If you really want to improve the shooting results, finally, you will find the RAW format very essential. Previously, we have had the review on the advantages and disadvantages of the RAW format, and now we will show you the way to work with RAW photos in Photoshop.
The name of this format has shown you its meaning: If you have a RAW file photo, this means you have unprocessed photos, or we can say “raw”. Your computer will not be able to read this format. To get access to the information, the images in the RAW format need to be converted into a proper format that your computer can read (JPEG or TIFF, for example).
Commonly, there is often available software in every digital camera offering the basic converting tools. But if you want to achieve the greatest results, a specialized imaging program will be really essential. Adobe Photoshop is one among the most commonly used programs in the professional photographer community. It will be very expensive to buy a full version but, another nice option is to buy the Adobe Photoshop Elements for a low price. The price range for Adobe Photoshop is around $60- $120, based on what version you want. (Compare Prices)
There are new versions of the Adobe Photoshop Elements shipped with an internal program such as the “Bridge” version for those who use Macs or the version “Organizer” for those who use the Windows systems which offer the RAW image converting capability. These tools are all useful, but you may get confused about which you should use sometimes, and the best way to use it.
I hope that the following tips for using Photoshop Elements to convert RAW photos as well as the Camera Raw plug-in will be useful.
- One of the greatest functions of the program is the capability in photo “batch” processing. With this capability, you can have a lot of photos processed in the same way and they will be saved together. Or you may apply the processing for separate photos. When you look at the screen of the Adobe Camera Raw, you will find the “Select All” option on your left hand side.
- With the Adobe Camera Raw window, there is no need to have all of the photos opened. In the Organizer or Bridge, you are able to select the photos that you want to apply the converting process and give them various star ranking. You will also see this through the “Select” menu which is in the form of a drop-down.
- You often see some slight softness with digital image files, especially those created by budget-priced DSLRs and the Adobe Camera Raw can help you make adjustments on the sharpness. I myself find that it is the best to set the higher sharpness to about +50, while lowering the radius to about 0.6. You images can be subtly sharpened and you won’t have to worry about the significant grain.
- The white balance can be also corrected using the Camera Raw. The program is really useful for this setting in case that you have not selected the right white balance for your images. It is possible to adjust the color temperature by using a sliding bar to make quick adjustments. I have to say it again that this feature is very great, especially when there is a very powerful source of artificial lighting in your shooting situation.
- If you are just a beginner-level photographer and want to simply make use of the “Auto” mode – sometimes, you may not set the right photo exposure configurations. But you won’t have to worry much about this, as there is an available slider for correcting the exposure. Therefore, you can have the exposure adjustments with + and – degrees.
- You also find the “Fill Light” as well as the “Recovery” sliding bars are very nice! The Recovery sliding bar is very useful for bringing details back from the image parts that are of a little over-exposure while you will use the Fill Light bar for the areas with the under-exposure. Be careful in using these sliding bars because small changes will be applied for the entire photo. And don’t forget that in the over-exposure area, you cannot bring back details which are no longer in the photos.
- The contrast as well as the brightness of an image can be adjusted in the Photoshop. I have found that the images tend have more brightness in the Adobe Camera Raw than you see in the printing version, so the brightness should be just little here, then it will be further adjusted in the Photoshop if it is essential.
- Another nice offering from the Camera Raw is its capability to correct of lens vignetting. As you know, vignetting is a popular problem on the edges of photos produced by low-priced wide-angle lenses. To lower the lens vigetting considerably, you can use this sliding bar. But, you should only have the maximum setting up to +30.
- You can use the histogram to view clippings on the main photo with the areas of over-exposure and under-exposure. To ensure that the histogram has been balanced well, you can make use of this before and after making the alterations to the photo.
- In addition, there is a white balance dropping tool that you can find on the top row of tools, which allows you to make accurate alternations in the photo color balance. Click it on a white part in your image, and the RGB levels will be adjusted accordingly.
Clearly, the Camera Raw brings you a very wide variety of functions that you can apply to make your photos better, but the above mentioned ones are the most important offerings. Actually, the challenging thing with an image editing software is the way that you use subtle techniques in improving your photos. I hope that the above tips do help you.