Adobe Camera Raw Part 1

Crucial to my work flow ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) I use on all my photos. This post is specific on how I use it for post processing. This is a very basic guide, but as I post more I am hoping to teach you new techniques.

For those who don’t know, Adobe Camera Raw is a free plugin that comes bundled with Photoshop. Released in 2002, ACR is a way to edit your raw files before opening Photoshop.

I keep all my raw photos organized in Adobe Bridge. Some people use Lightroom, but I prefer Bridge for the ACR aspect. In bridge I am able to see all my photos, pick the best raw files, and open in ACR. By double clicking on a raw file it will open ACR for you. From there you have many options to process your photo to you liking.

Adobe Camera Raw

Adobe Camera Raw Lens Distortion

My first step is to fix lens distortion. ACR has many preset corrections for many different lenses. All you have to know is your make and model. In my opinion some of the time ACR over corrects for the distortion so feel free to mess with sliders until you achieve what you are looking for. I like my photos to have a little more vignette than most. The key for me is to make it have a vignette without the audience knowing what you did.

Adobe Camera Raw

Color Correction and Exposure Adjustments

Second step is to adjust the temperature of the photo to my preference and adjust any exposure/contrast corrections. On all my photos with snow I adjust the “whites” slider to make the snow true to its color.

Adobe Camera Raw


Third step I adjust saturation to different colors of the photos. For this photo I adjusted the blues. I also do this as one of my last steps in photoshop.
Adobe Camera Raw

Color Space, 16 bit, and 300 DPI

Final step before opening in photoshop is double checking the bottom (highlighted in blue) for the color profile to be set to Adobe RBG, 16 bit, and 300 DPI. These settings will give you the highest quality after post production. Adobe RGB was designed to work with all aspects of CMYK color printers. When all 16 bits are used, usually green gets an extra bit, allowing 64 levels of potency for that element, and a total of 65,536 available colors.

Adobe Camera Raw

Open In Photoshop

Open in photoshop and you are ready to start making other adjustment. Sometimes ACR can be enough for me and I am ready to print my photograph after I sharpen it in photoshop. My next tutorial will be a more advanced lesson in photoshop.


February 1, 2015

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