cost of equipment, and not to mention the time you spend creating the photo.

How much to charge, as you are going to see, is a complicated question and does depend on many of those factors. They are often things that people don’t really think about. Many photographers just pluck a price out of thin air and go with it. If I’m telling the truth, I have to say I was the same. I would constantly give different prices for my images.

Now I have a system in place and it is all based on the following.

How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography - yellow flowers

I do macro for fun, so this was shot in my garden one morning and processed quickly. The price wouldn’t be high for this image.


You have to take into consideration any education you have done to learn or improve your photography. It doesn’t have to be formal education, like a university degree, but if you have paid money for it, then you need to consider the cost.

Something like a Bachelor of Fine Arts will cost you thousands of dollars. You will never recover your money if you are only charging people $20 an image, for instance. How many will you have to sell to pay off the degree at that price?

What about other short courses you may have done? Ones that are just a few weeks long, or those that are done online. You need to think about how much they cost and the time you spend doing the classes and learning to do all those new skills. There are so many online courses, from learning how to use your camera, to how to edit your photos.

dock with blurry clouds - How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography

While I enjoy this kind of photography, it isn’t part of my main body of work. Therefore, it would never be editioned as it isn’t worth as much.


If you are anything like me, you have spent a great deal of money on your photography gear. Though you also need to think about what you have bought in the past and what you have now. For instance, how many cameras have you had? How many lenses have you had over time?

Consider all your accessories as well. Think about your camera bags, tripods, filters, memory cards, camera straps, etc. These are often forgotten, but they all add up and should be considered when pricing your photography work.

purple flower - How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography

This was taken with a good macro lens and an expensive camera so those factors should be taken into consideration when pricing the image.


Every time you go out to take photos, how much time do you spend in the field? Don’t think just about the length of time it takes to take a photo. You need to think about how far you traveled to get there and back. Did you have to drive around quite a bit?

When I go out shooting I can be gone all day. I might leave early in the morning and not get back until late that night. During that time, I may have traveled over 250 miles or 400 km, and used a tank of fuel. Not to mention having to buy two to three meals. It all adds up and if you are selling your images you need to consider these things as well.

Then what happens when you get home? The images are put onto your computer and then processed. It is going to be different for everyone, but you will likely spend anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours on each image. All this time should be considered when you are pricing your photography.

You should be giving yourself an hourly rate so you can add that up at the end to add to the price. While you may have gotten several images to sell in that one trip, you can divide it up and spread it out over the series.

How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography - dark moody image

This image is a combination of two and I spent many, many hours on it. I would ask for a high price for this one.


If you plan on selling your work as limited editions, then it will be worth more as you can only sell so many. When you do a limited run of an image they must all be identical and numbered, according to where in the edition they are, for example, 1/10, or 4/10, etc.

An edition is where you decide how many of that image you will sell. The number is up to you, 10, 20 or 100, maybe more if you think the image will be in high demand. However, the more there are in the edition the lower the value will be.

You have to be very organized to edition work and keep very good records. Once the edition is sold, you cannot sell anymore. There is some debate as to whether you can rework the image so that it looks different, but that is perhaps for another article.

dark image of a city skyline - How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography -

This image would be part of my body of work and would definitely be put into an edition, perhaps with a limited run of 10.


Most know that you have to include the cost of printing. If you are selling the image you need to make sure the print is a good quality. Printing it yourself with a cheap printer and ink is never a good idea. Most of those will fade with time and you will be selling someone a print that won’t last a lifetime or more.

Make sure that wherever you get the work printed that it is archival. There is nothing worse than buying a piece of art from someone and then in 10 years it is gone because it was printed badly.

When you are preparing your work for sale, make sure you get the cost of a professional printing job and include that in the price.

- How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography - lighthouse at night

An image that was done for fun. It would still be printed well, but the price would be lower than others.

Working for free

This may seem like a good idea, it gets your foot in the door, but the reality is that it rarely works. Once people know they can get images from you for free then they will continue to expect that. When you stop, they will just go to the next person. You should always charge for your images and your work.

You should also not sell your images for next to nothing. Think about how you are harming the industry by doing so. If it were any other industry and people were selling their services or products for much less than others it would be considered wrong, or cheap would mean not good. You need to consider every aspect when pricing your photography

sunset lighthouse - - How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography -

This is a bit of a throwaway image, taken during a time-lapse with a few hundred others. Still, it would never be given away for free.

Next time

So when someone asks you how much is your image worth, think about all the things that have been mentioned here. Of course, you are not going to charge thousands, but you want to get some of what you have spent back. Each time you sell one photo you have to work out how you can start to recoup the costs you have outlaid for your photography.

Please share your thoughts, if you have anything to add, on pricing your photography tips in the comments section below.

The post How Much is an Image Worth? Tips for Pricing Your Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

A few years ago I become friends with a guy who likes dong infrared photography. It was something that I had tried when I was shooting film, but never quite figured out. My friend had converted an old camera of his and it seemed like a good idea. At the time, I had two old cameras and thought perhaps I could use one of them for infrared. However, the price was too high then.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

Port Arthur and the main Penitentiary looks a lot better in infrared.

Move forward to a few years, and after buying a second-hand camera from a friend, I found myself in the same position. I had two extra camera bodies, so why not convert one to infrared.

You can do this by putting a filter on the end of the lens, but from searching around for information, getting the camera converted specifically for infrared seemed like a better alternative.

What is infrared photography

Perhaps before going any further, it might be good to get an understanding of what infrared photography is actually all about.

Infrared photography is the capture of part of the spectrum of light that is invisible to the naked human eye. Infrared light is at the top end of the spectrum and is not visible to the eye, so to capture it with a camera some special techniques and equipment are required.

It isn’t an easy concept to understand, but once you get out there and start doing it, you will figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

Late winter at Alowyn Gardens. It never snows here, but the infrared camera makes it look like it had.

Different ways of doing infrared

As with most types of photography, there are various ways to go about it. Infrared photography is no different.

Computer conversion to infrared

You can find ways to do infrared conversions on the computer. There are processes that you can use that will help give you that infrared look, however, it is just a look and won’t be the same as doing it with filters or a dedicated camera. If you are curious, though, you could try this first before investing any extra money into it.



Alowyn Gardens again, looking again like winter and snow, or perhaps a frost.

There are filters that you can get to put on your lens that will help you to get infrared-style images. These will let the IR light through to your sensor. The advantage is that you don’t have to give up a camera body to do this. I’ve never tried them, so I can’t comment on how good they are or are not.


One thing a lot of photographers who love this kind of photography do is to get one of their cameras converted to be dedicated just for doing infrared photography. Some do this themselves, or you can take it to camera repair place to do it for you.

I took mine to a place to get the infrared conversion done. I’m always wary of playing around with the sensor. They have to remove the filter that comes with the camera and replace it with one that will let through the infrared light, and block all visible light.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

Late winter at Alowyn Gardens. It never snows here, but the infrared camera can give it that look.

Choosing which sensor filter

You do have to choose which filter you want and some places will give you many choices. Where I sent my camera there were only two options.

The first choice is the 720nm filter. This will give you close to a full infrared effect, but it will allow you to put some color into your images. The second is the 850nm which would give you very rich dark blacks and perfect if all you want to do is black and white infrared.

For me the choice was easy, I wanted to get some of that color. Not all the time, but it was important to have a choice, so I went with the 720nm filter.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography - color infrared image

The 720nm sensor filter allows you to get some color, like having a blue sky.

What to photograph in infrared

Like any type of photography, you can photograph anything with an infrared camera or one with a special filter. However, not everything will have the same effect or give you great results. You really need to experiment with it to see what will work.


Portraits can be quite weird, and the infrared light does strange things to the skin and facial features. The hair can look funny too and the lips almost disappear. I don’t know that many people would enjoy getting their portrait done this way. Perhaps for a special event or something, maybe. Who knows.

infrared portrait - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

The infrared camera gives Chris a completely different look.

Trees and nature – give your scene the look of winter

Trees are fantastic for this type of photography. All the leaves come out looking white. The more moisture the leaves have the whiter they are in the image. The gum trees in Australia don’t have quite the same effect as trees that are not indigenous to the area.

It makes photographing in rain forests pointless as everything shows up as white and doesn’t have the same effect as it does with a color image. It’s hard to see any definition between the plants.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography - b/w of trees and forest in IR

Australian natives are a little different with infrared photography.

One thing I found was that dead trees looked amazing in infrared. If you photograph them surrounded by lots of other trees, or on their own you would get a very different look. They stand out with an elegance that color photography just doesn’t give them.

When traveling around Tasmania with my infrared converted camera I was looking for dead trees everywhere.

dead trees in IR b/w - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

Dead trees on the side of the road in Tasmania.


One of the first times using the camera was in the city of Melbourne. I just walked around and took photos of the buildings and streets to see what could be captured in infrared.

The images were disappointing. Once converted to black and white they didn’t look any different than other images done with a normal camera. They did have a quality that gave them an antique look, but other than that there was no discernable differences.

b/w IR architecture - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, it looks like any black and white image, though taken with the infrared camera.

While on that same trip to Tasmania there did seem to be some buildings that were really suited  to infrared, like some old sandstone structures. Places like Port Arthur, where all of the buildings are made of stone, came out looking really good with the camera.

When visiting Port Arthur I took images with the infrared camera and the normal one. Once the photos were on the computer it seemed clear that the ones done with the special camera were by far more interesting. Many of the images were processed, some hand colored and then published on social media. The color images of the same subjects were boring in comparison.


All the images taken with the infrared camera need to be processed. You may find the sepia quality of the images quite good, but there is so much you can do to them. You can convert straight to black and white or play around with the white balance to get some color in the images.

hand colored IR image of a church - Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

A small church in Tasmania, the sky was made blue because of the filter and the stone was hand colored on the computer later.


Really, this is what photography is all about. Get out there with your camera to see what you can capture, what will work, and what doesn’t. Each subject will look different with infrared photography, but you should try every type of photography you can think of to take images and then review your results.

Right now, I’m experimenting with a red filter on the lens. The images are interesting, but I need to try it a lot more.

Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography

Cascade Brewery is an old sandstone building that came out well. In the background, you can see the snow on Mount Wellington.


While it can be an expensive exercise converting a camera to infrared, if you have an old body lying around, then you might want to consider it. You can do a lot of experimenting with it and you will likely not regret getting it done.

If you like the look of this sort of photography, then there are also other options. It is amazing how much the world can change with infrared and it is a great way to add something different to your portfolio.

The post Tips for Converting an Old Camera for Shooting Infrared Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Software Overview of the New ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1

The world of photo editing is changing and as more people are picking up cameras to take photos, it also means those same people are looking to process them. ON1 is one of the leaders in that change. They have been developing their software for a few years and pride themselves on having the only editing program that has been designed by photographers for photographers – ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1

Software Review - ON1 Photo Raw 2018.1 - sunset

A sunrise processed with ON1 Photo RAW 2018.

You may know ON1 as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. While it is still available as such, it also comes as a stand-alone product. You can purchase the program and use it on your computer without a subscription to Adobe to use the plugins. This makes it far more accessible to most people. You can also buy it outright, so there are no monthly payments and you have options to upgrade as it is updated over time. It is only available as a perpetual license.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is available for both Windows and Macs.

ON1 Community

There is a community around ON1 and if you love being a part of one then you are going to feel at home. They encourage you to tell them what you like about the software and what you don’t like. They like to listen to the ideas submitted and if they are feasible will implement them in future updates. The community can submit their feature requests through the ON1 Photo RAW Project.

There are tons of free training videos available to help you learn how to use ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1. The videos are not too long and are made so they are easy to follow.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1

A macro flower image, processed with ON1 Photo Raw 2018.

Opening up

When you open up ON1 Photo RAW you will go straight to the Browse mode. This is where you will find your photos.


When ON1 opens you are automatically taken to the Browse Mode. From here you will find the folders and files for your images on the left. In the center are the images. On the right is all the metadata information about your images. You will also see on the far right all the different modules in which you can work.

If you want to see the image on its own, just click the tab key.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1

By clicking the tab key all the windows around the image disappear so you can get a clearer view.


The Browse module is where you can view your photos and all your folders. There are four different ways of viewing your images.

  1. The first, which seems to be the default, is a set of thumbnails of which you can adjust the size.
  2. You can view just one image on its own without the distraction of the others.
  3. There is the filmstrip method, with your photo blown up and the thumbnails below.
  4. The last method is like the previous one, but you can click on more than one image using Ctrl/Cmd which allows you to compare them side by side.

While you can see all the images that are on your computer, you can also import photos from your camera, phone, or wherever they are currently stored. The Import function allows you to rename your photos, decide where they will go, and you can also opt to change the metadata at the same time.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - browse

The Browse section where you can view all your photos.


Once you have decided which image you want to work on you are ready for the Develop module.

Here you can make all your basic adjustments like exposure, highlights, and shadows. You can adjust the white balance and look at adding sharpening or noise reduction. There are quite a few options in this section.

If you go to the top of where the adjustments are located you will see a button called Show More. From there, you will see more adjustments that you can use. They appear as more panes underneath the default ones that are available when you go to Develop.

Above the Show More button are two tabs. The first is Overall settings, and the other is Local Adjustments.

The first one, Overall Settings, will make any changes to your entire image. On the other hand, Local Adjustments is there to make changes to only small sections of your image. The tools you can use to do this are on the left-side panel. There are two, an Adjustment Brush and a Gradient. With these, you can work on only parts of the image where you want the desired effect.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - develop

Working on your image in the Develop module.

Local adjustment tools

With the brush tool, you can make changes to the size of the brush, amount of feathering, opacity and other things from the menu along the top of the window.

You will also see another option there, the Perfect Brush, which allows you to make selections or correction to parts based on the color on which the cross-hairs of the brush is placed. If you keep the brush over the color or tones you want to adjust, then nothing else outside those tones will be affected. It is a great tool to use when you want to remove or replace a sky.

There are other tools in the Local Adjustments tab as well. You can crop your images here if need be. The crop tool also allows you to straighten any wonky horizons.

Retouching tools are also on that panel. These will allow you to remove sensor dust spots, which is very important. You can clone, heal and use the content-aware Perfect Eraser with them as well. There are a lot of choices.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - split toning

Adding a split tone to the image in the Develop area.


In the Effects module, you have even more adjustments, though they are referred to as filters here (some of the most popular include Dynamic Contrast, Textures, Borders, Lens Blur, Skin Retouching, etc.). You can add as many as you like and then stack them on top of each over. The effect will be applied to the whole image, however, you can add a mask so it will be more local to the areas of your image that you want to affect.

You will notice in the panel on the left that there are more tools available, including two that are very important.

There is another brush tool, along with a gradient and they both have masks attached. As soon as you start working on the image with one of them a mask is created automatically. This is valuable because it means you can fix what you are trying to do if you make a mistake. Masks are a great way to work non-destructively.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - effects

Looking at the filters and presets you can add in the Effects module.


When you get to the Layers module, you can start using the workspace which is designed to be easy and help take your photos further. It is here that you can start editing your photos. It also gives you more choices so if you want you can add layers, or start compositing. You can also do specific edits to particular layers.

One thing that is amazing in this section is replacing skies. Using the masking brush you can switch it to the Perfect Brush so you select just the sky, then reveal the image underneath. To help with the edges of the subjects you can switch to the masking refine tool, or the chisel masking one. They work really well together to help you get clearer edges.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - Layers

Working in Layers doing a sky replacement.

If you look at the menu on the left near the tool panels you will see a section called Files. From here you can add extra images if you want. It is a great place to choose a new sky or find textures to add to your image. It even comes with a collection of skies you can use on your photos.

Once you make that selection you can also blend the images or layers. There are many different blending modes. You can try them all out to see which ones will work for your image.

You do have to be prepared to take layers back into Effects or Develop to make adjustments or add filters to them to get the desired results that you are after.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - replace sky

Looking at the different options for replacing the sky and applying it.


As the name states, it is where you can resize your images, though ON1 has packed it with far more. You can crop, level, sharpen, add film grain, add gallery wrap wings for canvases, plus many more things. It is a great place to finish off your images ready for printing.

There are also a lot of resizing presets that you can use to help you get the printed results and size that you are looking for.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - resize

Resizing an image ready for posting on the web.


In Develop and Effects, you will find a series of presets you can use to enhance your image. Unlike other programs you have options with them and can adjust them to suit the purpose of your image. You can also add a mask so that it is only applied to part of the image.

If you do your own enhancements and think you will want to use the same settings again then you can also save them as a preset. You can use the filters in Effects to get the image you want, then make a preset that can then be applied to your other images. This is really good if you like all your images to have a similar look and feel.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - presets

Adding presets and layers in Effects.

ON1 Photo for Mobile

There is also an app available for your phone, so you can process your images there. The advantage of this app is that you can send your photos straight to social media. Most of us do not like images straight from the camera and like to be able to edit them in some way.

The downside to this app is that it is only available for iPhones, so if you have an Android, you can’t use it. Unfortunately, I have a Samsung (Android) phone, so, therefore, have no idea how the app works. Though I am sure it is good if it is anything like the Desktop program.

Some of the improvements that have been made

With every new version that is released, there are always new features or some of the old ones are improved. Let’s look at what you will find with the latest release of Photo Raw 2018.1.


Doing High Dynamic Range (HDR) images in ON1 is incredibly easy and the results are fantastic. Aligning the images, along with deghosting have all been improved to help you get the best image. You are now able to mark which frame you want to use to help with the deghosting process, as well as decide how much movement you get with motion instead of the program doing it for you.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - HDR

An HDR image that was done with ON1 and then processed further.


If you’ve used an older version of ON1 Photo RAW, when you go to Browse mode, you should notice how much faster it is to look through your images in this new updated version. You don’t have to wait for eons while your photos all load. As soon as the folder is open you can view the images. They have improved the catalog searching tool as well so it also loads faster.

Noise Reduction and Sharpening

You can now sharpen your images to enhance the details on a micro level that will give you better results.

With so much people doing long exposure photography, one of the major problems is hot pixels. ON1 Photo RAW 2018 now will remove them automatically, along with the ability to remove high levels of noise from your images which all make your workload easier.

Chromatic Aberrations are caused by your lens and there isn’t a lot you can do to prevent them. But ON1 has worked on improving how to get rid of them, which is now much easier in this updated version of the software.

Panoramic Images

Many people like to do panoramas and you will find that ON1 has improved this feature so it will stitch your vertical images together far better. You can stitch together over 25 images at once. You also don’t need to worry about different exposures as it will compensate for them.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - HDR

A composite of two images where the sky was replaced.

New Features

With the latest release, some features were also added.


If you choose to use the import function you can decide where those images will go on your computer. As they are importing you can also assign metadata that you think is important, like copyright information.

Soft Proofing

The ability to soft proof has been added so you can simulate what your image will look like when it is printed. It should stop the surprises that you get sometimes when an image comes back from your printer.

Batch Renaming

While a lot of people don’t worry about this, it is a great feature if you have to send a bunch of photos somewhere. The ability to select the images and then rename them all at once is a fantastic feature that has been added to ON1 Photo RAW 2018.

Edit Capture Date

This was added so if you want to change the date and time that a photo was taken you can do so. This is a good feature if you’re like me and are too lazy (or you forget) to change the time and date on your camera when you are traveling. You can now fix it with ON1 Photo RAW.

Auto Advance

When you are going through your photos picking your faves, once you have culled one image the program will automatically move to the next image. This makes moving through them much faster.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1

The final image of the cloudy sky.

More information

When you purchase ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 it also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t happy with it, no questions asked. Though if you want to try it out first you can use the full program for a free 30-day trial. It doesn’t stamp a watermark on your images making them ineligible to use, so it’s fully functional.

Software Review - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 - b/w

Converting an image to black and white.


ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 is a good alternative for you if you wish to edit your photos, but don’t want to be locked into a subscription.

It is also suitable if you want to learn about image processing as the community that surrounds ON1 is welcoming. There is a lot of help available if you are just learning. In some ways, it is perfect for beginners, but also for others who want to get the best possible images they can.

Disclaimer: ON1 is a paid partner of dPS.

The post Software Overview of the New ON1 Photo RAW 2018.1 appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Review of the Nikon D850 DSLR

The latest addition to the Nikon line up has been a highly anticipated full frame camera. While many other cameras were being updated rumors started circulating 12 months ago that the D810 would be updated. Finally, the news came that the Nikon D850 was being released. It seemed like everyone in the photography industry was looking forward to it. So much speculation – what will it have, and how will it perform?

Review of the Nikon D850 DSLR

The Nikon D850 with the 14-24mm lens.

The Hype

There was similar hype around 5 years ago when Nikon released the D800. It was almost 12 months before I was able to get one, and when the talk started on this one I knew that I would be getting one. The D800 has been an amazing camera and by far the best I’ve ever owned. But it is showing its age and doing long exposures with it was becoming harder. The logical update was always going to be the replacement for the D810.

What I needed was a camera capable of taking long exposures without the problem of dead or hot pixels. I wanted a touchscreen as others I’ve used have been fantastic. I had hoped that with Live View it would be possible to see through ND Filters without having to remove them all the time. While it wasn’t necessary, being able to transfer photos from the camera to the phone would be handy as well.

Once the camera was released and I finally got my hands on one, there was nothing to be disappointed about. It lived up to my expectations, perhaps even more. It is a complicated camera, and the phrase being used, “A game changer” is true. It does a lot and it is going to take some time to learn all that my new camera can do.

Nikon D850 cityscape

An early morning image of the city with reflections.

First impressions of the D850

For most people, it will seem like a gigantic camera. However, those that have been using the D800 or D810 will not be surprised. It is slightly bigger, but not a lot. The weight is around the same as well. Overall it looks almost the same. As you start to study the D850 you can see how some functions have changed positions. I keep pressing the mode button now to change the ISO.

Nikon D850 long exposure

Doing a long exposure on the top of a cliff with the Nikon D850.

45.7 MP Sensor

The big thing to test was going to be the massive 45.7-megapixel sensor. In most of the other Nikon cameras Sony sensors have been used, however, Nikon has developed their own for the D850. It is said to be sharp and create very crisp images. That would appear to be true so far. There is a warning about using low-quality lenses on it, which can create a lot of chromatic aberration. So far, I have noticed that.


Nikon has given the D850 a touch screen, and I am so happy. Touchscreens make navigating around the menu so much easier. You can flick through your photos very easily, or change a setting in the menu.

With the touchscreen activated, you can also focus the camera and take your photos, whether you are using a tripod or not. With the Bulb setting, you can now touch the screen to open the shutter, and then tap again to close it. This means that when you go out to take long exposures you don’t have to worry so much about a remote shutter release or intervalometer. It doesn’t have a timer or display how much time has elapsed, but there are always ways around that, like using your phone.

Nikon D850 night photography

Capturing a single light trail from a bicycle along Southbank at night.

The LCD Screen can be manipulated

Like other models, you can now manipulate the screen so you can move it to help you take photos in Live Mode, or when using the playback function. If you like taking photos close to the ground you can do that now without having to get on the ground yourself or having to guess at the composition. I’m getting too old to get down on the ground, getting back up isn’t so easy, so this function is one that I’ve been eagerly awaiting.

Nikon D850

The front of the D850, set up for a long exposure.

Using Live View for Long Exposures

One of the frustrating things about doing long exposures with the D800 was having to constantly remove the filters every time you wanted to recompose your image. They were too dark for the camera to see through. The Canon 5D Mark IV is capable of seeing through the filters in Live View, so I was really hoping the Nikon D850 would have that capability as well. I’m happy to report that it does.

It doesn’t quite work the same way, you do have to open the aperture up a bit, but you don’t have to remove the filters. If you can open it up to f/2.8 then it is like there are no filters there at all. It will also make it easier to use graduated filters and polarizers when doing long exposure photography.

Nikon D850 Seascape

The camera photographing the Dragon’s Head.

As someone who loves doing long exposures, this new feature is a very welcome addition to the camera. It is something that I will use a lot. My workflow when shooting has changed from never using Live View, to using it constantly.

One of the major advantages of shooting with Live View is that your mirror is up, so you don’t get those minute vibrations when you are taking an image.


One of the biggest problems with photography is low light. While in most situations you can use a tripod, there are some situations that mean it is just isn’t possible. With an ISO rating up to 25,600, you can take photos easily without a tripod.

Nikon D850 high ISO

Capturing Christmas windows using ISO 25600.

There will be noise in the images, that is one thing you can’t avoid. However, compared with what you got with the earlier models in the D800 series it’s a big improvement. You could comfortably go up to ISO 2000, perhaps even higher and get images that you would be happy with.

At the other end of the scale, you can go to ISO 64 when you want the best quality images in the right lighting conditions or when using your tripod. Most cameras only go to 100, so having that extra step means finer grain or almost no noise in your images.

Some of the controls are in different places

While the basic setup is very similar to all Nikon cameras, there are some things that have changed from previous models (for me, that is compared to the D800). The Mode button is on the left top buttons with the WB and QUAL. ISO is now over near the Shutter button. The Bracket feature is now set where the flash button used to be.

Overall, the camera is much the same. The menu system remains very similar to previous models and is easy to understand. It is one thing that has always been good with Nikon, you can go from one model to another and still be able to figure out how it works.

Late afternoon in the city of Melbourne.

No flash

One major change from the D800 and D810 is the removal of the built-in flash. For most users, it was not necessary and the flash popping up could create problems. You can still attach an external flash to it, so for most this isn’t going to be a problem as they would use that option anyway.

3 Different RAW sizes

One the main concerns with the camera was the 45.7-megapixel sensor. The more MPs it has the larger the images will be. Storage can become a problem, especially when shooting in RAW. The D850 now comes with three different sizes of RAW files. You can choose to shoot RAW images in Large, Medium or Small. The large will take images that are 8256 x 5504 pixels, while the small will take images that are 4128 x 2752 pixels, similar to a cropped sensor.

Having the choice of deciding how big your image will be is a good function to add. If you know you are going to take a photo for social media, with no intention of doing anything else, then using the small option makes sense. However, if you are going to be taking photos for a client or for printing on a big scale then the large size is the best choice.

Nikon D850 seascape

Doing a long exposure of the Dragon’s Head on the Rye back beach.

Fast frames per second burst mode

I went from a Nikon D300s, that could shoot 6-7 frames per second to the D800 which was capable of only four. It was a shock and possibly one of the biggest disappointments with that camera. It always seemed clunky when you were taking several images at once, especially for bracketing.

It’s good to see they have sped up the frame rate in the D850. It will take around 6 images a second, so it is reasonably fast. When you are bracketing there is less chance of a mistake when taking a series of images. It is great to hear how fast it shoots the frames.

Nikon D850 Bird photography.

Using the Nikon D850 at the zoo to capture birds.

The XQD card

With the release of the Nikon D850, we also see that it has two memory card slots; one for an SD card, and the other for an XQD card. As the file sizes are large, and you can take many images per second, you also need a card that can keep up. The XQD cards are good for writing your images quickly so you shouldn’t have moments where you can’t shoot because the camera is saving your images onto the card.

These cards are quite expensive. Not many manufacturers are making them, the one I got was made by Sony. You also need to get a memory card reader for these as well. I purchased mine from B&H, it was 128GB and cost almost $200.

Nikon D850 Waterfall

Capturing a waterfall with a long exposure.

Wifi and Snapbridge

Nikon cameras that have Snapbridge allow you to use your phone with the camera. You can download images to it, for easy loading to social media when you are out and about. There is also the option for your phone to capture GPS data for future reference.

When Snapbridge was first released there was a lot of negative publicity about it. People said it didn’t work properly, and if we are being honest, it wasn’t great. But it has improved a lot. It is now easier to connect your camera to your phone to look at photos. You can have it set up so it automatically transfers the images to your phone. They go into the cloud, so they don’t take up any room on your phone.

The only downside seems to be that to get your images to your phone you have to shoot in jpeg format. Considering the target market of who will be using the D850 (mostly pros), it is a bit disappointing. Most users will be taking their photos in RAW format and won’t be able to do that.

To overcome this, I decided to shoot in RAW and basic JPG. You don’t need high-quality JPGs to share, and basic is fine for social media. Once the files are all downloaded to my computer I select all the jpegs and delete them. It does mean that you will be using more memory on your cards, but I have 128GB cards, so it isn’t going to be an issue that often. I would also only use this selection if I knew that I wanted to capture an image to share, otherwise I would choose RAW only.

Snapbridge will keep the firmware on your camera up to date which is great, otherwise, it only happens if you get it serviced. One thing that is a definitely a plus for someone like me is that the app will also make sure the time and date are correct on your camera by syncing it with your phone. You don’t have to worry about daylight savings and changing the camera settings for it anymore (or when you travel and change time zones).

Nikon D850 macro

The D850 with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 photographing macro flowers.

Battery life

The experience of other cameras has shown that using Live View can drain your battery. Earlier this year I had an opportunity to try out the Canon 5D Mark IV and when using Live View for long exposures the battery did drain very quickly. You would get maybe three hours with it when using that mode. With the Nikon D850, using Live View it doesn’t drain the battery as quickly.

A fully charged battery for normal use will last a few days, with heavy use a day or so. The Nikon batteries are very good, and if you want spares, it is advisable to go for regular Nikon ones over third-party options.

Nikon D850 City image

An image taken at sunrise with the Nikon D850.


Without a doubt, those who described the Nikon D850 as a game changer were not lying. It’s one of the most sophisticated cameras on the market. While hailed as a great camera for landscape photographers, it is also suitable for many other genres of photography as well. One has to wonder what they will do to the next generation of the D5 to make it better than the D850.

For more information on the specifications, click here to go to Nikon. The camera retails on Amazon for $3,295.

I would give the camera a rating of 9.9 out of 10, maybe even a 10. I love the Nikon D850, it is the best camera I’ve ever used

The post Review of the Nikon D850 DSLR by Leanne Cole appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Lensbaby has been producing lenses that create interesting effects since 2004. During that time people have been experimenting and trying out different ways of using them. In the spring of 2015, they introduced the Velvet 56 to the joy of many photographers, especially those doing macro. This year, their newest lens in the line-up was released, the Lensbaby Velvet 85.


The Lensbaby Velvet 85

The Velvet 85 promises to be a great lens for portraiture creating impressionist-like portraits of people. It does indeed do that, but you can use it for so much more. It is a great lens for photographers who like images with mood and which concentrate more on the subject with a lot of bokeh.

First Impressions

The lens is very well made and when you hold it in your hand you can feel the coolness of the metal it is made from. It is not an overly heavy lens, but it’s also not light. It is bigger than the Velvet 56, which is to be expected, though not a lot heavier. They are both very well made, high-quality lenses.

Using the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Like most lenses that are available on the market today, the Velvet 85 can be used for many different types of photography. I use it mainly for macro photography and find it really good. However, you can also use it for portraiture, city photography, and landscapes. It doesn’t work the same as other lenses as you get a really soft-focus effect with it, but for most people, that is exactly why they buy it.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

A macro image that was taken with the Lensbaby Velvet 85.

Manual Lens

The lens is completely manual and you cannot use your camera to control it, as you can with other lenses. You need to change the aperture and focus it yourself. You will not be able to see what aperture you used when you download the images to your computer either.

Manual Focus

Focusing is also manual and you need to adjust it as you take your photos. It does turn a long way and you have to twist the focusing ring a lot. Some cameras can tell you when the image is in focus, for example, Nikon does. When you are at that spot of good clarification, then the round dot in the viewfinder appears. However, as you get used to the lens you will need to rely on that less.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Opening up the aperture gives you images with a lot of soft-focus.

For macro photography, most people tend to use manual focus anyway and it is easier with this lens. You can focus where you want and then move yourself and the camera to a spot where the image will be in focus.

For landscape photography, you can set it to infinity and you should get images that are sharp, depending on your aperture. For objects in between macro and infinity, you will have to practice and see it goes. That is probably the area I found the hardest, though as I did it more, it became easier.

Controlling the Lens

With many lenses now you can change the aperture with the camera, however, the Velvet 85 is more like a vintage lens from older style cameras. It does not communicate with your camera and you need to control the aperture yourself. To change it there is an aperture ring on the lens which you turn to adjust it to the setting you want.


Unlike other sorts of dedicated macro lenses, the Velvet 85 doesn’t use aperture in the same way. You can take photos of flowers at f/2.8 and get a fairly decent image. If you tried doing that with, say a Nikon macro lens, you will find the photo would almost be an abstract version of the flower with very little in focus.

The aperture starts at f/1.8 on the Velvet 85 and goes up to f/16. At the latter, you will get the greatest depth of field and if using the lens for landscape photography it is a good one to choose. If you are taking macro images of flowers then the wider end is much better.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Using a smaller aperture such as f/11 gives less soft-focus and you get more of a natural looking image.

One thing the lens is really good for is the soft-focus effect that is possible. You can control how much of it you want by using different apertures. The wider it is the more of the effect appears, and the opposite happens as you close it down.

Interesting effects

If you like to get different effects with your lens then the Velvet 85 will be fantastic for you. You can get interesting results for portraits, though I don’t do them if you go to the Lensbaby website you can see some good examples. If you want to give your clients images that are not the same as what others are doing then you should consider adding this lens to your kit. Click here for images.

Bokeh Effect

Without a doubt one of the most special and addictive aspects of the Velvet lenses, and perhaps more so with the 85, is the blurring you can do with it. You won’t find any other lenses available that will give you the same effects. You can play around with the aperture to change how much blur you achieve in your images.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Creating a bokeh effect with a poppy flower and bee.

Whether you are photographing a landscape or a macro image you can use the aperture and blurring effect to highlight your subject. The Velvet 85 is fantastic for this. You can change the aperture to different widths and that will determine how much blur you will get. From that, you can decide what level of blurring you want in your image.

Tilt-Shift Effect

This was a popular effect a few years ago, though, there is no reason it can’t be again. This is where you use blurring effects to make objects in your image look like they are miniature or toy-like. By controlling the aperture and giving the images a lot more of the blur you can get images that look as though your subject is miniature. The lens does not do it all, but it gives you a good starting point.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

The soft-focus is a good start to creating tilt-shift images.

Moody Images

Using blurring effects is a great tool for giving your images a moody feel. You can apply it to most types of photography and get those sorts of images that people love. You can use it for most types of photography, try it out if you can.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Playing with the aperture you can create a mood in your image.

Comparing the Velvet 85 with the Velvet 56

There is an obvious difference between the size of the two lenses, which you can see in the image below. However, you will find the same with most fixed or prime lenses.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

The Lensbaby Velvet 85 next to the Velvet 56.

If you change the focus to point so that you can get as close as you can to what you are photographing, they both seem to capture the same image.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

How close you can get with each lens, the Velvet 85 on the left and the Velvet 56 on the right.

However, if you are trying to photograph something from a fixed point, then the Velvet 85 will allow you to get closer images. This is great if you are taking photos in a location like a garden, you can photograph those flowers that are at the back and harder to get to.

Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85

Standing in the same place, the difference can be seen with the Velvet 85 on the left, and the Velvet 56 on the right.

If I had to choose between the two lenses, I think I would want the Velvet 85. The longer reach is appealing, and the soft-focus effect is really interesting. There isn’t a great deal of difference in the price, so it would be my choice.

Adding the lens to your kit

It is not an overly expensive lens, Lensbaby sells the Velvet 85 for $499. It is available for most cameras on the market today. You can get a full list on the website.

If you are looking for a lens that is capable of macro photography, then this is a good alternative to the more expensive macro lenses that many companies make. It would also suit a portrait photographer, however, don’t forget street photography and landscape. It is a versatile lens which you will enjoy, but don’t expect to get the same results that you’d achieve with normal lenses.


The post Review of the Lensbaby Velvet 85 by Leanne Cole appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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