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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 6 of 118

Introduction to Raw Editing


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 6 of 118

Introduction to Raw Editing


Lesson Info

Introduction to Raw Editing

We talked about the three parts to Photoshop in our last lesson. We talked about Photoshop as the little ecosystem of Photoshop and what you get with Photoshop is going to be Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. So for this lesson we are going to be focused primarily on Adobe Camera Raw as a Raw Editor and Multi-Tool for editing our images. It's very powerful, it's extremely powerful. I'm just going to start this out by saying in many cases you could probably do the bulk of your editing in Adobe Camera Raw and be very happy with it. But then we wouldn't have 18 more days of Photoshop. (audience laughs) So don't spend too much time here. I'm just kidding. (audience laughs) Adobe Camera Raw is awesome. You're going to see the sheer power of Adobe Camera Raw as we edit these RAW images. So, in this lesson, we're going to do: What is a raw file? I cannot talk about Adobe Camera Raw without talking about RAW files. I definitely cannot about this without RAW versus JPEG and giving you a v...

ery embarrassing story. And types of RAW files that you will see throughout the process of editing your RAW images. So what is a RAW file? A RAW file is unedited RAW data captured by your camera's sensor. Nothing is actually happening to that image other than the decisions that you make in that camera that get recorded onto the sensor. So things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, those decisions that you make are the things that it's recording and nothing else is happening there. It's giving you for face value all the decisions that you made. Which are sometimes not very good, let's be honest with ourselves. This would be the most equivalent to basically what a 35 millimeter piece of film negative would be like. Not the print, but the negative. The actual RAW data that you would get from a 35 millimeter analog piece of film to then process your image under an enlarger to get a print. This is the digital negative. When you think about the RAW file, think about it as the digital negative. That with this file you can do all kinds of incredible things. So RAW vs JPEG now. So now you've got the little spiel on what RAW is, let's talk about RAW versus JPEG. Here's kind of an embarrassing story, a little aside. I do a lot of little asides. But this little aside was, in 2010 I was at Photoshop World and I was talking to Matt Witkowski, who is one of my really good friends now. And as we were talking about what I do and at the time it was HDR photography. And he goes, "So, you must shoot a lot of RAW files." And I was like, "No. I just shoot JPEG." And he goes, "Really?" And I was like, "Well, yeah, I mean JPEG's are good enough, right?" And he goes, "Well, I mean, you can do a lot with a RAW file." And I said, "Well, I don't even know what you can do with a RAW file." I said, "Every time I open a RAW file this box opens in Photoshop and I don't know what to do with it. It's got all these sliders and all these things, so I just by-pass it and just shoot JPEG." And he was just kinda like, "Oh, oop!" And that was eight years ago, okay? That was an embarrassing story from eight years ago. I guess if I had a really bad t-shirt designed for that it would be, "My RAW journey with JPEGs." (audience laughs) But, so I say that, and I open that up, it was kind of embarrassing for myself. I open that up because you might be in that position where you are shooting a lot in JPEG. And I don't want you to be scared of going into the RAW image. The first time you open a RAW file and this box called Adobe Camera Raw pops up, it can be very intimidating. Anytime Adobe pops up with a box that asks you a million questions, it's scary, okay? So, I'm going to give you a little bit of justification as to why you want to shoot in RAW. When you're shooting in JPEG, all of our cameras, no matter if it's Canon, if it's Sony, if it's Nikon, Olympus, Leica, whatever they are, if you shoot in JPEG that camera is going to do some things to that image to make it look as good as possible. They essentially process inside the camera what that JPEG is going to look like. Color correction happens. Noise reduction and sharpening happens. Exposure and contrast correction happens. Saturation adjustments happen. And even some white balance stuff happens within that JPEG. So that when you take that picture, they want to design that so that that picture comes out looking really good. So that you can be that person that says, "Look what I got straight out of the camera." Don't be that person. Especially when we start talking about RAW files. Now, RAW, on the other hand, is unedited RAW data. You get what the sensor sees from the decisions that you make within that camera with your aperture, your shutter speed, your ISO. However, we now have to do some of this stuff. And we have to consider doing some of those things that the camera would do. See, I'm an artist, I like control over the entire process from the very beginning to the very end. And a RAW file gives me the possibility to go into worlds of possibilities. Especially when we talk about the depth of a RAW file versus the depth of a JPEG. And we'll talk about why ... So, before I get too far ahead of myself, why shoot and edit in RAW? Well, the endless possibilities of RAW data. You can push them farther and get more out of them without breaking them. You can see what happens when you break a JPEG file, it starts to give you artifacts, it looks really nasty and dingy and pretty gross. Here's a good example. So this was a RAW file that I shot at Notre Dam. And I really wanted to get the stained glass. And this is a very difficult shot, because the stained glass is really bright if I got the interior in the right exposure, and if I got the stained glass right, everything else is really dark. But the most important element in here is getting the stained glass right. So if you look at this in terms of JPEG versus RAW, let's just take a little snippet of this area right here. And I'm going to show you what it looks like if this was a JPEG image and if it was a RAW image. So, as a RAW file, I increased my shadows, my highlights, my blacks so that I could get more of the area around the stained glass. And I hope you can see on the screen, because what you are going to find is minor color differences. Even in here there is going to be minor color differences. And even some detail that we lose inside those areas. You can see it right here, specifically. For this, you really can't try to look at the image holistically, you have to look at one very specific area. So if we look at just right here, in that little spot on the RAW file, you can see that there's a nice transition between highlights and shadows and there's even some detail and more color right there. When we go to the next one, we lose some of that color and it starts to blow out there. Because the JPEG can't handle being pushed to that extreme. A RAW file can handle being pushed to that extreme. And, as a matter of fact, if I wanted to push this file even further with that RAW, I definitely could. I've reached the peak, I've reached the max with this JPEG. I can't go much further. Now there will be times when you can test this. Shoot in JPEG plus RAW, and then drop your exposure compensation to like negative three. And just do this as a practice. And just go out into your back yard and just take a picture of a tree. Bring those both into Photoshop, bring them both into Camera Raw, put them into Camera Raw, and do the exact same plus three boost on both of them and what you'll see is that in the JPEG, more than likely, the JPEG is going to get some green and magenta artifacting happening in the areas where shadows were, whereas the RAW file will handle that more. And the reason why. Now there is a place for JPEG. So, before I get into the reason why behind that, the place for JPEG is, and this is something that's kind of debatable with some people that shoot JPEG for events and stuff like that. So if you're the type of person who shoots a thousand images, maybe JPEG is the right thing for you. That's if you are darned good with that camera. That you know yourself so well that you can just dial that in and get your settings perfect in camera every time, that's why I say it's available. Where I use JPEG is primarily for saving for web and for print. So JPEG does have a place here. I don't want you to just throw JPEG out completely because we do have a place for JPEG. Like I said before and possibly be for event photographers but there have been some events that I've shot over 300-plus images all in RAW and still edit them just as quickly as I would as if it was a JPEG, with some of the practices that I've developed through Bridge and Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop. So, while I say JPEG might have a place for those event photographers, I would also challenge those event photographers to still try doing it in RAW and seeing what they can come up with because they can push those images a lot farther if they made a mistake. So, types of RAW files. A RAW file out of any camera is going to have their own basically proprietary dot-something. So, Canon, dot-CR2. Sony, dot-ARW. Nikon, dot-NEF. An Adobe RAW file, though might be a dot-DNG. So you can convert any of these RAW files to a DNG or to a digital negative. And throughout this course, we are going to be talking about RAW files and we're going to be talking about DNG's, so don't get too wrapped up in this now. I've shown you, I don't know, let's just look at the camera profiles here. Four. Now within this dot-CR2 for Canon, every single Canon camera that takes a picture will essentially take its own raw file. So now you take this and its kind of like one of those law of exponential growth things, put the little thing up here, there's thousands upon thousands of RAW files out there. Even though they might just have a very simple suffix at the end, there might be one-thousand different types of Canon RAW profiles based on the camera that you're using, Regardless of what their suffix is or what you're using. no matter what it is, you're going to have to do some type of RAW processing. So, the digital negative, the DNG, DNG actually does stand for digital negative. But we have to consider all of our RAW files as digital negatives. That's our digital negative and we need a digital darkroom to process them. Adobe Camera Raw becomes our digital dark room. The positive in this, so in analog days, the negative was the film that you got out of your camera and the positive was a print. So I want you to think about JPEGs, TIFFs, or PSD files which are all file types in here as well. JPEGs, TIFFs and PSD files are positives. You can't technically, I don't think you can technically even really print a RAW file. A RAW file is a RAW file. It's just RAW data. So it has to be turned into something else in order for that thing to be printed and to be used. Especially if you're going to be putting onto the web. Try to upload a RAW file to the web. It's going to go, "What the heck is this?" So, JPEG, TIFF, PSD, those are all positives. And each one of these positives is probably more positive than the other. Because a TIFF will hold and retain a lot more of that RAW data than something like a JPEG. And a PSD would be for things that have layers in it.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!