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What is Adobe Camera Raw?


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What is Adobe Camera Raw?

In photographic circles, Adobe Camera RAW has become quite a hot and popular topic. There's so much excitement about RAW capture and RAW processing, yet sometimes, some of this is a little bit mysterious. It's a little bit confusing. So what I want to begin to do here is to distill things a bit. And the first thing that we need to do is take a look at two terms, Raw Capture and Raw Processing. For starters, Raw Capture has to do with how we're actually capturing the image on camera. On the other hand, Raw Processing is all about using Adobe Camera Raw.

Let's define these even further, starting off with Raw Capture. Whenever you capture an image with a digital camera. The images captured on the sensor. And if you're capturing in JPEG mode, that information goes through a whole sequence of steps here; Bayer interpolation, white balance contrast, so on, compression, and then we get the JPEG. On the other hand, we can capture a file in its RAW format. In other words, the information simply comes straight off the sensor, and we have all of this raw data. So in this scenario, we're talking about raw capture. Now, in contrast, when we talk about Adobe Camera Raw, we're talking about something completely different.

This has to do with how we process an image in software, which is called Adobe Camera Raw. So one of the things that happens, when we're using Adobe Camera Raw, is that we have these actual pixels. We have image information. Well we then apply a set of instructions to these actual pixels, and the instructions are actually kind of interesting. There's simply a laundry list of information which describe how we want this image to be displayed, whether the crop, or the color, and so what happens then is this set of instructions Displays an image in a particular way. Now the nice thing about Adobe Camera raw is that working in this context it's completely non-destructive.

In other words, no pixels are harmed, no pixels are affected. We're not actually pushing pixels per say. Rather We have pixels that were applying some instructions to, which then in turn display the image, perhaps in a different way. This in turn gives us a lot of flexibility and we can always undo whatever we've done. This can also really speed up our overall workflow. Because if you think about it, with Adobe Camera Raw there's not render time because you're not actually doing something to pixels, rather you're simply changing the set of instructions. So again, this can result in a different format, and here you can see I have yet another version of this image.

The other thing that's kind of interesting about Adobe Camera Raw is that we can process images, whether they're Raw, DNG, TFF Or JPEG in this format. So, we're not limited to just working on files that were captured in the Raw format. Rather, we can use these different types of formats. Alright, well, if we had to distill this, how would we do that? Well, think of Adobe Camera Raw as a way to nondestructively edit and work on your photographs. And what it does for you is it helps things to be a little bit more flexible, because you can always undo whatever you've done.

It also will really speed up your overall workflow because while working in Camera Raw, there's no render time, there's really no save time and so it speeds things up by leaps and bounds. And then lastly, I like to think of Adobe Camera Raw as a really creative space. It's not just functional, but it can help you come up with some really creative ways to process images. And it's because of these reasons and more, as you'll soon discover, that Adobe Camera Raw really has become one of the most premiere and prominent tools of our time.

What is Adobe Camera Raw?
Video duration: 3m 45s 3h 52m Beginner Updated Oct 09, 2014

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What is Adobe Camera Raw? provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Photoshop CC for Photographers: Camera Raw 8 Fundamentals

Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Camera Raw
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