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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Welcome to the chapter on Camera Raw. In this chapter we are going to dig into the essentials of an Adobe Camera Raw, and what we will be learning in this chapter will help make your images snap, crackle and pop. It will help you take advantage of Adobe Camera Raw in order to make your photographs more compelling. Now you have probably heard a lot of talk about Camera Raw. Now what's the mystery behind all of this Camera Raw madness? What's the deal with this? There are really two issues. One issue has to do with capture; the other issue has to do with digital postproduction. Now in regards to the capture side of things, what happens is when you capture in JPEG mode, the pixels come off your sensor and then they are processed, in a whole number of different ways, and then you get the JPEG. In contrast, when we are talking about capture, if you capture in the Raw mode, the pixels come of the sensor and voila! That is it.
Nothing is happening to those pixels. Now the advantage of capturing in the Raw format is that it allows you much more flexibility and you have much more information in that file. Now when we are talking about Camera Raw in regards to the Photoshop, we are actually not talking about capture. Yet I need to talk about that because a lot of times these issues are confused. All right, so there is the capture issue. What's the deal with Photoshop, and what is the deal with the Adobe Camera Raw side of things? All right, well here we go. Adobe Camera Raw has to do with how we process the pixels that we have. Now the actual pixels could be the pixels from a JPEG file, a TIFF file, or a Raw file. So when I'm talking about actual pixels over here, I'm talking about those different types of file formats.
Let's say we have open up one of those images inside of Adobe Camera Raw, so we have open up a JPEG, a TIF, or a Raw file. Here is what's happened, we modify our sliders, and our controls, what we are doing is, we are modifying the Raw instructions, we are not actually modifying the pixels, the end result is an image that looks different. Now this is really interesting, isn't it? So what's happening here is what's called non- destructive image editing. We are not actually affecting the pixels. Now let's say we decide to changes Raw instructions. The image then looks differently. And then we decide to do it, I want to go to black and white, we change instructions again, now the image looks even more different. Now the nice thing about Camera Raw processing is this, it's non-destructive, meaning, you can always undo what you have done. In addition, when you are continually modifying these instructions, it does not increase your file size, because this little instructions file is just a tiny little file. So again it saves on file size, which ultimately means you can work much more quickly, because you don't have to wait for Photoshop to process all the pixels.
So as you can see all those people out there who are so excited about the Camera Raw workflow are right. It is pretty exciting, because it's non-destructive, decreases file size, and it increases your overall productivity. All right, well now that we have this conversation about Camera Raw, we are ready to dig in, and we will do that in the next movie.
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