“Discover how easy it is to make local adjustments to your photographs using Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw’s new Masking panel and tools including: Select Subject, Select Sky, Radial and Linear Gradients, Brush, Color and Luminance Range Masking and more!”
Get the best image quality by optimally exposing and processing Raw files.
What In The World Are Raw Files?
Dive in to the strange and wonderful world of Raw files.
Why You Should Shoot Raw
Get highest quality images from your digital camera.
Why You Should Profile Your Camera
Improve the clarity and saturation of the color your digital camera creates.
How To Get More Than The Maximum A Slider Allows
Get 150%, 200%, 500% or more out of sliders.
Think of Adobe Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw’s new Texture slider as producing an effect that lies somewhere between the Clarity and Sharpness sliders.
It’s closer to Sharpness so when you apply it, rather than looking at the full image, zoom in to 100% to evaluate the detail accentuation it produces. So, use it more for detail enhancement than contrast.
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.
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.
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.
final image double processed
image processed light
image processed dark
the Photoshop layer stack used to blend dark and light together
HDR Without Bracketing
If you need to make an image of a relatively high contrast scene that challenges but does not exceed the dynamic range of your camera (or film), consider double processing. Make two derivative files from one original, one dark and one light. Layer the two together. And blend the best information from each. This practice can substantially improve the quality of the information in your file. Even small changes can make a big difference. Remember, this technique is for challenging files, not for every file. If you can achieve ideal results with Raw processing alone or one layer only - do. Keep it simple, when you can.
Here are some commonly asked questions that, once answered, will demystify setting camera file format.
"Should I set my camera to JPEG, Raw, or JPEG and Raw?"
If you want to create files with the highest quality, set your camera to create Raw files. Raw files contain the widest color gamut, highest big depth, have flexible white point, can have highlight and shadow detail recovered, can be reprocessed infinitely, and are free of compression artifacts. Raw files are larger and require post-processing before presentation. They take up more room and they take longer to use.
If you want files to create files to share immediately without (or with minimal) post-processing, set you camera to create JPEG files. JPEGs are excellent for transmission, posting to the web, and print on demand. (Remember, the highest quality JPEGs are the ones created by post-processing Raw files, not the ones created by your camera.)
If you want both Raw and JPEG, set your camera to create both.
A camera creates a Raw file every time it makes an exposure. Setting a camera to create a JPEG file requires it to make a conversion to JPEG, which it does with incredible speed. If a camera is set to JPEG, it will replace the Raw file. If a camera is set to Raw, only a Raw file will be created. If a camera is set to Raw + JPEG it will create a JPEG copy in addition to the Raw file.