ON1 Photo Raw 2020 – Creating images with transparent backgrounds!

In an earlier video, I had demonstrated how to create a transparent watermark image using Photoshop.

This time around, we look at how we can create images with transparent backgrounds in ON1 itself.

These transparent cutouts can also be used in the Luminar AI Augmented Sky feature and we will also take a look at that as well.

We will look at how to create transparent text as well as images. Keep in mind, you have to save/export in the PNG file format to have the transparency preserved.

So, let’s get started…

ON1 Photo Raw 2020 – Adding watermarks to images!

In general, it is a good idea to include a watermark your images when sharing on social media. Most people still do not realise that the images we share are copyrighted and cannot be shared/sold/modified without permission.

In some cases, the images can be shared further without any modification, but, since most people are still not aware of the legal nature of original images, it is best to make sure you have at least a copyright watermark on your images to be on the safe side.

Currently, ON1 supports only image watermarks. Although you can add a text to every image before you export it, this approach is obviously not practical.

I have been using a plain simple text watermark for years and I have to make a transparent image to maintain the same in ON1.

Although I have Affinity Photo, I will use Photoshop to demonstrate how to create this image-based watermark since more people are familiar with Photoshop.

I will make a fancier watermark than the one I use to demonstrate the possibilities.

Now, let’s take a look at how this is done and used in ON1 Photo Raw 2020.

ON1 Photo Raw 2020 – Setting up and getting started!

This one is for some friends of mine who are considering moving to ON1 Photo Raw 2020 from Lightroom.

Before I start on ON1, I have created a new user account on my MacBook and will also cover some of the basic settings that I change to suit my needs on the user account for my Mac.

We will then start up ON1, go through the process of registration and create a catalog of all my images. In my case, I have all my images on an external drive in a single top-level folder.

If you have enabled the xmp option in Lightroom (like I have), then, you can simply catalog your image folders and be done with that.

If you do not have the xmp option enabled in Lightroom, then, you would need to export your Lightroom catalog to ON1 using the ON1 plugin for Lightroom to get all your tags/keywords into ON1.

I did not bother to export my Lightroom catalog for 2 reasons…

1. I have the xmp sidecar files from Lightroom and ON1 reads those
2. Even though ON1 tries to copy the Lightroom develop settings, I would rather re-process, where needed, in ON1 since the processing for applications can differ substantially.

Of course, simply creating a catalog of existing images is way faster than exporting the Lightroom catalog.

Since this is a fresh user account, I will just login to my Adobe account and run Lightroom to create a small catalog to demonstrate the advantage of the sidecar files and how it provides a backup for Lightroom as well as enabling other applications to use the same data.

In case your Lightroom catalog gets corrupted, you can just re-import all your images with the xmp data to recreate the catalog. Virtual copies, image stacks/groups as also any user-created collections would be lost, but, all the images and their metadata would come back.

Okay, so, let’s just import one small folder into Lightroom to create a small catalog to speed up the process. This would also allow us to see how we can use the ON1 export plugin.

Now, back to my normal login and we will see how the xmp option in Lightroom allows us to use ON1 alongside with Lightroom till you are confident enough to discard Lightroom.

ON1 Photo Raw 2020.5.1 – Sky Replacement – Step-by-Step

In this video, we will look at how to replace skies in photographs with any other kind of background which is limited only by imagination.

We will look at more similar ones in some upcoming videos with ON1 Photo Raw.

#Photography #ON1PhotoRaw #Wildlife #ON1

How to clean your camera and lenses

Time to clean the camera or lenses or both!

One of the commonly asked questions is what should I use to clean the lenses. Most people are fine with cleaning the camera with some kind of cloth, but, are wary when it comes to lenses.

Yes, we do have the lenspen and a variety of kits around and most of those work fine. Over a time period, I have found a better solution to cleaning my gear…Camera body and lenses.

I use plain isopropyl alcohol swabs, the kind we use in the medical field for cleaning up before and after injections. For larger work, like the camera body and the outer part of the lenses, I use Zeiss lens wipes which are larger in size and have more “juice” on the wipe.

To wipe off the lens element, I use a lint-free glass polishing micro-fibre cloth rather than any simple micro-fibre cloth. Ideally, the cloth you use which not look like a towel and should be smooth. Very similar to the kind you get when you buy spectacles.

For the camera and lens body, almost any absorbent, fine micro-fibre will do. Just dab around with the cloth and try not to wipe the gear using pressure on the cloth.

Let’s see how we can clean up our camera and lens…

  1. Make sure you have the camera mount and lens rear cap ready
  2. Remove the lens from the camera and put the caps on the lens and the camera mount
  3. Let’s start with the body and use a Zeiss wipe since one wipe can do the entire camera body
  4. We use the same wipe for the lens body or another if needed
  5. Now, let’s clean the camera mount contact using a swab. The swabs are generally almost dry. Remove the cap from the camera body. Make sure the camera is pointing down (we don’t want any dust to float in) and wipe the contact area with the swab and put the cap back on
  6. The lens elements now…Front and back. Like the in earlier video for sensor cleaning, I would not advise you to use the swab on the lenses unless you can see some spots or fingerprints. A simple jet of air and, if needed, just gently wipe the elements in a circular motion using the polishing cloth. If required, then, use one swab to gently wipe the front and/or back elements, wait for a few seconds and then wipe the elements with the polishing cloth.
  7. Now, remove the cap from the camera mount. Use the blower to blow out any dust from the inside of the camera while keeping in down. Blow out the rear element of the lens and put the lens back on the camera.

Ideally, don’t even wipe the lens without using a blower on it first. There might be particles on the surface of the glass that might scratch the element while being wiped across. The same applies to the viewfinder and LCD glass.

Since we are using alcohol, it will evaporate almost instantly in the case of the swabs and in a few seconds when using the Zeiss wipes. Remember not to use excessive pressure on the swabs or wipes when using then. Since we already have alcohol on them, additional pressure will not do anything.

When I am outdoors, I prefer using the blower with either the lenspen or the polishing cloth to clean up any fingerprints or dirt that might have fallen on the front element.

Since I did not clean the contact areas, that is all that I will actually clean here…The rest is “understood” types 🙂

That’s it!


#Photography #Gear #Sensor #Nikon

How to find out if your camera sensor has dust and clean it

As a wildlife macro photographer, I have learnt the hard way that even a single dust spot on the sensor could, potentially, totally ruin a photograph.

While this is not really a major issue for non-macro photography, over some time, this can impact other genres as well.

For the last few years, I always check for sensor dust before I leave home even when I am not going for a macro session.

I have devised my own method for checking for dust and cleaning it. This is what I will demonstrate here in this video.

First, make sure you have a fully charged battery in the camera. In case we need to clean the sensor, a fully charged battery is required. Also, since this is what I do before I move out to shoot, it is always a good idea to have a fully charged battery anyway.

  1. Make sure you have a fully charged battery
  2. Put the lens you are going to use on the camera body
  3. Stop down to the minimum aperture you would use. Most lenses would stop down to around f/22 or f/32.
  4. Set the camera to manual mode, set the ISO to 100 (base ISO) and shutter speed to around 6 or 8 seconds.
  5. Make sure the camera is not focussed to the light source we will use to check for dust
  6. Release the shutter while waving the camera smoothly around the light source

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How to get your own domain name URL on YouTube

Since I started making some videos on photography around a month back, I was looking for some options to make my YouTube channel URL more readable and usable.

I already have a couple of domains that I use for other purposes and since I could not find much on YouTube, I decided to forward a subdomain from one of my existing domains.

This is a relatively simple process and once you update that with your domain provider, it should be active within an hour or so.

The video has all the details and how to go about this process.



Cleaning up bird photos using Photoshop and ON1 Photo Raw

A friend of mine wanted to figure out how I would approach cleaning up this bird image using Lightroom and Photoshop.

Although I already had some videos on this earlier, but, this time around, I thought it might be nice to compare this relatively simple task in ON1 Photo Raw 2020 as well. After all, this is the kind of work I had purchased ON1 for.

The following video demonstrates how I would clean up the image using Lightroom and Photoshop. Ideally, I would do all the raw adjustments in Lightroom and then take the image to Photoshop.


In the following video, I try the do something similar in ON1 Photo Raw with the same image.

I think most wildlife photographers and birders would find these videos useful.

As already mentioned in an earlier video, with some bug fixes and updates, ON1 seems to be a nice package.

ON1 Photo Raw – Textures and Backgrounds in Wildlife

In this one, we will look at how to get a black background or replace backgrounds in ON1. While Lightroom can only make a background black using an adjustment brush, ON1 goes a lot further than that for basic non-destructive raw editing.

Instead of using the same image that I used in a similar video for Lightroom, I will use one from my rooftop shooting today. Even though it was overcast and low light, the kind of light I would generally not shoot in, but, close shots even in such low light can come out okay at times.

So, like with Lightroom, we will first create a local adjustment and use the masking tools in ON1 to achieve the same kind of effect we did with Lightroom and a lot more that cannot be done in Lightroom.

#Photography #Lightroom #Wildlife #ON1

Capture One 20 Pro 13 vs Lightroom Classic 9 – Not really!

I was excited about the lower-priced Nikon version and went ahead to get a trial version of the full Capture One 20 Pro. Three days later, after watching quite a few of their videos while trying to import my Lightroom catalog, I gave up.

In short…This is not really meant to be a LR replacement. Like Luminar 4, you can use it as an add-on for some specific purposes, but not as a replacement.

While Capture One has some good features for raw processing that would be really welcome in LR, but, it also lacks quite a few. For example, HDR or Panorama merging, maps to geotag images and some more.

You would still land up using PS of Affinity Photo for more. Given the price of Capture One, I do not believe it is for me. The LR+PS combo beats it for features and usability.

I have around 50k images in a LR catalog and the import was chugging along even after 24 hours. I cancelled out of that. There seems to be no way to pause or continue later.

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