On1 One Photo RAW 2020 – a non-review

Downtown New York

On1 Photo RAW 2020

By definition The Occasional Photoblogger – that’s me – posts stories only occasionally. However, that does not make me feel any less guilty when two weeks or three weeks or more pass without me posting a story.

So today, when my guilt got the better of me, I decided to write a very quick story about On1 Photo RAW 2020 which is due for official release in a week or two.

Regard this story as a non-review of On1 Photo RAW 2020 as I don’t review stuff, but just scrape the surface and pass a few comments on what I think.

I had downloaded the Beta version of On1 Photo RAW 2020 several days ago and although I had a bit of a play with it, I didn’t really pay it too much attention as my current version of On1 does virtually all I want of it. But today I got an email from On1 telling me that the Beta 2 version was available for download, so download it I did. And play with it more earnestly I did!

The soon-to-be released version of On1 Photo RAW 2020 will apparently boast improved performance according to ON1 themselves and confirmed by comments posted on the On1  Photo Community Facebook page. However, my initial reaction is that in some respects it doesn’t seem as snappy as On1 Photo RAW 2019. I do have to add a rider to that comment though – and that is that my aging Mac Mini does not boast the recommended specifications required for On1 Photo RAW 2020. Having said that – the software does run smoothly without any glitches – just not fast!

(Note to self – start saving for a more powerful computer….)

There are some things in On1 Photo RAW 2020 (Beta) that I really like, such being able to sort images by date in the Browse mode, and being able to add coordinates to photos (if your camera doesn’t already have on-board GPS) so  you can see on a map where photos were taken.

Another feature I like is the AI Auto setting for automatically adjusting the image exposure, highlights, mid-tones, shadows, etc. I think hitting the AI Auto button does a really good job – it works on RAW files or JPEGs – and it certainly provides a really good starting point to make more specific tweaks to an image. There is also an AI Match button that works only on RAW files, and I have to admit that I haven’t really got my head around how to use it. That could probably be because all the photos that appear further on in this story started out as JPEGs and the AI Match button only shows in the Develop module when a RAW file is selected.

One-Click Wonder

I am a one-click wonder user so really love the one-click functions buit into virtually all modern photo processing software.

If you see something you like the look of in a preset – then just one-click and it’s done. But a new  – and great addition – to the On1 Photo RAW 2020 presets is the “fader” function on each preset, so it’s not a case of all or nothing. I guess that makes the one-click presets more than one-click. The faders work great though! I suspect this is a feature stolen – sorry – copied from Luminar 3.

Also stolen – sorry -copied from Luminar is the Sunflare filter.

On1 Photo RAW already had a Sunshine filter, but the Sunflare filter goes one step further and allows the addition of rays, and flare, bokeh effects, and so on.

Here is a very basic example of an image with the Sunflare filter applied.

Sunflare

LUTs and Presets

I have never really understood LUTs, and still don’t really, even though they are built into On1 Photo RAW, as is a huge range of one-click presets.

To me, a careful selection of presets – and filters – can result in the same effect as many LUTs, but I thought I’d try the LUTs and presets in On1 Photo RAW 2020 just for fun as much as anything else.

The starting point for all the photos here were JPEGs taken on a 2014 trip to Canada and the USA using a Panasonic FT-5 camera.

Bear in mind the end results are “just for fun” and are based on my liking for street pictures that are a little bit grungy and a little bit gritty. I have included a very brief description of the processing steps with each photo.

Patiently waiting at a bus stop in New York

Taken from the top deck of the Hop-On Hop-Off bus in New York this photo of some elderly gentlemen waiting for their bus was given the AI Auto treatment with a few tweaks, then an HDR look and Vintage look filter added. Sharpening for Screen was also applied, along with a Big Softy vignette.

 

Cheers Bar Boston

Loved the TV show – and loved the Cheers Bar in Boston. We frequented it often….

I applied a Noise Reduction Filter to this one (the Panasonic FT-5 didn’t handle the night scene well), then selected the Color Pop/Punch LUT. Again the image was sharpened for screen use and a good-old Big Softy (my favourite) vignette applied, and the image was cropped to exclude a man on the left side of the original image who was holding a white take-away coffee cup that was very distracting.

Downtown New York

I love this photo. The yellow cab, all the people, all the signs – it’s busy – and to me, this photo epitomises New York!

There was pretty basic processing on this one. AI Auto in the develop module; Color Pop/Punch LUT; Sharpen for the screen; and Big Softy.

Bike in a back street – New Orleans

New Orleans – home of jazz!

I spotted, and snap-shotted (is that a word?)  this bike in a back street of New Orleans and immediately loved the photo.

In terms of processing a combination of the Perfect Eraser, Retouch and Clone tools removed some distracting paint from the pavement; and a simple one-click Street Filter was applied to give it a grungy, gritty look.

And yep – Big Softy has been thrown in for good measure too!

Calle Bienville, New Orleans

The final image was arrived at using the AI Auto setting in the Develop module, then a one-click Street filter and Big Softy were applied, again resulting in a grungy, gritty feel.

I particularly like the way Big Softy has emphasised the shadows thrown by the wall-mounted lamps.

The final release of On1 Photo RAW 2020 is due out in a matter of days, but you can still download the Beta 2 version to try it out – it’s worth a try I think.

Happy processing.

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