Raw Tuesday: what to edit (and when) in Adobe Camera Raw

What to edit (and when) in Adobe Camera Raw: essential advice for how to process raw files to get the best results

In our latest Raw Tuesday post on using the raw format, we’ve told what you need to know before shooting raw files, the honest truth on what shooting raw can actually do for your images and last week we showed you how to convert raw files.

This week on Raw Tuesday we’ll explore what edits to make (and when) in Adobe Camera Raw.

What to edit (and when) in Adobe Camera Raw: essential advice for how to process raw files to get the best results

OK, so you’ve opened your raw files in Adobe Camera Raw. In which order should you do what?

Because Adobe Camera Raw offers so many ways of editing raw files, you may assume it doesn’t matter which you use and when.

However, some adjustments, such as white balance, will obviously have an impact on the effect of others, such as exposure.

For this reason, it’s best to try and make your raw adjustments in this order:

  1. Adjust white balance
  2. Correct exposure, including contrast and saturation
  3. Sharpen the image, including noise reduction

Now that you know the best order for editing raw files, we’ll take you through each step and explain what you’re actually doing, as well as tips on best practice.

PAGE 1: The best order for editing raw files
PAGE 2: Adjust white balance
PAGE 3: Correct exposure
PAGE 4: Recover lost highlight detail
PAGE 5: Recover lost shadow detail
PAGE 6: Sharpen the image

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