In this video I’ll give you an introduction to Camera Raw, which is a plug-in that comes with Photoshop.
Whenever you open a raw file it will open into Camera Raw, because raw files have to be processed before you can work on them in Photoshop or share them with people.
However, you can edit any photo – .jpeg, .raw, et cetera – with Camera Raw by right-clicking on it here in Bridge or control-clicking with the one-button-mouse and choosing Open in Camera Raw. There’s a full suite of powerful tools for editing your photos here.
While you could do much of the same work in Photoshop itself, you’ll find that the tools in Camera Raw are easier to understand and use and often faster.
Let’s go ahead and edit this photo:
- On the Basic tab here, I'll start by increasing Exposure, since the photo is too dark overall.
- So I’ll increase Contrast to make it punchier.
- The bright tones in the photo – in this case the sky – are too bright for me, so I’ll darken Highlights.
- The foreground and the shadows here is too dark, so I’ll brighten the Shadows.
- So I add a little bit of Clarity.
- To intensify color in the photo I’ll start with Saturation which will boost all colors equally.
- I’ll stop just before the red in this building becomes too red.
- Now I’ll turn to Vibrance which focuses on less saturated colors.
- First, I’ll choose Luminance, which is brightness and darkness.
- I’ll then choose Saturation and I’ll increase the intensity of Blues a little bit more.
- Finally, I click on the Y button to show you before and after.
While, I don't have time to go through all of the editing tools here in Camera Raw let me briefly mention that you can also:
- crop and straighten your photos,
- adjust white balance,
- remove spots and objects,
- make local changes to your photos such as darkening a particular building,
- perform professional quality sharpening and noise reduction,
- convert to black and white and much, much more.
In addition to the tools at the top, here you’ll find many more on the individual tabs. I really encourage you to explore all of the editing tools and capabilities here.
To continue where we left off:
- I’ll click on the Y button a few more times to return to seeing just the final result.
- Now I’ll click on Done to save my work and return to Bridge.
- At any time I can right-click or control-click with a one-button-mouse,
- choose "Open in Camera Raw."
- and change my settings or completely undo them.
- Instead, you’ll click on "Save Image." to create a .jpeg or other copy of your file with your editing work picked in.
Finally, you can also open your edited photo into Photoshop to do more complex work.
Now you’ve seen me open files from Bridge directly into Camera Raw at the start of my workflow. You can actually use Camera Raw at any point in your workflow.
Once you have a file open in Photoshop this same program is available for you to use as a filter. So you can edit any image or pixel-layer in your document with Camera Raw.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this video introduction to Camera Raw and I encourage you to watch the other tutorials.
Contributor: Laura Shoe