On1 Photo RAW Essential Filters for Landscape Photography
On1 Photo RAW is an excellent photo editor that’s packed with features and filters. But with so many options, which are the essential filters to use for editing landscape photography. In this tutorial, I’ll share which filters I think are essential. It doesn’t matter what photo I’m editing; I use one or more of these filters every time. They are:
And if you’re going to be using these filters you will also need to use the On1 Photo RAW Filter Masks.
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On1 Effects Filter 1: Tone Enhancer
As the name suggests, the On1 Photo RAW Tone Enhancer filter allows you to control the tones in the image. That’s basically how light or dark the image is, but it can do so much more. One very useful feature that’s not often discussed is the Compression slider.
You can see the Compression slider in the Tone Enhancer filter below.
Use the Compression slider to compress the tones in an image. For example, if your image has a lot of dark or bright areas, moving the slider to the right will correct these. This can be very effective for landscape photography where the exposure isn’t well balanced between the sky and land. Be careful not to apply too strong an adjustment though as it can damage the image contrast.
You’ll see the Detail slider just below the Compression slider. This is a great adjustment to use if you want to exaggerate the appearance of fine image detail. It’s also an excellent tool where you want to emphasise the textures in an image, especially for foreground objects. When you do this, it can help give your image a feeling of depth.
The danger with this slider is that it can exaggerate unwanted image noise. It’s, therefore, best to apply it sparingly to high ISO images. You should also consider applying the adjustment selectively using the filter’s mask.
You will find the Clarity slider positioned just below the Detail slider. Like the Clarity slider, you can use it to enhance image detail, so the same warnings apply. Another problem you might encounter when using this slider is that shadow detail can block up when you apply this adjustment at higher levels. If this happens consider using it with a Luminosity Mask.
Using Filter Masks with On1 Effects
Masks allow you to apply an adjustment to an area of an image but hide it in others. You can also use the mask to control the intensity of the effect in an image. In On1 Photo RAW, each of the effects filters has its own mask and tools that you can use to control where the effects applied. You can see an example in the screenshot below.
Here you see the filter mask attached to a Tone Enhancer filter in On1 Photo RAW Effects. To the right of the mask are buttons for common tasks you might need. Below these are three very powerful sliders which can adjust and refine the mask.
In this example, the effects are hidden across the entire image by inverting the default mask, making black. We then paint the effect onto selected areas by painting on the mask using the On1 mask brush tool.
As well as using this method you can use the “Lumen” button to create a Luminosity Mask. You can then refine this with the other controls. If you watch the video in this tutorial you will see both methods used.
On1 Effects Filter 2: Color Enhancer
The Color Enhancer Filter in On1 Photo RAW is a great tool for adjusting and enhancing colours. Two features make this a great filter to choose:
- The fine levels of control within each of the sliders.
- The ability to target adjustments using colour ranges.
You can see a screenshot of the filter below.
In the top part of the filter, you can adjust the overall Temperature and Tint of the image. These sliders are like those you would find in your RAW convert with a slight exception. Their effect on the image is less dramatic than you might expect in your typical RAW converter. This makes them ideal for tweaking the colours in your images.
But the real beauty of this filter is the simplicity with which you can select a colour to target by clicking on one of eight coloured blocks. Having selected the colour to adjust, you can control the Saturation and Brightness of the colour in the image as well as fine-tuning its Hue.
The Hue slider allows you to move the colours towards another colour. For example, you can move Magenta towards Red or Purple. You can then use this together with the Range slider to control how wide the range of affected colour is.
On1 Effects Filter 3: Glow
My third essential On1 Photo RAW filter is the Glow effect. If you’re familiar with the Orton Effect, you will know how powerful this can be. You can improve many good landscape photos by slightly and selectively softening the detail. When you have lots of detail in a landscape photo it can appear too structured and “hard” on the eyes. Softening it even slightly can give the image greater appeal and atmosphere.
The Glow filter is very simple with only three controls. The Amount slider controls the strength of the effect whilst the Halo slider controls the spread of the Glow. The third control to combine with these is the Mode.
The Mode dropdown allows you to select a blending mode you can use with the effect. Whilst there a few blending modes they belong to three categories, Lightening, Darkening and Contrast enhancing.
My personal favourite modes are the ones that enhance contrast. These are either Overlay or Soft Light, as well as the strong versions of both. The thing to remember about the Glow filter when using these modes is that they extend the contrast and enhance the colour in the image. You may, therefore, need to return to the Tone and Color Enhancer filters to refine them.
On1 Effects Filter 4: Vignette
The final On1 Photo RAW filter I feel is essential is the Vignette.
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The Vignette effect is one of the oldest special effects in photography. The reason for its popularity and longevity is that it works. By adding a vignette to an image, you can darken or lighten the edges to help focus attention on the main theme of the image.
The vignette filter allows you to create many variations on this as well as control the size and softness of the effect. You can also reposition the centre of the vignette onto an area you select.
At first glance, the four On1 Photo RAW enhancement filters in this article may appear boring, but this is far from the truth. These are fundamental filters you can use to improve the appearance on any landscape photo. If you’re looking at one of your photos and wondering where to start, start with these effects filters to see just how much they improve the image.
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