Adobe’s Julianne Kost and Photoshop Cafe’s Colin Smith demonstrate Adobe Lightroom Classic’s new Range Masking. (Remember, what works in Lightroom also works in Camera Raw.) Range Masking, by luminosity or color, is a significant step forward in selective or regional image adjustment during Raw processing.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


Do you wish you could improve the quality of the images your lenses deliver after exposure? You can, using software. Adobe’s Lens Corrections feature uses a digital image file’s EXIF metadata about camera and lens to automate cures for standard lens distortions, including geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting.

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Your digital camera can produce two types of files – Raw and JPEG.

One can be seen instantly, because it is already processed – JPEG. The other, needs to be processed to be seen – Raw.

Few people have actually seen what an unprocessed Raw file looks like. To be seen properly Raw files need to be rendered or changed. What you see on your camera’s LCD is a JPEG produced on the fly by your camera. What you see in programs like Adobe Lightroom or Bridge are previews made with their default renderings.

Raw files are curious things. They contain color, but not a color image – yet.

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You can significantly improve the clarity and saturation of the color you digital camera creates by creating a custom profile for it. The defaults manufacturer's provide and most people use are fine, but a custom profile built for your camera is better.

X-Rites’ Color Checker Passport can be used to quickly deliver more accurate color in a variety of ways.

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If you want to create digital photographs with the highest quality, set your camera to create Raw files.

What are the upsides to shooting in Raw? Raw files contain the widest color gamut (saturation), highest bit depth (gradation), have flexible white balance (color temperature), offer the greatest opportunities for rendering highlight and shadow detail, are free of compression artifacts, and can be reprocessed indefinitely (even with tomorrow’s software) with no loss in quality. There are some downsides to shooting in Raw. Raw files are larger and require post-processing before presentation. They take up more room and they take longer to use. But the higher quality they offer are worth the effort.

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