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Before we begin to work in Adobe Camera Raw, it's obviously a good idea to take a look at our Camera Raw Preferences. We can find those by navigating to the Adobe Bridge pulldown menu. Then we can select Camera Raw Preferences. Now, all that we're going to do here is simply walk through these different options. There are only going to be a couple of things that we'll need to change. Now, for starters, we want to make sure we're saving our image settings not in the Camera Raw database, but we want to save it locally with the file as Sidecar ".xmp" files. In other words, this will be important, so that the file, and its process settings will travel together.
Otherwise, if those get separated, we'll lose all the work that we've done in Adobe Camera Raw. The next option is to apply sharpening. Now, typically, RAW files coming straight off the sensor need a little bit of sharpening and contrast and color work. Now, what we want to do is we want to change this to All images. This will give us a good starting point, a good amount of input sharpening, so that we can actually see where we're going. We'll probably do another level of sharpening in Photoshop, just before output. All right, well, what about these Default Image Settings? We're going to leave these all as is, but I'll just talk through them briefly.
Applying auto tone adjustments isn't a good idea, because it doesn't always work. So typically, you want that off. Also, once in Adobe Camera Raw, you can always apply auto tone by way of a shortcut, which we'll be talking about later. Now, the next option I recommend you leave on, which is an auto grayscale mix. Again, this is just a nice good starting point when you're converting to grayscale. Next, you can have specific defaults based on your camera, if you're going to set up different default settings for camera or ISO setting.
Now, for most of us, we're not going to need that, yet if you have really specific scenario where you're using multiple cameras and where you're creating defaults or settings for those different cameras, then of course you'd want to turn those two options on. Now our Camera Raw Cache, we're actually not taking advantage of, because you remember, we're saving all of our settings to our Sidecar files. So we'll go ahead and skip over Camera Raw Cache. Now DNG files, we'll talk about a little bit later, yet one of the things that I want to highlight here is that if you're going to use the DNG format, like I do and a lot of other people do, you want to check this option to update that embedded JPEG preview.
That will help you out in your overall workflow. Now the last option down here has to do with how we RAW-process JPEG and TIFF files. Now, one of the advantages of working with Adobe Camera Raw is that we can, of course, work with JPEG and TIFF files, yet we need to determine how do we open those up? In other words, when we open a JPEG file up, do we want it to automatically go to Camera Raw? Probably not, because it's not typical that we're going to process all of our JPEGs in Camera Raw. Rather, I find this default setting which says open your JPEGs if they have settings with Camera Raw or your TIFFs if they have RAW settings with Camera Raw.
In other words, only automatically open those files that you've already RAW-processed, because typically, we're not going to RAW-process our JPEGs and TIFFs all the time. We'll leave that as is. On the other hand, if you know that you want to open up all JPEGs and all TIFFs always in Camera Raw, well, then you can go ahead and choose the second option here in both of these pulldown menus. All right! Well, that wraps up our conversation about Camera Raw Preferences.
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