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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.
Let's take a look at the buttons down at the bottom of the Camera Raw workspace. We have already seen that there's a Cancel button here. If you click the Cancel button to close the Camera Raw workspace, any adjustments that you've made to the image in this editing session won't be remembered, so the next time that you open the image into Camera Raw, it'll be at its defaults. If you make changes and then you click the Done button, the Camera Raw workspace will close, but it will remember your adjustments. And the next time you open the image, you will see those adjustments here in the sliders and in the image preview.
So for example, if I take the Highlight slider and I drag to the left to eliminate that little bit of clipping that I see in the histogram in the Highlights, and then I click Done, and then later I reopen that file, you can see that Camera Raw remembered the change that I made to the Highlights. So if there was nothing that I wanted to do to this image beyond my changes in Camera Raw or if I wanted to come back to the image later to do more to it in the Expert edit workspace, I would click Done like that.
The other alternative is to click Open Image, which will open the image into the Expert edit workspace for further editing. I will come back to that option in just a moment, but first I want to show you the Save Image button. This comes into play if you have a photo like this one that's in a proprietary raw format. In this case this photo was taken with a Panasonic camera and it has the rw2 extension, which means it's in the proprietary raw format for Panasonic files. So Adobe was concerned that if your raw files are only in proprietary raw formats like this, and that format is no longer supported in the future, you may not be able to open your raw files.
And so Adobe created a universal format for raw files called DNG. And using this Save Image button, you can convert one or more raw files to the DNG format. Now, this won't write over your original proprietary raw files, you will still have those, you will just have another copy in the universal DNG raw format. So let's take a look at that. I will click Save Image, and that opens this dialog box, where I can set my options for converting a copy of this file to DNG. Here, I can choose a destination for the DNG file.
I will just select my Desktop for that. And here, I can change the file name if I want, I usually leave the file name the same, so that I know which DNG corresponds to which proprietary file. But if you do want to change the file name, you have four different drop-down menus here from which you can choose: document names, serial numbers, dates, and more. I can choose one of two file extensions, DNG in capital letters or dng in small letters. And then in the Compatibility field, I can choose which versions of Camera Raw will be able to read the DNG file.
If I were to set this to Camera Raw 7.1 and later, which is the most current version of Camera Raw at the time this course is being recorded, then I have some other options down here. If I check Embed Fast Load Data, that will embed some extra data inside the DNG file, so that it will load faster, if I reopen it for more adjustments. The downside of checking this box is that embedding fast load data can make the file bigger. So to save storage space, I might just uncheck this. But if you have lots of storage space for your DNGs, it can't hurt to check Embed Fast Load Data.
I usually don't check Use Lossy Compression, another option, which is available for recent versions of Camera Raw. The reason I don't check this is that Lossy Compression can reduce DNG file size, but as a trade off, it can cause a loss of quality, so I will leave that unchecked. Now, if you want to keep a copy of your proprietary raw file inside the DNG file as extra insurance, so you could extract that proprietary raw file in the future, then you could check Embed Original Raw File. That's going to make the file a lot bigger. Since saving this file in the DNG format isn't going to destroy my original raw file, I usually leave this unchecked, but that's up to you.
After choosing settings here, I can click Save, and that will make a copy of this file in the DNG format out on my Desktop. Now let's talk about the Open Image button. After you have made adjustments to a file here in Camera Raw, there may be further things that you want to do to it in the Expert edit workspace that you can't do in Camera Raw. For example, you may want to add layers to make a composite, or use selections to target your adjustments to just part of the image, or add special effects, or add text, or add shapes, or lots more that you can't do in Camera Raw, which is primarily for global photo correction.
Or you may not want to make any more corrections, but you may want to resize a copy of the image and save it out in a particular format for whatever use you have in mind, for example in the JPEG format, if you're going to share a copy of the file online. So before I click Open Image to open the file with its Camera Raw adjustments into the Expert edit workspace, I will come over to the Depth menu and I will choose the bit depth at which I want to open the file. Because a raw file is a high bit depth file, I can choose between either eight bits per channel or 16 bits per channel.
I usually start off with 16 bits per channel because that gives me the most editing latitude in the Expert edit workspace. And then I can convert it down to 8 bits per channel from the Expert edit workspace if I need to. So now I'll click Open Image, and that opens the photo into the Expert edit workspace with all the changes that I made in Camera Raw baked into this copy of the file. So at this point, I might resize the file, going the Image > Resize > Image Size menu as I showed you how to do in an earlier movie. I'd follow that with final output sharpening, going to the Enhance menu and choosing Unsharp Mask or Adjust Sharpness, as I showed you how to do in yet another movie.
And then I would go to File > Save As or Save for Web and save a copy of the file in the format that I need. So if I need a JPEG, I will choose JPEG from this Format menu and I will click Save. I will click OK to accept these JPEG options, and now I have not only my raw file, which I can close at this point, and I don't have any changes to save, so I'll click No, I also have another copy which I saved as a JPEG. I can still go back to that original raw file, which remains on my hard drive, and reopen it at any time into the Camera Raw workspace to tweak the Camera Raw settings that I made, or reprocess the file another way.
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