Camera raw workflow
Camera raw workflow
Let's go ahead and take a look at how we can put together these different pieces of Adobe Camera Raw in order to walk through perhaps a typical workflow on an image. We're going to be working on this file jeff_johnson.dng. So let's go ahead and press Command+R on a Mac or Ctrl+R on a PC. Jeff Johnson is an amazing photographer, writer, climber, skateboarder, surfer, just an all around fascinating guy. Here we have this portrait of him. What I want to do is I want to improve this portrait. So the first thing that I'm going to do is navigate to my Basic panel.
I'm going to start at the top and make my way down and then maybe bounce back up the top again. So let's go ahead and increase the color temperature. This is going to be a subjective edit, simply because I want this image to be a little bit more warm. Next, I'll go down to Exposure and simply click and drag that up a little bit. I'm going to add some Fill Light here, perhaps increase my Blacks, and then also a little bit of Contrast and Brightness. Now whenever we start to affect the image with its tone, let's say Blacks or Contrast, that in turn is going to affect the color saturation.
For example, if we have our Blacks up really high, you can see that the color here has been affected dramatically. So one of the things that you need to keep in mind is, as you go through these controls you may need to go back your Temperature control, you may need to change it a little bit. In my case I think I went a little too far with the warming up of the photograph. All right. Well so far so good. Let's continue on. Down in the Clarity slider here we can add a little bit of mid-tone contrast. Typically you want to add just a touch of that.
Vibrance, increase that, and it will help out your weaker colors or the weaker tones. Saturation, that will either increase or decrease saturation depending on your own style or your own preference. In this case I'm going to decrease it just a touch. Well, let's take a look at the before and after. We can do so by clicking on the Preview check box. Here's before and here's after. The image now looks much different. Well, what else would we want to do with this image? Well another thing that we need to do is to work on the detail.
We can do so by clicking on the Detail panel, it's the third icon, and this is where we can work on sharpening our image or reducing noise. In order to actually see the sharpening, what we're going to need to do is to zoom in to 100%. We can do so by double-clicking the Zoom tool. That will take the image to 100%. Let's go ahead and press the Spacebar key and then click and drag down, and this is going to show us our image at 100%, but there's something that's kind of interesting about this view.
One is that this 100% view is determined or define by our workflow options. You can set those up down below. Here you can see that it's showing me this is in Adobe RGB color space, 8 bits, and that it's actually a pretty small image. Well, if I click on this link I can change the Space, Depth or Size, and you would want to make changes here depending upon the final output. Well, let's say that this image was intended for the Web. Well in that case sizing this down to a 1.6 megapixel size would be fine.
On the other hand, if I were going to print this image I might want to choose the 21 megapixel size, the full native size. Now if I click OK here, what's going to happen is it's going to change my overall zoom rate, so I want to go ahead and click on that Workflow Option link and take this back down to the smaller size, because in this case this image is just intended for the Web. Now one of the things that I notice here is that while my depth of field is really, really shallow, one of the eyes is sharp but the other one isn't quite sharp.
So I want to increase the overall sharpening amount. So I'll do so, by clicking-and-dragging this up. Radius, typically you want a pretty low radius, and then Detail, you can have that pretty low for not sharpening small details. High if you want to sharpen the little teeny details. So typically for people you want a lower amount for your Detail. All right. I'll go ahead increase my Sharpening amount a little bit more and try to get this image to a better place. All right, great.
Well, now that I've done all that, I'm going to zoom out by double-clicking the Hand tool. That will take this view to a Fit in View mode. Great. I think the image is looking better, but let's say that I've decided I want to get a little bit creative. I want to change the color and tone. Well, how could I do that? Well, we could go back to the Basic panel, or we could go to another panel, and I want to highlight this one here just to show you that there are other options. I'm going to go to Split Toning and here I'm going to add maybe a little bit of yellow in my highlights, and then perhaps maybe a little bit of blue in my shadows.
You can see that I'm modifying the overall look of the photograph just having some fun with this image. Now once I've made those changes, you almost always want to go back to your Basic control and then make further changes. In this case I'm going to brighten it up a little bit more, little more Contrast, and then perhaps change the color temperature just a touch as well so that I have this really interesting looking tone. Now there are only a couple of more things that I want to highlight here, and one of them is how we view our previews.
Well, I've made changes in three areas, Basic and the Detail and then also in the Split Toning panel. If I click on my Preview before and after, it's only going to show me a before and after preview of whatever panel I am in. For example, click on Split Toning. Now I am only seeing the before and after of the Split Toning. Well, what do I need to do to see the before and after of everything? Well, in that case, click on the second-to-last icon, Presets.
When you go here and click on Preview, it's going to show you everything you've done, the original image. Click again, and now the final image as you've processed it. Well, the last thing to talk about is what do we do with this now that we're finished? We have a couple of different options. We can either save the image clicking on that icon, will open up a dialog, or we can save this as a different file format with a different name, or we can select Open Image. That would then open this image up in Photoshop, with these settings right here, whatever we defined as our workflow options.
Or the third option would be to simply click Done, and what that would do is simply apply all of these Camera Raw settings to this photograph. Well, let's go ahead and click on that option. I'll click on Done. When I go back to Bridge you can see that it's then updated my preview of this image. Now if ever I want to make more changes, all that I need to do is to go back to Camera Raw, press Command+R on a Mac, Ctrl+R on a PC, and here I can change my overall Exposure or my Fill Light or my Contrast for that matter.
Once I'm done with that, once again, simply click Done, and it will then update that photograph. We are just barely scratching the surface of the power of Adobe Camera Raw. If you're interested in digging deeper into how Camera Raw actually works, I have an entire training title where we really dig into all of the ins and outs of how to get the most out of this powerful tool. So if this movie has piqued your interest in Camera Raw, be sure to check out that other training title where you can learn much, much more.
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