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Adobe Camera Raw gives you an incredibly flexible and powerful way to enhance and to correct your photographs. And people are really excited about Camera Raw and rightly so. So what I want to do here is ask a question. What is Camera Raw? And why does it matter? I want to try to demystify the mystery behind the madness or the excitement with Camera Raw so that we can really understand this tool and use it most effectively. One of the first things that we need to do in order to understand this tool is to differentiate between Raw Capture and also Raw Processing.
These are two different things, even though we use similar words when we're describing them. First, let's take a look at Raw Capture. Well, Raw Capture as opposed to capture, say, when we were capturing JPEGs is very different. It just comes straight off of the sensor. When we are shooting in JPEG mode, our files go through a certain process. When we are shooting in Raw mode, well, again those images, they just come straight off the sensor. On the other hand, how does this compare to Raw Processing? Well, Raw Processing has to do with using a tool like Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, and what Raw Processing allows us to do is to take actual physical pixels and then modify them.
But we modify them by using Raw Instructions. The Raw Instructions, well, it's just kind of like this text file which says here's what the saturation should be or here is what the contract should be, here's what the color should be. The end result is that we can then change the way our image appears. We can make enhancements and corrections to our photographs, and we can do this in really creative and flexible ways. We can also apply this kind of Raw Processing to different file formats, whether that's Raw straight from our Camera, or files which have been converted to the DNG format or TIFF or JPEG files.
So why use Adobe Camera Raw? Well, one of the top reasons is because it allows you to make non-destructive adjustments. In other words, we're not actually changing the pixels. We're just modifying them by way of a set of instructions. These instructions can always and forever be changed. This, of course, gives us a lot of flexibility. It also improves the overall speed of our workflow, because when you're working with Camera Raw, there's really nothing to save. As you make a change you see it, and then you can simply click OK.
There's no render time. Another reason why people like Camera Raw, including myself, is because it allows you to be really creative. This flexibility and speed, it opens up other creative options or possibilities when working with your images.
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