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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right, good people, we are going to venture into the realm of Camera Raw and it's a wonderful, wonderful realm as you will soon see. There is so much to know about, so much to learn, so much to love and Camera Raw is an independent plug-in much like the Liquefy Filter wherein you process raw digital images which are photographs that are captured in your digital camera's RAW file format and this could mean CR2 in the case of Canon or NEF in the case of Nikon or ORF in the case of Olympus or RAW in the case of Leica and the list goes on and on.
You typically need an SLR as opposed to a point-and-shoot, in order to capture RAW images but it really depends on your camera. You have to look at your manual to see if you can do it. And if you can, then you can basically develop the images inside of Camera Raw. So think of it this way. A RAW image is very much like a film negative. It has got all the information you need to bring out as many colors as possible, as many luminance levels as were captured. Whereas, things like JPEG and TIF are more analogous to print positive. You can still work with them and you can still make modifications to them, but you are more limited in terms of what is available to you from the get go. This is a confusing point for some photographers, even though, a RAW image may not look as good as a JPEG image when captured from the camera.
The RAW image has more going for it and is in better shape and you are going to be able to make it look better ultimately than that JPEG. It's just that the camera already did some stuff to the JPEG image to make it look pretty good. I will say one more thing about Camera Raw before we open it up here. Camera Raw 5, which is the version that ships along with Photoshop CS4, Camera Raw 5 is entirely compatible with Lightroom 2. So if you know a Lightroom user or you use Lightroom yourself, you can juggle images back and fort between the two programs and retain all of your modifications, all of your edits and those edits are applied as metadata. So the original images are never harmed. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing.
All right, so here I'm with the Bridge. I'm in the Bridge right now, I have got it trained on the 22_camera_raw folder that's inside your Exercise Files folder and we are looking at a series of images inside this folder from photographer Chris Orwig, a fellow Photoshop trainer here at Lynda.com, who I highly recommend, does really good work, after you get down with my stuff of course. All right, so right here is a picture of his Daughter Annika and Annika Skywalker of course and we have got four images that I want you to go ahead and select. So go ahead and Click on Heart art_01.dng and then Shift+Click on Heart art_04.dng and these are all DNG files. These images were originally captured with the Canon EOS 5D and therefore they were captured in the camera's CR2 format.
But I have gone ahead and converted them all over to DNG, which is Adobe's Digital Negative Format. You don't lose anything in the translation, so it's a lossless conversion and it's a standardized format rather than being one of the proprietary camera formats, so I definitely endorse it. Also, another great thing about DNG is that Camera Raw and Lightroom can write directly to DNG files as opposed to creating a sidecar metadata file that's really easy to lose and misplace and all that. So DNG is a great thing. Anyway, there is a couple of different ways we can open these images in Camera Raw.
For starters, I could go up to the File menu and I can choose the Open command. Now if I do that, there is a way to change this setting here. But by default you will open Camera Raw inside of Photoshop. So notice, if I go ahead and choose the Open command or if I were to Double-Click on one of these images, we switch over to Photoshop as you saw happen in the background right there and then you will see the Camera Raw plug-in open up here inside Photoshop. So Photoshop is serving as the host for the plug-in. But it also means that Photoshop is hung up inside of Camera Raw. When you are working inside Camera Raw, inside Photoshop you can't do anything in the background here inside of Photoshop.
Notice it's grumping at me. It is giving me that little flicker to say, no, you can't do that. All right. If you want to keep Photoshop free to do other things, then here is what you want to do instead, cancel out, switch back over to the Bridge. So I'll go ahead and choose the Browse in Bridge command once again here and then back here in the Bridge, you go to the File menu and you choose Open in Camera Raw. Now that may seem a bit redundant because we just opened in Camera Raw a moment ago inside Photoshop, but what this is saying is you are going to open these images in Camera Raw right here in the Bridge and this also has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+R, Command+R on the Mac and then here we are, still inside the Bridge and note now, if I want to switch over to Photoshop, I can and Photoshop is right rearing to go, and it will let me do whatever it is I want to do.
In my case, I want to switch back to the Bridge, that's what I want to do from Photoshop. I'm going to go ahead and cancel out once again. If you really like working that way, if you would rather open your Raw images and process them here inside the Bridge instead of in Photoshop, then go ahead and press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box and go to the General tab right there, so I'll Click on the word General and then right there notice you have the option of Double- Clicking on thumbnails in order to open Camera Raw directly inside the Bridge. And I'm going to tell you that's the way I prefer to work. So I'm going to go ahead and leave that selected and Click OK and there you have it. That's how you open Camera Raw.
In future exercises, I'm going to show you how to use the darn thing.
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