Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Why raw files work best, part of Photoshop CC for Photographers: Camera Raw 8 Fundamentals.
In one of the previous movies, I mentioned that we can work with different file formats in Camera Raw. We can work with Native Raw files or TIFs or JPEGs. And here, I'm simply want to highlight how we can start to work with these file formats, and I also want to point out some of the strengths or weaknesses of working with the different files. Well in the content panel you'll notice that I have three different images. If we click through these they all appear exactly the same. Yet you may notice that one is a RAW file. This one is the native RAW file. Straight out of the camera. If you make your way down to the metadata panel, you can see the resolution and file size.
And as I click through these images, what you'll notice is that the resolution here is exactly the same. The amount of pixels is identical. Yet the file size differs. Here, when we go to the JPEG file, you can see that, again, we have the same dimensions yet we have a much smaller file. And that's typical of JPEG files. And so here, let's open up all three of these files in Adobe Camera Raw. To do that, hold down the Cmd key on a Mac, Ctrl key on Windows, and then click on the files which you want to open. Next, navigate to the File pull-down menu, and here select Open in Camera Raw. We'll talk more about opening up files in Camera Raw in one of the subsequent chapters.
Yet, for now, simply click on this menu item in order to open up Camera Raw with all of these three images accessible. Now here with these photographs, as we click through them, you'll see that they all appear exactly the same. And again, they all have the same dimension. Yet one of the things which will be different is the amount of information which we actually have in each image. And in order to illustrate this, what I want to do is zoom in to a certain area of the photograph. In order to highlight a couple of the differences. So with the zoom tool selected, I will then double click it.
That will take the image to 100 percent. Then, select the hand tool. And click and drag in order to reposition, so that we can look at the front of the truck here. Next, I'll click on another photograph. Double click the zoom tool. Grab the hand tool. And click and drag to reposition this. In this way, this will allow me to view these images in the same way. Again, double-clicking the zoom tool and with the hand tool repositioning. Now, why did I want to do that? Well, I wanted to do that so that we can then evaluate a certain area in the photograph. And if we go back to the raw file, what you can do is turn on what's called the clipping indicator.
Again, we'll talk more about this later, yet for now, I simply want to highlight how you can do this. If you make your way to the histogram, you'll notice there's a small icon. When you turn that icon on, it will show you a few areas where the image is overexposed and where you have Loss of detail and it will highlight that area in red. If I were to increase my exposure more, what we would see is that more of this area shows me that I have a problem. I’ll reset the exposure slider by double-clicking the tab. Now just the native file, the file as is, has a bit of overexposure in this area and that’s the RAW file.
Well, let’s compare the difference, say, to the TIF file. When we click on the TIF file, we see that it’s pretty similar. Again we have a lot of information here and a lot of information to work with. Next if we navigate to the jpeg file, here's where we'll discover the big difference. Notice that while the jpeg file does have the same overall dimensions, it doesn't have as much information there. I wanted to show you this, just to highlight that as you start to work with camera raw. While you can work with different file formats, ideally, the best file format that you can work on is the native raw file. And by having the native raw file, you have the most amount of information in the file, so you can then easily make a correction. If you can start off by working with the raw file, that will always lead to the best results.
- What is Camera Raw?
- Comparing RAW and DNG file formats
- Setting preferences
- Cropping and composing
- Recovering shadow and highlight detail
- Improving clarity, vibrance, and saturation
- Making strong black-and-white images
- Reducing unwanted noise
- Sharpening your photographs
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 07/09/2014. What changed?
A: We added a video covering the new Preview feature, introduced in Camera Raw 8.4, and a "What's new?" movie reviewing the changes Adobe introduced in the 2014 update to Photoshop CC.
Q: This course was updated on 10/09/2014. What changed?
A: We added seven new movies, which describe features and enhancements in the October 2014 release of Photoshop CC. New movies contain the "CC 2014.1" tag next to their names.