An Interview with November ON1 Plus Coach Colin Smith

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Recently we sat down with Colin Smith of We are excited to announce he will be guest coaching in ON1 Plus next month (November) and sharing his knowledge of post-processing with us. Read more about Colin and welcome him to the community. 

Who is Colin Smith?

Colin Smith is a best-selling author, and award-winning digital artist who has caused a stir in the community with his stunning Photoshop work. Colin is known as a pioneer of HDR photography and aerial drone photography. Colin is founder of one of the world’s most popular Photoshop resource sites,, which boasts over 30 million visitors. He has been nominated 2x for the Photoshop Hall of Fame.

What is the most fulfilling part for you about being an artist and an educator?

I don’t believe these two things are a profession as much as a calling. Sure anyone can do it, but I don’t think you can really succeed in this field without the driving passion and the lack of passion is obvious to those watching. Creatives that aren’t creating are like caged zoo animals. If you are bitten by that bug, I don’t think you can find happiness unless you are doing that. I’ve always had a burning desire to create, it’s always been there. If I don’t I’m not happy. Once I do create something, I love to talk about my creation, just as all artists do.

I want to tell people what I discovered and help them on their own journey. So I’m not sure I’m ever “fulfilled” as an artist, rather, I got my daily fix and tomorrow, I’ll need it again, I see it as more of an addiction than something that can be satisfied, like breathing or water. As an educator, I feel like its worth it when someone tells me they finally understand something they have been struggling with, or they take something I taught them and developed on it, surpassed me and and are finding personal empowerment or satisfaction from it, or got a job or career and somehow I was one of the people who helped get them there. I am very lucky to have discovered my purpose and be able to make a living from it.

What is your favorite thing about ON1 Photo RAW? 

My Favorite thing about ON1 Photo RAW is actually 2 things, how quickly I can make overall color and tonal adjustments and the level of control I have over those adjustments in precise areas in the photo. When I use it as a plugin for Photoshop or Lightroom, or as a stand-alone app, the tools I need are right there. I’m a big user of Wacom tablets, so having the pressure sensitivity available for so many fine tuning tasks is a big help. When I’m retouching my landscape photos, I like to approach it with the mindset of a painter and having the brushes respond exactly how I need them, is essential for my style.

What can the community expect to see later this year from your guest coaching month?

I’m really excited to be a guest coach here at ON1 for the very first time. I’ve been a big fan of the tools for many years. I’m going to show you how I like to creative with my landscape photos. I have a passion for color and mood. People should feel something when they look at a photograph (Other than just, that’s a nice photo). The composition, subject, timing and settings, tell your story when you capture a photograph. In post-production you can continue to tell that story, the editing decisions you make, will either strengthen or weaken that story. I’m going to share some of the ways, I strengthen the story, but also ways to completely alter the direction and create an entirely new story. I hope you join me for this adventure.

4 comments on “An Interview with November ON1 Plus Coach Colin Smith”

  1. On October 9, 2018 at 5:17 pm Julie Boyle wrote:

    Certainly looking forward to meeting Colin next month and interested in a new approach to using On1. Sounds great.

  2. On October 9, 2018 at 6:54 pm Adam Rubinstein wrote:

    Very excited and am looking forward to seeing how you can push PR to the envelope with your creations.

  3. On October 12, 2018 at 5:30 pm Stan Parsons wrote:

    Really looking forward to seeing & listening to Colin in November. I have some of his Lightroom & Photoshop training videos that I used to enjoy, however now since I have switched totally to ON1 Photo Raw so haven’t visited Photoshopcafe for a long time. I have always enjoyed Colin’s presentations in the past so it should be a real pleasure to hear how he feels about ON1 Photo Raw.

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