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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Okay, so the main value proposition of raw files is that you have a bunch of extra information that you can manipulate and make your images look really great. And then the other benefit of course is it's always a nondestructive workflow, right. You're never actually changing the Digital Negative file on disk. Which means, you actually have to save out a variation or a copy of the file that you're processing. Now most people think that you have to click the Open Image button in the Camera Raw dialog, that will then process this file based on the choices you've made over on the right in the panels, and then it will take that processed file and open up in Photoshop, where then you may do some further editing and then save it as a JPEG, or TIFF, or a PSD, or whatever file format that you might need.
Now here's the thing, if you're done with the file, and you have no intention of actually doing any further editing in Photoshop, you don't actually need to take the file in Photoshop to save out a copy. You can actually do that right from within Camera Raw, without having to go over to Photoshop to do it. What you need to do is not look over here in the right-hand corner. You need to go over here and look in the left-hand corner, at the bottom where you have this Save Image button. Before we get to there though, let's do a quick review. If you just changed your mind and didn't mean to do any of these edits, you were just experimenting, of course, you can hit the Cancel button, and it just cancels all your edits as the name implies.
If all you wanted to do was just update the settings for the files, you can click Done. That will take you back to Bridge and will modify the thumbnail to update your edits. Again as discussed, if you hit the Open Image button, it'll pass the file over to Photoshop and create a copy of it for you. A little bonus tip, if I hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows, that actually changes what these buttons do. The Cancel button becomes Reset. That's a way to just cancel but not leave Camera Raw, because you just want to start over without having to reopen it from Bridge. And then let's talk about actually saving the image without going to Photoshop.
Before you click the Save Image button, you want to make sure that your workflow options are set up the way you want. So, for instance if I wanted to create a low resolution JPEG version of this file, I'd click on the Adobe RGB button. I'd choose 8 Bits per Channel, maybe down sample this to a web resolution, to the smallest file size here. And I can type in a different resolution like 72 dpi, and go ahead and Sharpen For the Screen, as in the monitor. Go ahead and click OK. That doesn't actually save the file. It just determines the settings that will be used when you click the Save Image button.
Which I'll go ahead and do now. I'll click Save Image. This brings up the Save Options dialog, where you can determine where you want these files to be saved. I just have it set to my Desktop, if you want a different location you can go ahead and Select Folder. You also have the ability just to save it in the same location as the raw file or file that you were editing to begin with. I typically will create a separate folder though and call it Processed or come up with some naming scheme that makes sense. For now we're just going to save it to the Desktop. You've actually got some built-in naming options as well. So if you want to come up with a naming sequence for your files, you can certainly do that.
You can type in the base name right in this field, or you can just keep with the current document name where it's at, and then I can choose something like a 2 Digit Serial Number, if I've got a series of these images that I'm saving out. I can basically create a custom naming scheme to apply to the entire series. Formats, I can actually choose a JPEG, TIFF or Photoshop, right from the Camera Raw dialog here. I'm going to go ahead and choose JPEG. Digital Negative is kind of an archival format. It will convert any raw file into this industry standard, now Digital Negative format.
But I won't get into the details there, but it's a way to guarantee that a raw file will always be readable by the Camera RAW plug-in, regardless of what raw file format it was originally. For now I'm just going to go ahead and choose JPEG. You can of course choose your Quality setting. I'm going to choose Maximum. I'm going to go ahead and hit Save. And that's it. It's actually doing it in the background. You'll see real briefly there was a one remaining little notice there. If you had several images selected, it could save all of them in the background. You can keep working while it's actually cranking those out.
I can go ahead and hit Cancel now, and if I switch over to my Desktop and hide everything, you'll see there's the Tour.jpg that we just saved out from Camera Raw, without actually having to take a side trip to Photoshop. Not necessary if you don't intend to do any further editing. You can just stop right there and save it right out of Camera Raw directly.
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