Processing RAW Captures in Adobe Camera Raw
I usually start with my overall tonal adjustments because I find that that's usually where I want to finesse the image a little bit more and then I'll move to my basic color adjustments will talk about one or two other adjustments here in adobe camera raw as well, but I don't like to do things in the prescribed order. I like to move around in the order that I prefer, and when it comes to the basic tonal adjustments in adobe camera, my preference is to start with the whites adjustment, which is essentially setting the white point, setting the value for the brightest pixel in the image. And I like to get a little helper for that. I use the altar or option key all key on windows option cheon mcintosh in order to get a clipping preview if I did not blow out any highlight detail in a photo in the initial capture, the image will initially look black and as I increase the value for whites, we will eventually start to see pixels appearing colored pixels indicate an area where one or maybe two ...
channels they're starting to lose detail, and white areas indicate areas that have lost all of their detail all together now, generally speaking, it's best to have the history graham spread out toe have a broad range between the darkest and the brightest values in an image of the black and white essentially we want the darkest pixel in the photo to appear black and the brightest pixel to appear white is that always the case? No but is that more than half the time going to be the case? I would say yes it depends on the type of photography dio for me personally I do a lot of travel in nature photography it tends to be the great majority of the time but I always want to do a little bit of a sanity check id made my adjustment here using that clipping preview holding the altar option key now I want to take a look at the image did I cause any problems here? Everything looks good we'll go ahead do the same thing for the blacks now I'm setting the black point in the image it's basically the exact same thing just in reverse so now I'm seeing an entirely white image and I can dark and down the blacks until I start to see pixels appear once again colors indicate one or two channels black indicates areas that are going to be absolutely black in this case I don't want to block up all my shadow detail I don't want to have a silhouette type of effect for example I just want to have a good range of total values so I would go down just to the point where I start to see a few pixels appearing and that looks pretty good then we get the showers that highlights two of my favorite adjustments in adobe camera raw in terms of fine tuning the level of detail in the overall tone ality in the bright and dark areas of the photo so in this case the sky is certainly obviously the brightest area of the photo bringing down the value for highlights darkens down those brights but it also enhances detail essentially we'll talk about clarity in a moment it gives us kind of a clarity adjustment for the sky as well for those bright areas so in this case I'd like to see some of that detail I'll bring the highlights down a little bit I might want to open up my shadows or I could darken down the shadows if I want a little more drama in the image but something like that looks pretty good because I've adjusted the whites, blacks highlights and shadows now I don't feel any need in most cases to touch the exposure or contrast sliders I've adjusted my overall exposure using all four of these other sliders I've adjusted my contrast through all four of those other sliders with a good degree of control and so I don't often feel the need to adjust exposure or contrast every now and then I have an image that needs a little bit more of a bump etcetera perfectly find use those I just find that I don't need them all that often then I'll come to the color the temperature in the ten slider temperature allows me to shift between blue and yellow so a cool image or a warm image a moonlit night at horseshoe bend versus well I guess that's a stretch for early morning like plus I would never get up for sunrise I mean sometimes on accident but not usually mostly I just want to have accurate color here I want it to be accurate, accurate it's a loose term I wanted to be believable but I wanted to look better than I remember it or at least as good as I remember so with the temperature especially we've got a little bit of a range of kind of believable color and I might favor a little bit warmer or cooler depending on my sense for the image in this case I would keep it pretty neutral just because I want the clouds to appear gray rather than kind of bluish or yellowish but with temperature we do have a little bit of kind of poetic license as it were artistic license with tent it's a little less license do you want a pink image or a green image now? Not so much usually when it comes to pink or green we want perfectly neutral but I'll find tune that as well so that gives me my overall tonal and color sort of color balance adjustment I can also come down into clarity and crank that up to improve the perceived level of detail or crank it down to get kind of this more ethereal look in a photo like this I certainly would increase clarity a little bit vibrant I'm going to talk about more detail later in the context of photo shop it's the same adjustment essentially between photoshopping adobe camera ross we'll talk about that in more detail saturation we will also talk about in more details I don't worry about those too much at the moment the only other thing that I might look at is sort of problem solving at this stage and so if I need to apply some noise reduction in this case, the image was captured at eight hundred s, so and so I'm I want to zoom in especially on some of the shadow areas of the photo and see if we've got some noise that we need to contend with. There is a little bit of noise reduction being applied automatically in this case it's pretty good but I'm gonna crank up that smoothness color smoothness just a little bit to kind of blend away the larger what I refer to his blobs of color noise starts out as being individual pixels generally of color that mismatch the rest of the image when you start to increase the noise reduction for color than you start to see a little bit of that kind of blobby look very technical term, an increase in the value for smoothness will help eliminate that, so if I reduce the value might be a little bit difficult to see you see kind of these big areas of a little bit magenta, little bit green over here, et cetera. And as I increase that color smoothness, those just blend away the luminous noise reduction, not a big issue for this specific image. I might also look at correcting for some of the lens issues, and so all good zoom back out to a one hundred percent zoom setting, and I'll pan up to the top and one issue when I when I'm using a wide angle lens, or maybe a less expensive lens or, you know, pointed, shoot camera, then I'm gonna be a little bit more concerned about chromatic aberrations you can see along the kind of horizon line here, this little color fringing. If I turn on the removed chromatic aberrations checkbox, magically, it disappears magically, because I chose the right image to use to demonstrate the technique in this case, about half the time, it does everything I need. The other half of the time, I might need to come in here and increase the amount for purple or green, and find tune the color range for the specific chromatic aberration that I'm seeing in this case, though it worked out very nicely. I could also apply profile, correctional just go ahead and set this tow auto, for example, and I'll zoom back out to the full image. I'll turn off the profile correction and then back on again, he is just sort of fixing some of that warping that was caused by the extreme wide angle lens there's, lots of other stuff in adobe camera raw, and I don't need it not that I couldn't use it, not that it's not helpful, it certainly would be helpful, but I like to save a lot of the other detailed work for photoshopped. My primary aim when it comes to processing raw image in adobe camera, is to get an image that represents a really good starting point. I've got good dynamic range of got accurate color, I fixed any of the major issues such as chromatic aberration or noise, and now I've got a really good starting point, so I'll go ahead and click done again, there's all sorts of other cool stuff we might have done in adobe camera. We're not going to worry about that at the moment, because I constituent take advantage of those various adjustments within photo shop and what we're waiting for the image to be processed and actually open up, which I might have just clicked, and I did quit the done but it's not going open, but it will now so while awaiting trial process is worth noting that the exact same adjustments that are available in adobe camera are also available as a filter in photo shop. If using photo shops sisi, then you have the camera raw filter available upon the filter menu, and that gives you literally the exact same set of adjustments. You don't have the benefit of working with that original raw data, but you have the same adjustments, and in some cases I find that's just easier in terms of being able to work with the photo in a way that's just little more streamlined. All right, so we've got this image here. I still have my original raw capture out on the hard drive. I can always come back to that. This is going to become a new file all by itself. I think of this as my new master image hopeful and never have to go back to my original raul capture. This becomes the source for everything. When I want to post this image on facebook, I come back here when I want to print in that I come back here. This is my original, for all intents and purposes.