A Preview of Using Lightroom with ON1 Photo Raw

I get asked just about every day about how I’ll be using ON1 Photo Raw when it ships in December. For me, I’ll continue to do my organizing and editing with Lightroom. Any heavy layer and selection work will move over to Photoshop. But ON1 has always been, and continues to be, the place I go to “stylize” my photos (which I consider to be just as important, if not more sometimes).

NOTE: If you didn’t read about it, I moved on to start my own photography/post-processing training company last summer. But I still use ON1 and am an ON1 Plus coach. You can read more about it here. 

Stylize Photos?

I mentioned the word stylize in the last paragraph. I think, as time goes on, we all develop a style to our photos. Mine usually has a contrasty, warm, glow that I’m able to get in ON1 Effects. I don’t covert to B&W a lot. But if I ever do, I’m not a huge fan of Lightroom’s conversion, so I use ON1 Effects for that too.

Anyway, that’s been my workflow for the past 5 years. It was my workflow before I worked at ON1, it was my workflow while I worked at ON1, and it continues to be my workflow today. And I’m not alone. Because I used to work there, I know the stats… Thousands of photographers use Lightroom/Photoshop, but love ON1 Effects. So while developing a stand-alone raw editor (which a huge group of their customers want) was important, it’s also important to keep the ability to use ON1 Effects as a plug-in for people like me (LR/PS users).

The really nice thing about the upcoming ON1 Photo Raw (for those that’ll use it as a plug-in like me), is that Effects gets even faster and better. Because of how ON1 overhauled the entire architecture of their apps for raw, Effects gets a big speed boost, and takes advantage of some really cool under-the-hood features and improvements.

Anyway, I did this quick video below, that shows how I’ll use ON1 Photo Raw’s Effects module for that final finishing touch on my photos that start in Lightroom.

New Training Too

If you’ve pre-ordered Photo Raw, I’m doing  a few masterclasses on how to use it that you’ll get when it ships. One of the big ones I’m really excited about is called Lightroom and Photoshop with ON1 Photo Raw. That’s where I get to show how you can get the most out of LR/PS, as well as where, when, and why you’d jump over to ON1.

Also, next year, I signed on for 4 months throughout the year as an ON1 Plus guest coach. My goal for my time with the Plus members, is to be the person that helps bridge the gap between multiple apps. To show people who use Lightroom, Photoshop and ON1 like I do, how you can keep a good, clean, and fast workflow between all of ’em. Thanks!



Two questions

If you wanted to go back into OnOne from Lightroom- could you make changes to the effects you had already applied?
How would you handle a large volume of photos needing stylization? For example a wedding shooter with 500 images

Jack Larson

This is exactly the question that I asked yesterday on Facebook. Your timing is perfect.

Ron Lysik

Your workflow appears to run counter to OnOne’s attempt to convert LR raw users, to OnOne raw users????

Matt K

Hey Ron. I’d bet that ON1 knows they’re not going to convert everyone, and that they have many loyal Effects users who aren’t leaving LR/PS (like me), but still want the plug-in that they’ve used for years.

James Kohler

I am going to really check out ON1 Raw as my Lightroom replacement due to slowness of LR. Many people have moved to Capture One because of that. I believe Adobe needs another good competitor to LR which really needs a full re-write of the code. I love what Matt does and will fully continue to follow him.

Matt K

That’s interesting James. I’ve tried Capture One and find it incredibly slow, and incredibly un-intuitive and difficult to use. LR feels like a race horse compared to Capture1 for me personally. Funny to see how results differ across the board 🙂

Khürt L. Williams

I get asked just about every day about how I’ll be using ON1 Photo Raw when it ships in December.

What? December? What happened to the promised November release?

Note. I fully expect my question to be ignored and go unanswered.

Mario Visser

Hi Matt,

Thank you for your video to show a little bit of your editing workflow. I like to see video’s like that 🙂
I have two questions for you.

1 Whats the reason for you to stay in LR for you basic raw editing?
2 Whats the difference of layer/masking options between One1 and PS (in a nutshell?


Diana K

Hi Mario – you’re very welcome.
1) It’s tough to pinpoint. I’ve been an Adobe user since early 90’s. I’ve used LR since the day it came out and it’s just tough to think about changing to something else when I’m really happy with LR.
2) They both work great. Again, I’ve been a Photoshop user for ever and it has the tools I need and understand for selections. I’ve just never had the need to switch because PS has always done what i need.

Mark D

The pre-release is brutal and not really usable. Too many crashes, memory leaks, slow rendering, edits not being applied to images in browse, errors exporting images, no histogram or crop.

I would call it an Alpha release at best and shouldn’t have been shown to paying customers.

I hope they can make it at least usable by the December date. The On1 marketing machine has been spun up for a long time. Let’s hope the development team can get equally spun up!


It appears that when moving from LR to On1 Photo Raw, you are are still only stylizing a copied PSD file from LR. Does On1 Photo Raw not import/open a RAW file from LR? If not, why? This seems a significant drawback for a supposed RAW editor.

Matt K

Hey Chris – no it doesn’t. It’s because LR doesn’t open up it’s raw processing “special sauce” and ON1 doesn’t open up it’s special sauce. In fact, nobody really does because raw processing isn’t a standard across the industry – everyone has their own secrets for what they do, which means other apps won’t read them.

Andre Araiz

Hi Matt.. I love your work and thank you for sharing your knowledge.

I agree.. I will not be one of the converts as I love LR and use ON1 as a final stylization. However, am disappointed to see that we can no longer batch an ON1 preset from LR – Photo Effects – LR? I’ve tried many different ways to do it but all failed. Same goes for ON1Photo 10. Do you know of a solution for this? My work flow is now currently out of whack and am about to throw in the towel with ON1.


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