Basic RAW Post Editing Advice - Photoshop CC & Lightroom

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
knickerhawk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,954
Re: Basic RAW Post Editing Advice - Photoshop CC & Lightroom

Joe94 wrote:

maggiemole wrote:

Take a couple of images as raw+JPG. The JPG version will act as a kind of touchstone for you to see what the camera itself thinks is an improvement on the .raw. Open both in ACR: this works in just the same way as LR does when editing, but it is an easier interface for you to begin with.

Using the .raw file, play with the sliders in ACR. If you have the JPG open in another window, you can toggle between the two to see the effect the sliders are having. I normally find that a .raw benefits from a small increase in exposure plus maybe a compensation reduction in highlights and/or increase in shadows. You might still find the result a bit flat: add some saturation and texture.

Either save your work as a copy or start out by making a copy on which to work.

Dont be afraid to push things to extremes, this is how you learn how far to go. I often like to raise the temperature slider to make colours warmer but that's just a matter of taste. You will quickly move beyond these simple steps, so good luck!

Thank you very much for this advice, this certainly sound for me something I should be doing to learn, as I must admit I learn better by doing.

One thing though & I apologies for asking, but just wanted to check... Does ACR refer to Adobe Camera RAW?... Which if I'm correct is a add on to the Photoshop CC software?

Cheers, Joe

maggiemole's advice about using the OOC JPEG as a benchmark for comparison and learning purposes is right on target here. ACR is the raw converter tool that's included with Photoshop. If you use it to convert a raw file, you'll notice that it has a lot of similarity to Lightroom (which uses the same underlying converter "engine"). Most of the same sliders and options are available in both tools. What really distinguishes Photoshop from Lightroom (and ACR) is that it's a tool for performing highly targeted and localized edits to an image that's been converted by either Lightroom or ACR from the raw original. You can do many things in Photoshop that are impractical or impossible to do in LR/ACR. Thus, the normal workflow is to perform the raw conversion in either LR or ACR and then, if additional tweaking to the image is required that you can't accomplish in the converter, then bring the image into PS and continue from there. This is just a very basic characeterization of how the workflow often works. There are ways to "round trip" or preserve your original conversion settings in PS, but those are considerations you can postpone until later in your learning curve.

My most important advice: Have fun! If the effort is becoming a chore, you should perhaps re-think what you're doing. Many photographers don't particularly enjoy post/processing. They find it to be boring or frustrating and they don't see much improvement in their images. That tells me they've either not made it over the "hump" for learning how to really leverage these powerful tools OR they're just the kind of person who doesn't like to be "stuck" in front of a computer. The former problem is fixable. The latter one probably isn't.

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