The Camera RAW Filter in Photoshop


Curves and Levels


Lesson Info

The Camera RAW Filter in Photoshop

Up until I don't even know photo shops sisi at some point recently that this is a cz much as I'm a fan of the creative cloud concept as an instructor it's the most horrible thing to try and say well back when it was waiting then because cia six knows the first version of photo shop cc not twenty fourteen anyway if you look under your filter menu and you see camera filter use it if it's not there you don't have it that's about these way to remember so if it's not there then you have to start with a raw file so let's actually do that first so here let's use this one here is a camera file when I double click on it and bridge it opens in camera and some people when camera first came out there like oh that's a little more complicated than using levels or curves and my reactions exactly the opposite this is so much easier than levels workers because think about you open a photograph and you open the curves of justin layer and all you want to do is make the image a little better exposed well ...

where do you click on a lying to make it better exposed and camera the very first thing says exposure it's black at one side is white on the other I think almost anyone could figure out if I wanna increase the exposure I would drag to the right so to me, that's one reason why I recommend when you're first starting out, this is actually a great place to go because it's completely intuitive you look at a list of options there's contrast, there's highlights and all these things are just right there, and they're sliders that move left right, and in each case, you can tell it's going to get darker this way lighter that way, whatever it isthe, okay, that challenges by nature, this is not nondestructive, so by nature, if you didn't make a change, I'll show you in a second it would be a one shot deal and that's, the problem people run into is that they don't know about this little change need to make they think they're making the equivalent adjustment here and then go to change it and they can't so that I have already made this change, but I'll show in a second how to do it. But this also has all these options. I mean, they were just in this one area, but here's an example of the questions asked before what white balance this is one of the only places where you actually see it phrase a term that says white balance, and you can either pick from a list of camera white balances or use the white balance tool and say, I'm going to manually make that decision so if nothing else camera is the place I would start first to make sure my color balances the white balance is the way I like and then I bring into photo shop and frankly I might still make a minor levels or curves adjustment but probably not as much because of all things I can do in here the question can open up any kind of file in the camera filter you can open up well here's the difference camera raw launches if you double click on a raw file this camera aw can also work with a tip for a j peck the advantage of the camera all filter is it actually is a layer by layer camera ross you could actually have a person isolate on layer by themselves and now apply camera settings to just that one layer which was never possibly for and that's what makes it to me very exciting is not just a global thing anymore it's I could take this one layer and say just do camera on this layer to a different camera on that later and that's where it gets really interesting so everyone don't look look away don't look at the screen right now so this is what camera works by default is the for you open an image and you say ok I'm going toe make this adjustment and then there's a big but it says open image and when you do it opens it into photoshopped the problem with it is as much as it's very nice is it's, almost like you open it from cameron toe photoshopped the end, meaning it's a background layer if I want to go back and say, wait, and to tweet this one more thing, there's no, go back to camera option it's, a one way dead end street from camera two for russia, which is ok, but because of my way of thinking where I want to do that, nondestructive always able to change my mind think I want a way to go back and it's there, it's, just not obvious, and it's not turned on by default, so I'm going to close this and do it again. So you have do this one time in camera, on lee once, and then my advice, use b, and never, ever turn it off again, unless you're showing someone the difference, like I am right now. So for me, it's, always on, I had to go and turn it off to show the difference. And unfortunately, and I've told my good friends, adobe multiple times that I think, ironically enough, because adobe likes to talk about making things more discoverable, and this is an area where there, let's, just say, have not made it terribly discoverable, because it's, like I don't know that I would click on this unless I knew it was there because what we need to do is open the workflow options so as you can clearly see from this dialog box if you look at the work flow options button which doesn't exist it's see this thing at the bottom that says that don't be rgb nineteen, ninety eight that when you click on it oh look workflow options about that so personally I understand why it looks that way because it's useful information you can change on the fly but to get to this very important button, a lot of people don't even realize that's a clickable thing that includes that this button so look right down here it says open and photo shop as smart objects, and that means from now on when I click open it's not going to be a one way dead end street is going to create a live connection between camera on photo shop so here's what it means I'm going toe overdo it to make a point. I'm in camera and I think I'm doing a wonderful job making an adjustment, but I've overdone it previously when it said open image I would have got into photo shop and gone darn it all or whatever phrase you might use at that point, I think I made a mistake and be kind of like, oh well I have to start again here. It says open object, small difference, but hugely important. Because now what happens is that opens in photo shop, not as a standard foresaw background layer, but a smart object, a camera ross smart object, which means no matter what I can do things and photoshopped like I normally would. Aiken do you know, photoshopped type things and then go. It wasn't a very good adjustment. I think I overdid it. All I do is double click right here on this thumb nail and it jumps right back to camera and lets me edit it. Click ok and updates so that in itself is a huge difference in that. This is, by the way, this is quite a while. This is not the camera filter. This is kamerad self. See if you have a photo shop cs six you can do this where it gets more interesting. As you see. The second is this camera filter. But what? This allows me to do it's a take advantage, much like I do with an adjustment layer where I deliberately over adjust something to help me do something and then put it back. So, for example, if I was tryingto mask the sky I might deliberately overdue like make it really horribly purple so I can see where I'm painting and then once I finished pulled the adjustment back, you could do the same thing here if I was tryingto see better this part of the image I would doubleclick camera and make some over adjustment and then once I'm finished put it back again okay, so starting with the raw file, you can do this okay? Where it gets more interesting is the camera filter is now under the filter menu so you don't have to start with the camera file or a j peg or a tiff you could literally be in the middle of a layered documented suddenly go you know what? I need to do something like white balance or clarity there's a good example clarity is a wonderful option that pulls out more detail in the mid tones. There is no easy way in photo shop today to say that up until the camera filter there was no easy way in voter shop to increase the clarity that was a light room or camera function. There is no clarity slider anywhere and photo shop well again, neither is so but there didn't used to be so what I would do though is I want to still give myself that opportunity to change my mind I'm going take this background layer and convert to a smart object what this means is now any filter I apply will also be smart I editable so kind of equivalent of that going back and forth between camera and photo shop so now when I go camera all filter it looks like I'm in camera raw because I kind of am but there's a couple of important difference is one of them there's no more information on the bottom because you can't affect that now it's like I am this large what would you like to do to adjust it so for example, I could make some exposure and do some clarity of whatever click ok? It'll adjusted now you see it says camera all filter now will they? Part of the interesting aspect of this I was just something really quickly to give you an idea is I could take this area right here and I'm going to really quickly just make a point I really wanted to step it up a notch maybe and I'm not suggesting I would do it this way. I just want to show you how this camera filter works if I put that on a layer by itself previously once you had information like this on a layer by itself, even if it was a layer mask the only option available you'd would be levels or curves or other adjustment layers but now I could take even this one layer and shoes convert to smart object and do camera filter so now I'm applying the camera filter just to that area. The first time I opened this and saw transparency in camera was like, that is cool because it was because I'm like now I can get down to the detail level that before was so difficult, because as much as we'd all like to say that all my photos on ly need global editing, overall reality says to me, but I relate to go into those mountains and make them just a little more and now it's easier to do that because I could go into just these mountains. It is going to look bad, by the way, because I didn't do a very good selection. We just give an idea pushed the clarity way up, just pull out some detail there and now I'm starting to get something that's starting looking more interesting cause I'm being a little more selective about it now you could do the same equivalent with five and justin layers, each with a mask that certainly is an option, but the fact that things like again, the recurring thing for me is clarity, because clarity is a function that can do a really nice things, by the way, it can also be really bad if you go too far, but for things like details, stuff like mountains and rocks and things we just need a bit more of that texture there's nothing there's nothing else like clarity because everything else is kind of looks good but the clarity can just suddenly go well that's so much better and before you have again had to really plan ahead and say ok I'm going to do this in kamerad now you khun b partway through in fact you could even as I did in this case start with one camera filter and then take a second arian said do a different camera filter for that so in theory you could have a cz many as you wanted and I can also do the same thing by just duplicating the whole layer good choice sorry scratch that so when you duplicate a smart object that makes an exact clone so if I adjust the camera filter on one it will do it the same so what I need to do instead is new smart object by a copy and that's a command let's be edit the camera all filter independent of each layer so I can now go to this one because now I'm gonna look at just the sky no not looking anything else I want to make the sky look better so I'm pushing the exposure down and pushing the vibrance and saturation I don't care what doing the rest of the photograph because in a moment I'm going to come in here and take my selection tools to it really quickly for the purpose of argument in versus election and on the mask fill it with black so I basically said on this layer, let me hide the other one for a second. So what I'm saying is on this layer apply the camera, filter the whole photograph, but on ly display this much by masking the filter, so I'm asking plays an important role in everything we do with either a justin layers or camera type work because we can make a global change that we then make more specific. So you get just to this area right here, okay, so that's the camera all filtering and show you some other examples as we go. But this is kind of the approach that I take when I'm looking at something and say, ok, so here's was a challenging for her. We have to take the day that I was driving along and saw this. The sky was very bright, so trying to expose for the bold in the foreground and the sky at the same time was very difficult and some people would say, well, put your camera tripod and take umpteen shots and do hdr, okay, I'll just tell you right front, I'm not a big fan of hdr because I feel like it started out really good and then people discovered a couple of sides like you look at that harry potter sky and I just became like totally artificial and weird to me hdr was a way to deal with a photographic challenge like this so what I tend to do, especially in this case I didn't have a tripod, so I took one photograph and I figured as long as there's a little bit of detail in the sky, I can live with that, so the approach that I take with this is I look at it thinking right from the get go I'm going to do two different exposures in camera one for the boat and one for the sky and that's a very common way to approach and you could even take it another one and one for the grass, but in this case we're going to go to exposures so what you have to do is just kind of train your eyeballs to ignore the fact that you're like completely ruining either the sky or the boat partway along is gonna look bad until we're finished. So right now I'm looking at the boat I'm not looking at this guy, so don't look here look here, not here here don't look, they're stopped looking there because I know someone's gonna look there who look at this I don't look at this guy so I do whatever adjust when I want to make the boat look the way that I want, we'll just go with something like that, and I hit open object because this is still set to that camera smart object. Now I still can go back at any time ago now that I done that it's a little too much. My strategy here actually was to deliberately go a little higher well further, because I wanted the sky to really be pure white, because that will help me in a moment. Now, I kind of said this really fast before, so I want to make sure I clarify this because it's very important when you have a camera smart object, I want to make a second one that I can edit independently of the first one. So if I just did the gold commander control j duplicate layer, it wouldn't work because it's a clone. In other words, if I adjust this camera setting, this one would change, too, and I need them to be independent and love it or leave it. This is the name of it it's called new smart object by a copy. So the wording means make a new smart object on independent, smart up by copying this one so a clone or a duplicate it's, a copy that separate and that's where this you just have to use that command because now what that let me do is on one of these layers I can go back and adjust for the sky and the other one I can adjust for the boat and I'll combine them together and where did you get that from? I just write clamp right on and more like and choose new smart off by a copy and if you don't do that so this is really important if you just said because your habit is commanding control jay, you will have two layers that look exactly like each other, so if you go back and adjust the camera, the other will go ok all adjust to because it is a clone so this is the one part that catches people like I thought I was doing this right? I've got two copies. Well, not exactly you've got a duplicate and we don't want to duplicate ok, so now I have two versions of this the top one I'm going to say is the one I'm going to use for the boat so let's go on, click I'm gonna hide that click on the bottom one and double click and now I'm changing my entire thought process now I'm saying don't look at the boat look at this guy because that's the adjustment I want to make because I want to look at it to say all right, let's try and get some detail back out of that sky and have to push it pretty far because the type of day but looking all that information that was there that I can suddenly see that I couldn't a moment ago and I tend to do this in a step where I deliberately overdo it a bit because it will be easier to see what I'm doing the next step and because these air both cameras smart, obvious liken pull it back if I need to so click ok so now I have two versions of the same photograph the top one has the boat looking the way I want with the sky completely blown out the bottom one has the sky looking the way I want to have to combine them and there's various ways of doing it in with today's technology the place I always start is with a tool like the quick selection tool and see if I can't get decent results in this case I think I went a little bit overboard with the sky because it's almost so white that is blending into the boat a little bit but aiken c for getting closer there and it's also important one of things you've some of you heard me say yesterday was I always have this I thought in my head I want to end up with the look that I want so I'm not it all in anyway, convinced it's going to look perfect right from the get go but is going to get fairly close. So what I want to do is I want to say, hide the sky on this layer. Well, the way that I do that is I need to add a layer mask right now if I have, the layer mask would be the wrong way round because I have the sky selected, so my click on the add layer mass button now, I just have a really bad photographs that took the worst of both layers, so my mask is the wrong way around. So the simple solution is to pressed commander control I to invert the mask and agassi is getting closer, other the fact that apparently he paid his windows white because you can't see through them at all. So there's always a little give away like that, but that, frankly, is part of the reason that I deliberately overdo it because you'll see things like that and go, I missed that. Now go back and tweet that. So, for example, here I could still use the quick selection tool and just try and get these little windows and hair on on my layer mask fill with black now that I've got to this point, I'm looking ok, the skies way too much and that the but it's probably a little too blown out but that's ok, because now I have both of these that I can work on by double click on this one to go back to camera and say let's lower the exposure a little bit and the contrast and because I think I went a little bit much and see what that looks like and then do the same thing on this one I went a little bit overboard let's pull it back a little bit and parties for doing as because any edges between the two and the mass that would look too obvious. Now we're making it less of a jolting kind of a contrast between the two of them. Well, so different up there. Okay, everyone come up here and look at my right no, um that's a little too much. Okay, but this is the point. This is exactly what I would do is go back and forth and say, oh, now that I've changed that, how does that look? Usually what happens frankly, especially to use a tool like the quick selection tool? Is there some little edge giveaway thing happening like the little grass here? This has a little funkiness to appear like that doesn't look quite right there, so one of the things that we need we'll talk about a little bit as we go here is that when you add in justin layer, it automatically has a layer mask attached to it in this case for it to work, I had to add a layer mask well, if I look at the layer mass for a second, we do that by option we're all clicking on it, you can see there are some problems with it, for example, when I made my selection so I need to fix that, but I can also see does this grass really look like grass or just kind of a wavy line that isn't doesn't look as good anymore. So with that in mind when you're making a selection there's a wonderful command called refined edge that lets you make a better edge when you already have a mask there's an equally good command called refined mask that can actually usually tweet the mass have you go ok and the way you get to it? Very simply doubleclick right on the mask and there's the button says mask edge if you've used refine edge, this will look familiar to you because it's exactly the same except it's not for a selection it's for a mask so just to take a step back for a moment, my typical workflow when I'm doing anything of this nature is I make my selection I use refined edge to try and make it look pretty good and then click make layer mask then once I've done a bit of tweaking with my two camera raw layers, I'll go back and she was refined mask to give myself almost a second run at it to say the first one work pretty well but I need to get a little bit closer so I might come into this area say these are the areas I need you to focus on in just paint through with his tools already selected the edge detection tool and very often just doing that is enough to make it look better. One of things that I usually do in here is I use change the view to black and white because that will show me the equipment of massive how much better that looks now looks like actual grasp it still might not be perfect but it's much closer than it was a moment ago I still have a bit of work to do, but at this point you can get the idea that now I have these two independent layers that are both tied to camera raw so I can adjust them independent of each other. Now, just to clarify could I have done all of this with levels or curves? Yeah, just not with quite the same control because of that one missing piece of clarity but if it's just I want to adjust the sky in the boat separately, you could do that with two curves or levels just players with masks will be the same kind of thing is they showed briefly before so that opportunity always exists I guess personally like camera because I feel like giving mohr choices levels occurs they're both really good courreges takes it up a little notch more because it also throws in the mix white balance and clarity and sharpening and things that that levels and curves alone don't come in do you have to be using a smart filter are using his smart object to use this camera filter is that the only way to get that in this way it's the the way the reason is just to get the editable nature of it so this method I started camera all these have to be camera smart obvious but in that other scenario rightto one layer and said let me apply the camera filter I just prefer to make it smart so I could continue to edit these days I can't think of many times I ever apply filter without making it smart just because I prefer to have that a political back and headed it great and then one more and this was an interesting one that a couple different people want to know the answer to as a raw smart object is it possible to reopen a previously developed raw image in light room or a cr be ableto access review modifier delete either individual multiple previous local adjustment at its s o if you've worked on something in the light room camera first, and then you bring it in a smart object, can you access the stuff that you did? Yes and it's a little different in each case. So camera it's, just like we saw here. If it was already had adjustments, those would be brought over, and then I could go back and forth if you start in light room there's a little bit of ah kind of a weird twist to it, but it's, once you do it once, most people shouldn't say that many people, some people occasionally I don't know there are people in light of the most common thing I see is people use a command called edit photo in photo shop, and that is a one way street from light room to photo shop, much like we did initially with camera. If I was starting in light room, I would like to be able to go back and forth, but it's a back and forth with a bit of a detour. So instead in light room there's, a command that says open and photo shop as smart object or something like that, has the word photo shop and smart object and it's a little further down in the list of options that brings it in. Here to photo shop so it's, you use always talk with my hands, but even more so now. So I started light room. I say open info shop is smart object. If I double click on it, it goes to camera raw, and then once I go back to photo shop and save, it goes back to light room. So it's, kind of this roundabout way of doing it. But what it does is it means in your light room catalog, you would have a file called name of file dash edit dot psd. That, you know, is a photoshopped document that contains all that information that you can edit. So if you're starting in camera, it's, very back and forth and camera in light room, it goes light room, photo camera. But at least it gives it will carry forward anything you've already done in either one of those programs.

Class Description

What is the best way to adjust your image? In Curves and Levels, Dave Cross will edit images using Levels, Curves, Camera Raw, and Lightroom to demonstrate the differences between each approach.

You’ll look at the advantages of each technique and learn when you should use each method. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of how these important techniques work and how to decide which tool to use for the job.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2