Home How-To Image Processing How To Process A RAW File
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How To Process A RAW File

A step-by-step approach to getting the most from a RAW image file

Keep in mind that small adjustments can make a big difference. I often wish this interface had two sliders for each control—one that had the overall adjustment and another for finer tuning. Since it doesn't, realize that small changes can be sufficient. If you have trouble making a small enough adjustment, you can type in new numbers in the box above the adjustment.

Color Adjustments
The color of an image is a tricky thing. A sunset image has a natural color cast, for example. On the other hand, some photos demand a neutral tonality with no color cast at all. Camera Raw lets you do both. You even can tweak whatever color you do have in five ways:

1. White Balance. The White Balance box acts a little like your camera's white-balance settings. You can choose from a number of white-balance presets to jump from one overall color to another.

2. White Balance Tool. This tool will change your cursor to an adjustment tool. Click on something in the photo and it will make it neutral gray. If you try this tool, you always can go back to your earlier "as shot" colors by double-clicking on the tool in the toolbar or using the As Shot choice in the White Balance box.

3. Temperature. The Temperature slider allows you to tweak the image by adding warmth (moving the slider to the right) or adding coolness (moving the slider to the left). For the technical-minded, what you're doing is changing the color temperature setting relative to the original color temperature of the scene as captured. The result is a warming or cooling of the photo.

4. Tint. This is a magenta/green scale that adds green to the photo as the slider is moved to the left and magenta as it's moved to the right. Unless you're after some special effects, it's rare to use large amounts for this adjustment.



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