Photoshop Professor Notes - Adobe Camera Raw & Bridge
Understanding the Raw Workflow ...
Lecture 1: Adobe Camera Raw: A Brief Overview
Understanding what Camera Raw is or what a Raw file is and why it is different from a JPEG file important to know especially since you have spent all that money on a camera that is capable of shooting in that file format. A JPEG file is processed in side the camera at the moment you take the picture and because this file format is a compression format, you loose some of the quality right away. Shooting in the Raw format maintains all of the image quality but requires that you process the images on your computer. One of the major benefits of shooting Raw is that you can re-process that file again and again, differently each time without ever changing or destroying the original Raw file. Another benefit is if you shoot a traditional bride & groom and for some reason you over expose the bride’s dress, in JPEG that dress is blown out and the detail can never be retrieved but in Raw, we can recover up to 2 full f-stops of over exposure revealing the previously post details in the bride’s dress.
Lecture 2: Understanding the difference Between 8-bit Images and 16-Bit Images
Our cameras capture Raw files in either 12 or 14-bit and Photoshop can process these images in 16-bit mode which allows us to work with much more detail than just 8-bit mode. What does that mean to you? Well, the over exposure scenario presented in the previous lecture is one example and another is that you can shoot in dimly lit places and actually end up with a decent looking image. The dim photo can be brought back to life (lightened up significantly) in the same manner as the over exposed file can be recovered. This means that you can shoot in hockey arenas and school gyms and get much much better results than ever before.
Lecture 3: The Camera Raw Interface
The Camera Raw interface can be somewhat daunting at first look but understanding what all those buttons and sliders are for and the proper order to use them in can and will take any fear out of using it. Not all sliders are needed for all images and once you figure out which sliders you need, you’ll be in and out in no time.
Lecture 4: Adobe Camera Raw: The Camera Calibration Tab
This should be one of the first tabs rather than one of the last tabs ... In my humble opinion, the choices made here effect every other choice you make regarding adjusting your images and probably should be the first tab or maybe even in the Workflow Options dialog box.
Lecture 5: Adobe Camera Raw: Explaining the Differences Between Process version 2012, 2010 & 2003
In this lecture I show you how far we’ve come in processing digital images. What this means to is that in a few years from now when newer versions of the software are on the market, you can revisit some of your favorite images and because the software is better, you’ll be able to process the image(s) with better results. It just keeps getting better and better every time or at least we hope.
Lecture 6: Adobe Camera Raw: Setting Your White Balance
Okay, let’s get into this White Balance stuff. By default, the very first time you open your image in Adobe Camera Raw, the White Balance option in the drop down is always set to “As Shot”. Which means whatever your camera was set to. If you happen to have set the incorrect White Balance setting, this is where we can change this.
Lecture 7: Adobe Camera Raw: The Basics - Part 1 of 2
If you happen to have set the incorrect exposure in your camera when out shooting we can fix that here in the Basics Tab as long as the mistake was not too terribly off. In this first portion of the Basics Tab we can also adjust contrast as well.
Lecture 8: Adobe Camera Raw: The Basics - Part 2 of 2
In this second section of the Basics Tab we have the opportunity to adjust the colour by play with the Vibrance and Saturation of your image so if you think your image is lacking in eye popping colour, then this is one place to fix that.
Lecture 9: Adobe Camera Raw: The Tone Curve Tab
If the Contrast slider in the Basics Tab doesn’t give you the contrast that you are looking for then you can make further adjustments, lightening or darkening your image using this Tone Curve Tab. You may find that you never have to use this Tab at all. It all depends on how you shoot and the make and model of your gear.
Lecture 10: Adobe Camera Raw: The The Details Tab - Part 1 of 3
The Details Tab is where you can reduce that awful digital noise that tends to show up when you really under expose your pictures. You can also sharpen the details in your photos by playing with the sharpen sliders.
Lecture 11: Adobe Camera Raw: The The Details Tab - Part 2 of 3
In this details tab we go over a few examples of how best to use these sliders to either sharpen your images or attempt to get rid of the digital noise.
Lecture 12: Adobe Camera Raw: The The Details Tab - Part 3 of 3
I spend three lectures on this topic because I feel that there is so much potential to ruin your images if not used properly. Your images will look amazing and all of your friends and family will ask you what kind of camera you are now using ....
Lecture 13: Adobe Camera Raw: The HSL/Greyscale Tab
Have you ever wanted to work on just the reds and oranges in that sunset photo to make all of your friends envious of your photos? Yes, you have. How about making those blue eye bluer or green eyes greener. This is the place to do that kind of thing. You can even make your image a black and white image and then go back and play with the colour sliders to make the image even more dramatic.
Lecture 14: Adobe Camera Raw: The Split Toning Tab
Split toning is a throw back from the wet darkroom days where you could add a cool tone to say the shadows or add a warm tone to the highlights or do both. In order to tone your photographic prints you would have to use some very strong smelling chemicals in a well ventilated room. Doing it in the digital darkroom, Photoshop, takes all of the health risks out of the equation.
Lecture 15: Adobe Camera Raw: The Lens Correction Tab
Have you ever taken a close up photo of people with your lens set to “wide angle” and then noticed that the people on the ends are distorted? Well, you can get rid of most if not all of that distortion here.
Lecture 16: Adobe Camera Raw: The Effects Tab
In this Effects Tab you can add a vignette to your photos. You can also add some grain to your images for that retro look and feel.
Lecture 17: Adobe Camera Raw: The Presets Tab
The Presets Tab is where you create those “one click does all” buttons. Say you find that you always sharpen a certain amount and that you always move e noise reduction slider to the same spot, well if this is something you do over and over again, why not create a Preset which contains both of these adjustments so all you would have to do is select your images and click the preset, once, to apply both the sharpening and noise reduction to all of your selected images. This is a real time saver.
Lecture 18: Adobe Camera Raw: The Snapshots Tab
Have you ever played with an image and you get to the point that you think you are done and then decide to play around some more? Sure you have. And I am sure you have wanted to go back to the previous “look” to compare this to that. Well, snapshots is the way to do that and here is where we talk all about it.
An In-depth look at Adobe Camera Raw’s Editing Tools
Lecture 1: Adobe Bridge: Importing Your Images
We all have our own method of importing the images from our digital cameras which is either to attach our camera to our computer and download from the camera or copy the images from our CF or SD Card to our Pictures folder and go from there. But what if I were to show you a way to to do this more efficiently with a small helper application that comes with Bridge? Would you use it? Sure you will.
Lecture 2 through 6: Adobe Camera Raw: The Editing Tools - Part 1 - 5
Have you ever wanted to make an adjustment to just one small area in your Raw file? Have you ever wanted to make the same change in many places in your image? Up until now all of the adjustments we have made have been what we call global adjustments - in other words, the complete image has been affected. Now you will learn how to make selected adjustments with ease. After learning this, you may never need to go into Photoshop for basic editing ever again.
Lecture 7: Adobe Camera Raw: Saving and Exporting Your Raw Files
This lecture deals with the many options that are available to us for saving our files. Frankly many of the options are confusing at first but after this lecture you’ll have a better understanding of the differences we are given.
Using Bridge and Automating Your Workflow
Lecture 1: Adobe Bridge: Folder Management
If you are like a lot of digital photographers whether you are a casual shooter or pro shooter, I know you have images all over your computer. This lecture discusses some options to help you clean up the clutter.
Lecture 2: Adobe Bridge: Working with Collections
Have you ever wished you could only see the important images in your folder as opposed to every single one including the ones you don’t like as much as the good ones? Well, learning how to effectively use Collections will help you work through the many hundreds or even thousands of images you take.
Lecture 3: Adobe Bridge: Adding Metadata
Metadata is information. Information about you the photographer. It is important to add this so people know who owns the image(s) and how to get in touch with you. Even if you are not a pro, you need to add this info sooner rather than later.
Lecture 4: Adobe Bridge: Importing Keywords
Information abut your images like names and events. Adding this information when you first import your images is probably the most difficult task to force yourself to do but yo really should do it. If this is done at the beginning of the lifecycle of your images, you will save lots of time in the future when trying to locate a specific image.
Lecture 5: Adobe Bridge: Automating Using Image Processor
Have you ever wished that you could just get a whole folder worth of images processed in just a few clicks? If so, this is the lecture for you.
The Adobe Camera Raw plug-in (referred to from now on as ACR) is available from within Adobe Photoshop and from within Adobe Bridge. When you are in Photoshop you can only open raw files in ACR using Photoshop but if you happen to be in Bridge, you can choose to either have Photoshop open the raw file(s) or have Adobe Bridge open you raw file(s). There is no difference between the two, it’s just a matter of choice.
Why shoot Raw?
In order to answer that question we need to discuss the advantages of the RAW format versus the JPEG file format. For one thing, RAW images are not processed in camera like JPEGs. You have to use a RAW interpreter such as Adobe Camera Raw, ( aka ACR) which comes with Photoshop and Adobe Bridge or Adobe Lightroom which uses the same version of Adobe Camera Raw that Photoshop and Bridge uses.
This should be one of the first tabs rather than one of the last tabs ...
In my humble opinion, the choices made here effect every other choice you make regarding adjusting your images and probably should be the first tab or maybe even in the Workflow Options dialog box.
In my humble opinion, the choices made here effect every other choice you make regarding adjusting your images and probably should be the first tab or maybe even in the Workflow Options dialog box. We will discuss those options in a later chapter. In the following pages I go through a process of showing you what the differences are between some the various choices that can be made here.
Okay, let’s get into this White Balance stuff. By default, the very first time you open your image in Adobe Camera Raw, the White Balance option in the drop down is always set to “As Shot”. Which means whatever your camera was set to. Now ...
So now you have this Camera Raw dialog box in front of you, what next? Well, there are many things that we can adjust in ACR and more often than not you will want to play around with your exposure, brightness, contrast and white balance. These are the fundamentals that need to be addressed and that is why these options are in the Basic tab along the right hand side of the dialog box.
The Tone Curve Tab allows you to tweak tonal values in a way that the Basics Tab could not. Not every one will be visiting this tab on a regular basis but when you do, it will be nice to know how these features work. There are two curve tabs in here; one being the Point Curve and the other being the Parametric Curve.
This is Part 1 of 2 of the Sharpening section of the Details Tab
This is Part 2 of 2 of the Sharpening section of the Details Tab
The options in the HSL/Greyscale Tab allow us to select specific colours or more specifically hues and shift them around with their neighbouring hues based on where they lay in the colour wheel. All you have to do is look at the colours on any one of those many sliders, eight to be exact, to see the limitations for each. Unlike the Hue/ Saturation feature in Photoshop itself, you can’t change red to blue. Once again, Adobe Camera Raw is limiting what you can do, to save you from yourself just like in the Sharpening Tab where we can only sharpen to the Amount of 150 and the Radius can only go to 3 as opposed to 250 in Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask filter.
The Saturation tab allows you to either increase or decrease the saturation of colours in your image based on the hue sliders. Remember that these are global adjustments and not local adjustments.
The Luminance tab allows you to either lighten or darken the colours in you image based on the hue sliders in this dialog box.
The Greyscale option converts your colour image and allows you to lighten or darken specific colours.
Split Toning in the digital world allows us to alter our current highlights and shadows areas by adding colour to them. For example we could add pinks to our highlights and greens to our shadows. Now just moving the Hue sliders does absolutely nothing until you also move the saturation slider for either the Highlights, Shadows or both. Once you have played around with the Highlights’ Hue & Saturation sliders and the Shadows’ Hue & Saturation sliders, you can push or pull the balance slider to have your effect more prominent in one end or the other.
The Lens Correction Tab is a pretty important one to say the least. Most common lenses manufactured by the top brands should be listed here. Using the appropriate lens profile will remove any lens defects such as pin cushion or barrel distortion you may have. If you don’t like what the Auto feature has done you can always go in and manually make your adjustments - usually the Auto in this case works quite well.
We start out in this movie with our image in the Effects Tab with the Grain Amount, Size and Roughness set to their respective maximum values. Obviously this is too much and I have gone to the extreme to show you what this feature is about. Over the next few minutes we will see what each one of these sliders does to our image so we can decide if this is an effect that we may want to use at some point. Some photographers that used to shoot in the days of film generally add some kind of grain to their images because they feel that digital photographs are too synthetic.
Presets are saved settings that you have created by moving some sliders around in any of the Camera Raw Tabs and then have subsequently, saved. If you take a look at the very bottom of the Camera Raw window just above the “Done” button you will see two icons. One is currently greyed out and the other is the “Create New Preset” icon.
This is so cool it’s not funny. As you go through the process of deciding which effect you like for your image, rather than trying to remember what settings you have used or actually saving the file out as a pixel based image for each effect, you can just as easily create a snapshot of what the image looks like at any point in time. If you click on one of your snapshots, you can always go through the various tabs to see the slider values applied and then of all things, create a Preset. Who knew? Well, I did, but I waited until now to tell you ...
I personally believe that this application is one of the Creative Suite’s secret weapons, if you will. It is truly awesome in how it bridges (pun intended) all of the Creative Suite’s applications seamlessly in a production environment. We will only be addressing it’s relationship with Photoshop in this course.
If we look closely we will notice that the main interface is divided into three columns. The left and the right columns are further divided into two rows each which are expandable and collapsible as are the columns. Click your cursor where the sections divide and drag to size things the way you want.
In this first video of the “Editing Tools” series we discuss the navigation tools, the white balance tool, the colour sampler tool and the target adjustment tools.
In this second video of the “Editing Tools” series we discuss The Crop Tool and The Straighten Tools.
In this third video of the “Editing Tools” series we discuss The Spot Removal Tool and The Red Eye Removal Tool.
In this fourth video of the “Editing Tools” series we discuss The Adjustment Brush.
In this fifth video of the “Editing Tools” series we discuss The Gradient Filter.
This is where we discuss all of the buttons and clickable items at the bottom of the Camera Raw interface. Along the bottom we have the Save Image ... button, the Workflow Options link and then the Open Image, Cancel and Done buttons.
John's background is in photography. He was first introduced to photography way back in highschool and has been developing film and making prints ever since. He has had a variety of jobs in the photographic industry ranging from motion picture lab technician to portraits & weddings to commercial studio work to medical photography lab technician to newspaper photographer and most recently shooting virtual tours and panoramic images.
John first started teaching, actually the unofficial teaching assistant, at the School of Modern Photography in Montreal back in the early 70's when he himself was still a student. The lead instructor recognized John's ability to explain photographic principals and lighting techniques to other students and asked him to participate as the unofficial teaching assistant. The same thing more or less happened when he studied at Dawson College years later.
When John moved to Toronto in the early 80's, he found employment with a portrait studio company and when he completed his training and probation period he became the new West Toronto Photography Trainer. He also helped develop the corporate training policies & procedures for that company's North American operation.
After working for the Metroland Group of Community Newspapers as a photographer for over 8 years, John began teaching at Humber College and in 2003 he recieved the Digital Imaging Training Centre's "Teacher of the Year" award. In 2005, John was the first ever recipient of the Dean Collins Photoshop Educator Scholarship Award presented by Scott Kelby, President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), at the PhotoshopWorld Convention in Boston September 2005.</p>