Your first tour with Adobe Camera RAW


Camera Raw is a specialized image processing software and comes bundled with Adobe Photoshop, with which this integration is complete software. It is an extremely intuitive program, because the tools are very well organized, so it helps to be clear about the workflow, even when there has never been used (the tools are strategically placed). Furthermore, the fact that is not the product of a brand of camera, as it ensures the use of Nikon to Canon, Sony, Pentax, Fuji, etc.

About its effectiveness, as long as it does the job, the results are quite spectacular. With each update you take, performance is improved to the point where such tools baptized by Adobe as highlights and shadows bring amazing results. Thus, as skill is acquired it will allow you to work with the images list without having to go through Photoshop.Camera Raw gives each of these applications the ability to import and work with camera raw files. You can also use Camera Raw to work with JPEG and TIFF files.

A raw file contains unprocessed, uncompressed grayscale picture data from a digital camera’s image sensor, along with information about how the image was captured (metadata). Photoshop Camera Raw software interprets the camera raw file, using information about the camera and the image’s metadata to construct and process a color image.

Think of a raw file as your photo negative. You can reprocess the file at any time, achieving the results that you want by making adjustments for white balance, tonal range, contrast, color saturation, and sharpening. When you adjust a raw image, the original raw data is preserved. Adjustments are stored as metadata in an accompanying sidecar file, in a database, or in the file itself (in the case of DNG format).

When you shoot JPEG files with your camera, the camera automatically processes the JPEG file to enhance and compress the image. You generally have little control over how this processing occurs. Shooting camera raw images with your camera gives you greater control than shooting JPEG images, because raw does not lock you into processing done by your camera. You can still edit JPEG and TIFF images in Camera Raw, but you will be editing pixels that were already processed by the camera. Raw files always contain the original, unprocessed pixels from the camera.


  1. Copy raw files to your hard disk, organize them, and (optionally) convert them to DNG. Before you do any work on the images that your raw files represent, transfer them from the camera’s memory card, organize them, give them useful names, and otherwise prepare them for use. Use the Get Photos From Camera command in Adobe Bridge to accomplish these tasks automatically.

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  1. Open the image files in Camera Raw. You can open raw files in Camera Raw from Adobe Bridge, After Effects, or Photoshop. You can also open JPEG and TIFF files in Camera Raw from Adobe Bridge.

The example shows a DNG file is created from a JPG. Moreover, you can configure how to open the JPG files to be pre-processed before entering Photoshop follows:

Access the menu Edit> Preferences> Camera Raw


Now, you can configure for all JPG or TIFF files to be opened by the Camera Raw plug. In the case of JPG files must choose “Automatically open all suported JPEGs”.


  1. Adjust color. Once opened the images, start working on the color adjustments, including white balance, tone, and saturation. You can make most adjustments on the Basic tab, and then use controls on the other tabs to fine-tune the results. If you want Camera Raw to analyze your image and apply approximate tonal adjustments, click Auto on the Basic tab.


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This way, configurations can be saved to be loaded into other images.

  1. Make other adjustments and image corrections. Use other tools and controls in the Camera Raw dialog box to perform such tasks as sharpening the image, reducing noise, correcting for lens defects, and retouching.


By default all parameters are set to the value of 0.

  1. (Optional) Save image settings as a preset or as default image settings. To apply the same adjustments to other images later, save the settings as a preset. To save the adjustments as the defaults to be applied to all images from a specific camera model, a specific camera, or a specific ISO setting, save the image settings as the new Camera Raw defaults.


  1. Save the image, or open it in Photoshop or After Effects. When you finish adjusting the image in Camera Raw, you can apply the adjustments to the raw file, open the adjusted image in Photoshop or After Effects, save the adjusted image to another format, or cancel and discard adjustments.


  1. Save Image. Applies the Camera Raw settings to the images and saves copies of them in JPEG, PSD, TIFF, or DNG format. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to suppress the Camera Raw Save Options dialog box and save the files using the last set of save options.


  1. Open Image or OK. Opens copies of the raw image files (with the Camera Raw settings applied) in Photoshop or After Effects. The original camera raw image file remains unaltered. Press Shift while clickingOpen Image to open the raw file in Photoshop as a Smart Object. At any time, you can double-click the Smart Object layer that contains the raw file to adjust the Camera Raw settings.
  2. Done. Closes the Camera Raw dialog box and stores file settings either in the camera raw database file, in the sidecar XMP file, or in the DNG file.
  3. Cancel. Cancels the adjustments specified in the Camera Raw dialog box.

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Many mistakes on pictures can be made more simply (without layers) with camera raw, so to optimizing time in the pre-processed images is recommended in order to use and learn the tools offered Camera Raw.

Any adjustment of an image depends on what you want to do or the state of the same, then in other articles how to solve specific problems with Camera Raw will display.


  1. ADOBE (2013), ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Help and tutorials, link [] visited as of 2015-06-21.
  2. ADOBE (2014), Adobe® Photoshop® CC Help, link [] visited as of 2015-06-21.

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