Lesson 1: Intro to Artistry in ON1 Photo RAW

In the first lesson of the month, we will take a look at the Tone, Color, and Effects Workflow.  However, our main focus will be on the Effects phase or the finishing touches phase.  This phase is where you can take your images to the artistic level.

**Download the PDF**

We have discussed Tone, Color, and Effects quite extensively in the past.  The Photo Workflow Mastery Course was designed to get you thinking about workflow in a systematic way.  However, I left the Effects phase pretty open ended.   For the longest time, I felt there wasn’t really a good systematic approach to Artistic Effects, that is until recently.

In the first Lesson of the Artistry in ON1 Photo RAW course, I will discuss my recent findings in making artistic effects a more systematic process rather than a subjective one!

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27 comments on “Lesson 1: Intro to Artistry in ON1 Photo RAW”

  1. On August 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm Barbara Hayton wrote:

    Thanks, Blake, I look forward to the next video as I’ve often wondered what certain effects would do but haven’t tried them yet, or, with less than satisfactory results. You’re right, when I sit down to process I automatically thing….tone-color-effect. Easy to remember and provides a good starting point.

    1. On August 4, 2017 at 7:45 pm Blake Rudis replied:

      Sweet! So glad you remember that, as if I don’t drill it enough :) It is simple and just works though. I can’t wait for you to see the rest of the information!

    1. On August 4, 2017 at 7:50 pm Blake Rudis replied:

      Thanks for posting the link. I put that on the first post, but forgot to here. I appreciate it! I can’t wait to share the rest of the course with you!

  2. On August 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm LYNN B wrote:

    Corny, but true:

    Can’t get enough
    of Blake’s great stuff!
    On1 or Elite —
    Always new and neat!

    ‘Sorry. Just call me senile.

  3. On August 5, 2017 at 9:09 am David Price wrote:

    Hi Blake
    A few weeks ago I took some shots of people riding a roller coaster, the facial expressions were wonderful.. ‘fear’ combined with ‘can’t look’ …
    I am not sure as to what to do to improve these photos, so I will be watching in hope..
    Nice to see you back with us.
    Best wishes.

    1. On August 5, 2017 at 7:45 pm Blake Rudis replied:

      That sounds like an interesting shot! You may be able to pick something up here that will help. It is less about specific types of artistic scenes and more about how to use the tools artistically. So you may have to look at the context of the lessons and see how it relates to the image.

  4. On August 5, 2017 at 11:39 am lucienobert@gmail.com wrote:

    Bonjour Blake,

    Happy to have you back. Great efficent video. Looking forward to the next video. Your approach opens doorssss to explore more our workflow in my post pod. A bientôt !

    1. On August 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm Blake Rudis replied:

      Sweet! The next one is a Tone overload :) I think you will enjoy it!

  5. On August 5, 2017 at 11:40 am Jeffrey McPheeters wrote:

    Very good! I look forward to the ensuing classes. I think I’ll review the previous ones as well. Thanks, Blake.

    1. On August 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm Blake Rudis replied:

      Thanks, Jeffrey! The other course lays the foundation for this one, but I think with your skill level, you already have a VERY strong foundation!

  6. On August 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm John Blackwood wrote:

    Blake, great video. Can you discuss your thoughts on developing a personal style. Is it important that others can tell it is your image without seeing your name or is it better to develop proficiency in the various effects and just apply them as the situation warrants?
    I am looking forward to this month’s series.

    1. On August 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm Blake Rudis replied:

      Absolutely! A personal style is definitely distinguishable with time and also with your viewer’s exposure to your work. I tend to believe your style comes to fruition during the finishing phase (the whole artistic phase we are discussing.) Technical expertise is great and you can be a master of making exact replications of the scene, but true style comes out in how you color grade, what filters you use and how you use them, and the approach you take to artistic treatment with borders, textures, and overlays.

      Textures and overlays do not have to be used at 100% and a good strong build up of textures can lead to visually stunning imagery. I know a lot of people who have developed a distinguishable style with them.

      However, a style does not necessarily have to be as literal as applying a texture, or series of textures, either. You may be one to use a certain color a lot because you are drawn to it. That will show in your color grading.

      The major problem I see with styles is that people struggle to adopt someone else’s. That is self-destructive. Sure emulating is okay, for a while, but then you have to develop yourr own. For instance, when I was a boy learning to draw, I used to trace my Spider-Man comics on huge pieces of tracing paper to make my own “compositions”. As a 7 year old, I couldln’t draw Spider-Man, but tracing him repeatedly taught me a lot about scale, proportion, and muscle memory. As the years went by, I started drawing him on my own, but mine never looked like the comic book.

      The point is, if you want to develop a style, it is healthy to look toward others, emulate them, but know that you will never be them or have their style. But in that practice, you will begin to develop your own style when you break away from the emulation practices.

      As a painter, I always wanted to be like Van Gogh, Dali, and DuChamp. I spent so much time trying to think like them and use their color palettes. I stopped painting far too early and sadly never developed my style because I didn’t give it a chance. I was frustrated with my lack of ability to “look” like a famous painter. At that time, I was getting more serious into photography and found I was adapting a style there much more quickly.

      Don’t rush your style or give up before you have found it. Keep plugging away and it will come. It has to!

  7. On August 6, 2017 at 8:55 am Jean-Claude Guillen wrote:

    Awesome ! I indeed appreciate such a well-built teaching approach, it’s a pleasure to learn. Thanks Blake for this great video ! Looking forward to the next lesson.

    1. On August 8, 2017 at 5:07 am Blake Rudis replied:

      Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. The next lesson will dig a bit more in the weeds.

  8. On August 6, 2017 at 10:39 am Volker Gottwald wrote:

    Great start! I can’t wait to see more.
    Now you only need to educate the ON1 guys to mimic your perfect structure for processing in their software.
    Their is (Browse), Deveolp and Effects currently. Just split the processing into Tone, Color, Effects with the respective tools behind. And then split effects into Tone Effects, Color Effect and Artistic Effects again with the respective tools behind. This menu structure for editing photos would perfectly help to guide the processing of images and differentiate ON1 RAW from other software.

    1. On August 8, 2017 at 5:09 am Blake Rudis replied:

      That is true, but my structure is just my way. I think a lot of people have adopted it because I drill it so much, but the way PR is laid out is pretty intuitive already. I think changing it to the T,C, AE workflow might confuse some.

  9. On August 6, 2017 at 10:56 pm Volker Gottwald wrote:

    Additional Comment:
    I propose to add one more item to the menu-structure for editing/processing a photo:
    Composition – This is cropping, levelling the horizont, removing the disturbing elements in the photo.

    So in total you had
    – Composition
    – crop, level, eraser, stamp, retouch
    – Tone
    – exposure, higkigts, shadows, black, white …
    – Color
    – temparature, saturation, vibrance ….
    – Effects
    – tone effects
    – color effects
    – artistic effects

    1. On August 8, 2017 at 5:10 am Blake Rudis replied:

      Very good analysis. I think you have successfully created a strong set of notes for a good workflow!

  10. On August 7, 2017 at 7:21 am Alan Brunelle wrote:

    As a person who is so left-brained, I find I learn a lot from you Blake simply because you illustrate a very tangible post-processing workflow. By breaking things down cleanly into separate chunks it allows me to isolate specific tasks to perform that make my life so much easier when trying to pursue artistry through my photography. Really looking forward to the rest of this series. Thanks, Alan

    1. On August 8, 2017 at 5:12 am Blake Rudis replied:

      I am so glad we can relate. It took me a lot longer than most to learn post processing because I am very much like you. I needed structure and I couldn’t find much at the time. Now the education is better than it used to be, but a structure is very important when you want to develop a workflow you can replicate continuously. Glad I could help!

  11. On August 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm Heike wrote:

    Blake, in one of your videos you said you set yourself up for a successful image the moment you release the shutter. Does this include you see even the final artistic rendered image before your ‘inner’ eye when you do the photo? Can the final image be planned so much in advance at all? Do you adjust the part of technical perfection depending on the intended artistic rendering, differently from image to image?
    Concerning artistic effects I’m still in a state of trial and error and guesswork :)
    Would you please discuss the question of how much does the intended artistic rendering influence the previous processing or even the shooting, here or in one of the videos to come?
    Thank you so much. Look forward to what the next videos will bring.

    1. On August 8, 2017 at 5:16 am Blake Rudis replied:

      I would like to think I set myself up as best as possible, haha, but many times I mess up in camera too :)

      1. Sometimes I see it first, it depends on the scene. Sometimes the scene will scream a certain effect at me and others I work through it in post.

      2. I believe it can, but it comes with practice in post to be able to visualize it on the scene.

      3. Usually no. I usually develop the technical stuff first to my liking, then go into artistic effects knowing that I can always go back into the technical stuff if I need to.

      In every video I will talk about that. It is more of an approach like this:

      Technical adjustments, Artistic Effects, double check technical settings and modify as needed.

  12. On August 8, 2017 at 8:33 am Hendrik wrote:

    Hi Blake, WOW….I really enjoy your education style. So simple but so effective. I wished more people do it this way as it make things much easier to understand. What you do from my perspective is that you are building an analytic layer over the process. What I mean with this is: You decide what the goal is and then break this down into the 3 categories you have defined in your workflow. (You also could say…You know what the problem is and this are the steps your take to solve it) I really like this approach as it is reproducible and clear for all images you want to process and it will leave no space for mistakes nor errors. You are a great teacher. I have seen many of your video’s and I am looking forward to the remainder for this course this month!

    Cheers,
    – Hendrik

    1. On August 9, 2017 at 7:45 am Blake Rudis replied:

      Thanks, Hendrik. Your feedback means a lot to me and you are on point with your assessment. When I started post processing several years ago I found it very difficult to make heads from tails. I didn’t know where to begin and could not figure out where I wanted to end. It took me ages to find a solid workflow that worked for me.

      What you are seeing here is several years of research, trial & error, and experiments that led to success and more times than not, failure! You have to learn somehow, I guess.

      Enjoy the lessons to come!

  13. On August 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm Diane Greenberg wrote:

    Blake,
    Really loved the intro and can’t wait for all the course.

    I have a fantastic image that you might like to play with in the course. It is all Black & White because it is an 1888 image of the Tour Eiffel being built. Still incomplete.
    I have the original plate published in 1888 and it is in great condition. About 1/2 of the Tour Eiffel has been completed as it was to chronicle the construction.

    If you are interested, I would allow the image to be used by the course participants.
    I scanned the image about 10 years ago and I’d have to know what size you would allow.
    Let me know if this sounds interesting !

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