Ideas for workflow for PL7 and On1 Photo Raw

PL is ALWAYS my “go to” for almost all raw processing and initial editing. The lens corrections of other apps simply do not come close…BUT…as mentioned in another post…the DAM features of PL while somewhat ambitious never really seem to get it right. I no longer subscribe to Adobe (anything) but do have Photo Mechanic for rock-solid DAM. on1 has been somewhat flaky for me in the past, but it does extend the ability to do layers and their AI masking options are much more useable for me than most of the other tools that I have TRIED to use. With the preview of on1 2024 cataloging improvements, I think I want to use it along with Photo Mechanic for DAM, but also for some of the tools not existing in PL7 (or earlier).

Given that MOST of my photos will be “happy” after processing with PL7, does exporting full res jpegs for further refinement of the remaining 10% make sense? DxO appears to ONLY want to work with Adobe (which sucks), so some creative work-around needs to be found that makes sense…at least for me. Obviously, one can export TIFF or linear DNG from PL to work in other apps, but if one is only planning some layers or masking options… is there any downside to working in Jpeg?


if you are to work with other software, .tiff or png is your best option to keep as much as you can to work on compare to limited jpeg abilities.
PL keep xmp data, so keep that xmp with your raw so your basic edit will stay on, the rest is yours. export a .tiff to further process (if needed) than save full jpeg for you, and a downsized one for your social media.

Thanks. I suppose tiff or dngs can then be deleted once processing in other apps is complete. I think the edits are in the .dop files instead of xmp but I keep all of those (and redundant backups) in any case.

It sounds to me like you want to start in PhotoLab and finish in ON1?

You can use PhotoLab’s built in “Send to application” functionality. Yes, Lightroom gets a blessed spot in the export menu, but you can use this other menu option to send a photo anywhere.

This brings up the following window which is a specialised version of the export function. You can see mine has Topaz Sharpen AI selected, which is an application I have been using reasonably often lately for older photos taken when I wasn’t as good at nailing focus. Or the camera wasn’t.

I choose TIFF in ProPhoto RGB for the highest possible quality (and the photo is using the Wide Gamut WCS in PhotoLab beforehand) and portability back to PhotoLab. If you’re going out of PhotoLab and not coming back, you could also use DNG.

In my case, I have Topaz Sharpen AI process the photo, then when I apply that, it exits and I come back to PhotoLab where the processed photo is now sitting alongside the original. I then use PhotoLab to apply my watermark and export using my usual preset.

I see no reason you couldn’t ‘round trip’ to ON1 and back using this same process. The good bit is the export settings window remembers your last settings, so if you only use ON1 as an external program, it will be as simple as three clicks to get each photo to it.

It doesn’t make sense to export to jpeg unless you have an immediate need for the jpeg copy, which you can delete as soon as you have used it.

If you want to use other tools to further edit the image, then export to tiff, which maintains a much greater degree of detail. Jpeg is an 8-bit format and, instead of recording the 65,536 levels of R,G and B, it only records 256, thus making it difficult to obtain smooth tonal gradations.

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If I understand all the parts correctly, using PhotoLab to do your raw conversion and noise reduction and then exporting to .dng with ‘denoise and optical corrections only’ seems to me the best way to get the advantages of PhotoLab and give you the most options for further editing in Photo RAW.

… and if you like Gary that started this tread is using PhotoMechanic, it´s a good idea too to turn on synchronization because then Photolab will sync metedata updates that happens in PM Plus and vice versa. Yes, it works both ways at least with a flat keyword structure (despite it works two ways, it´s always a better idea to have a consistent one way flow).

Save your RAW too, because you never know when we will see another technical break through and the Deep Prime noise reduction will not work at all with JPEG or TIFF.

yep, what ever sidecar comes with the editor you’re using =]

I have done the same as you have despite my ON1 is Capture One. I can do a few things in CO that I can´t do in Photolab or at least it has been a bit more cumbersome in Photolab and given me less control but I also have to say that I find the new Luminous Layer in Photolab more effective to use and the implementation of Luma in the layers of CO.

So I have often found Photolab beeing very effective, at least as I have used it and the integration with PhotoMehanic is better than with probably anything else if you are looking for something more scalable and competent than both Lightroom and Phololabs own PictureLibrary. The last years it has been rock solid without the slightest problem for me as I use this combo. The image quality in Photolab both when it comes to the previews in PL itself and when exported to other formats than RAW is second to none.

Thanks to all! These are very helpful suggestions. As previously mentioned, I can do almost everything that I want in PL. It is only the rare photo that I may want to process additionally in on1 or perhaps Affinity Photo. I have had numerous issues with metadata management in PL (see my other post) to the extent, that I would tend to think of using PL as my EXTERNAL editor, but since PL is really my “primary” editor it begged the question of perhaps a better workflow. Most likely the illustration of “export to” a secondary app from within PL is the best course of action for me.

Thanks again.

Actually, there is no need to export to any other app, just to a location where you can open the file in the app of your choice. PL’s “export to app” simply creates an exported file and the opens it in the target app, just the same as doing it manually.

Okay thanks. That was sort of my original concept, except I was thinking to use full res jpegs instead of Tiff or DNGs primarily for compositing or when my masking skills in PL are insufficient. The AI masking features in on1 and others are much more “dummy proof” for users like me. I guess it would depend on the actual photo, but using either TIFF or DNG does sound like a better solution.

what format is PL sending to the other app, png or tiff format? no way you still working on RAW file. so saving or sending… does it really makes a difference?

You can choose…
CleanShot 2023-10-08 at 13.49.37@2x

And yes you can choose to send the RAW file, but of course you get no processing from PhotoLab in that case.

Per my post above, I use a high-colour TIFF (16 bit ProPhoto RGB) because pretty much anything will open it, including PhotoLab. Other good choices (given further editing is intended) are the two DNG options.

Thanks for all the good input. I think the issue is resolved in my case, which will be to continue to do almost everything within my skill set in PL, then export (most likely a DNG) with all edits baked it for any other trickery that would seem easier in another app.

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