With all the new features being added in Adobe Camera Raw, sometimes it’s easy to forget the basics and what our job as a photographer is. How can we guide the viewer’s attention and create an attractive image? While that can be subjective, here’s a review of of some of the basics in Camera Raw with quick introduction to the graduated filter that appeared in version 5 (Photoshop CS4 or Lightroom 2). There are three main points in this tutorial – setting a full tonal range (highlight and shadow), white balance and selective darkening to minimize distracting areas.
Click on the link below to launch a QuickTime video. It’s just under 16MB, so it will take a few moments to load.
Camera Raw refresher
I’ve tried to love Nikon Capture. I really, really have. However, when it comes to working with large quantities of images quickly, I always come back to Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. There’s one client that I still use Capture for and that’s been primarily to ensure consistency with the color. So every once in awhile I come back to Capture for other work and make promises to myself that I will learn it better. Try to discover what I’m missing. (or maybe confirm the fact I’m happier not using something else)
Funny thing happened when testing a Nikon D3x. I’ve been really happy with the high ISO performance of the D3 and did not want to sacrifice that by moving to a D3x. So I shot some ISO 1600 and 6400 images on the D3x. Ran ’em through Capture because that was the only raw converter that recognized the files in late 2008. When I re-processed the files several months later in Adobe Camera Raw, I noticed the images had significantly more noise. Examples are below.
Cropped 100% view of Nikon Capture NX2 version
Cropped 100% view of Adobe Camera Raw version
I still prefer the workflow of ACR/Lightroom for the majority of my work, however those “special images” might be better served by considering one of the many other raw converters in the market.