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From Adobe To ON1 And Back Again

A tortuous journey through the photo editing software jungle.

Lightroom Is Great !

Looking at my current Lightroom catalogue, my earliest digital images appear to be from 2005. That was from the time I had my first digital camera - the Canon Powershot A610. A very good little compact with a 6x optical zoom and capable of 5Mpx (!). Still have it today.

I wasn't using any Adobe products then. It was before the time of Adobe subscription services. If you wanted Photoshop it would have cost a hefty few hundred pounds. According to my purchase history I bought Lightroom 4 in 2013 for £60.57. By that time they had begun their monthly subscription plan but it wasn't until two years later that I took the plunge and bought the 20GB Photography Plan at £8.57 per month.

Over the years Adobe have made some fantastic improvements to Lightroom and it really became a no-brainer go-to piece of photo editing software. Unless you wanted to use layers or get really fancy, there was nothing to fault it.

Photoshop Is Hard

Although Photoshop was part of the Creative Cloud Plan, I hardly ever opened it and, when I didi, soon closed it again. It seemed too complicated and not at all intuitive to use. As someone who was a software developer in a previous life, I was committed to producing easy-to-use programs which were logical, well thought out and didn't intimidate the user. Photoshop seemed like the opposite of this to me. Maybe I would put in the effort to learn it one day !

ON1 To The Rescue

In 2015 ON1 was on the scene and I got a copy of ON1 Photo 10. By 2017 it was called ON1 Photo RAW. This was a really nice product with plenty of potential. It sat between Lightroom and Photoshop in terms of facilities. I still used Lightroom as my starting point and imported new images into it. I made all my initial image adjustments and then nipped into ON1. ON1 was a standalone product but was also usable as a Lightroom plugin, making it simple to flip between the two.