What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw Photoshop
What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw
About 10 years ago digital photography changed rather significantly. We went from opening images one at a time off of photo CDs and scans, to suddenly being presented with digital cameras that can give us dozens, hundreds even thousands of images. Some of the images, those coming off of high-end point shoots or DSLRs, were RAW files, uncompressed, very high-resolution files that were able to be converted. And Adobe responded with two things, one was the file browser, which allowed us to see multiple images all at once.
The other was the Camera RAW Plug-in, which was able to convert those RAW uncompressed files into a language that Photoshop understood. Now the Camera RAW Plug-in allows you to do all sorts of things that you can't do in Photoshop. You have more control over the tonality of the image, you have control over things like noise reduction and you have unique control over things like temperature and clarity that you don't have in Photoshop. Now what a lot of people don't know is that you can use non-RAW files in Camera RAW, and today I'd like to show you how to use JPEGs and TIFFs in Camera RAW, let's take a look.
So if we look here in Bridge, which is sort of a modern-day file browser, we see that we've got a couple of RAW files here and we've got a few JEPGs, and the last JPEG was actually shot with my iPhone, just a few days ago, and I can open any of these in Camera RAW, I just have to trick it. And what I'm going to do in Bridge is I'm going to come up here to my Camera RAW Preferences and I'm going to make sure that I Automatically open all supported JPEGs. If I come down to TIFF, Automatically open all supported TIFFs.
Now if I'm not using Bridge, if I'm just using Photoshop, there's a way to go there as well. So I come here to my menu Photoshop > Preferences come down to Camera RAW and I am presented with those same options, Automatically open all supported JPEGs and Automatically open all supported TIFFs. And so let's look at the case of the image off of the iPhone, I am going to double-click on this and I'm presented with this window here. Now a lot of people will see me present and I'll show a RAW file in here and the first question is, how did you get there, where are you? So, we're in Camera RAW, we just happen to be using a JPEG file and we can do some really cool things here that we can't do in Photoshop.
So one of those is we can warm this up, I have control over the Temperature of my file, I also have control over the Tint, and I have more control over the latitude of the file, which is to say the Shadows, Highlights and Exposure than I would, anywhere in Photoshop, whether it's with the JPEG or with the RAW file. So this image is a little hot, I can pull it down a bit, I can bring the Highlights back in. I can get some more information out of the Shadows and I'm going to make the Black areas a little bit darker.
Clarity is essentially midtone contrast, I don't have that in Photoshop, it just makes it sort of pop and little bit of Vibrance as well. Now I've come up with an image that I really like here, I could open this into Photoshop, I can click Done and the changes would appear back there in Bridge, or I could make a preset, and that's what I want to do here, so let's just say I want all of these different things to be part of the preset, and let's call that iPhone2, since I already have one from my iPhone, click OK and anytime I open an image in here whether it's a JPEG off of the iPhone or anything else, I can apply that preset and get that whole look immediately.
Now I'm going to click Done, and if we come back here we'll see that the image in Bridge has taken on that look. Now here's where things get really interesting. All of the time that we spend on that one image can be shared with other images very quickly and easily, and it doesn't matter what kind of file they are, whether it's a RAW, a TIFF or a JPEG. I am going to select all of these, I'm going to double-click and you're going to see they're all going to open here into Camera RAW. Now I can apply that preset to all those images or I could just do something to one image, let's do something really obvious like change this to black and white.
Now all I have to do is select all images and Synchronize, choose the things I want to synchronize, click OK and we see that every image on the left there, updates with the same look as that first file, and then again, if I click Done and we come back here, we're going to see each image update with the look of that one file. Had I clicked Open, they would all open into Photoshop with that look. So, really easy to use, really powerful, I can do some things I couldn't do in Photoshop, but most importantly, really, really quick, I work on one file and then I pass those instructions to all of the others.
What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Bryan O'Neil Hughes as part of the Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
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