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Now that we know a little bit about the Adobe Camera RAW basic controls, let's take what we've learned and apply it to our photographs. We will be working with this picture here. It's rincon_surfer.dng. To open this one up in Camera RAW, press Command+R on a Mac, or Ctrl+R on Windows. Well, this particular photograph--this portrait--I liked the expression, I liked the composition, yet I want more detail in this area. In order to do that, we could increase the exposure.
Yet, when we increase the exposure, something happens. This side of the image, well, it becomes too bright. Well, we can modify that by using these controls. Let's--though--first work on the shadows. If we want more detail in our shadows or our blacks, well, we can drag these sliders to the right. We can bring more light into those areas of the image. One of the challenges is that when you brighten an image, you also need to add a bit of contrast; otherwise, it can look a little fake. So here I will go ahead and increase the contrast a little bit as well.
All right. Well, what about the bright side of the frame? Well, here we can use Highlights and Whites. I will go ahead and click and drag this down. You can see how I am bringing more detail into that area of the picture. So as you use these controls, it's a little bit of a give and take using them together. Try to come up with a nice combination. You can also modify them after the fact, after you dial in the amount of contrast you are going to use and also how much of light you are going to bring into the shadows. All right. Well, after having made those adjustments--just a few more here-- I am going to drag my Temperature slider over to the right just to warm this up a little bit as well.
Well, now we can view the before and after by pressing the P key, or by clicking on this icon here for Preview. Here it is, our before and then our after. And by using these controls, it allowed us to create this different type of exposure. And here you can see how these specific controls allow us to tap into different parts of the image. And here's what's really powerful. What's happening with this latest version of Adobe Camera RAW is that it's able to extract more information from the RAW file so that we can swing these sliders-- or move these sliders--in even more dramatic ways.
Also, from the get-go, it's giving us a better starting point. In order to illustrate that, I want to show you another file. All right. Well, let's click Done with this image and go back to the Adobe Bridge. Here I have a demo file or some screen grabs of this image processed in Camera RAW in CS6 and Camera RAW with CS6. Here's the actual photograph. Well, one of the problems with this picture was that the front part of the car had some loss of detail. I used to use this image as a great example of a way to recover highlights.
Well, I open this image up in Adobe Photoshop CS6 Camera RAW and here's what I discovered. Well, in CS5, yes, we had clipping, loss of detail in the front of the car, you can see that by the red highlighted area. In CS6 the same image, yet a different Camera RAW processing engine. Well, that problem is completely solved, and I didn't even do anything. In other words, the way that Adobe Camera RAW taps into the data in that raw file is more intelligent.
It allows you to extract more information out of the file, which gives you a better starting point and also more flexibility when it comes to modifying those photographs.
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