Raw Tuesday: how to edit raw files for immaculate colour and tone

Raw Tuesday: how to edit raw files for immaculate colour and tone

Get to know the Adobe Camera Raw interface

The Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) interface can be daunting, especially if you’re figuring out where to start and which tools to use first. As a rule of thumb it’s best to start working clockwise around the interface, starting with the tools in the top options bar to crop and compose before moving onto the main adjustments under the Basic tab. Here’s a few of the most common ACR adjustments.

Adobe Camera Raw interface: White Balance

White Balance tool 

Click into an area of neutral grey within the image to set the white balance. In this image the rocks in the foreground seem like a good point to use.


DCM106.ps_basics.Adobe Camera Raw interface: Strengthen tool

Straighten tool
If you think your picture is a tad askew, click on the horizon on the left of the image and drag the cursor across to the right to quickly level your landscapes.


DCM106.ps_basics.Adobe Camera Raw interface: Temperature

It’s very easy to adjust the ‘climatic’ mood of your shot. Moving the Temperature slider to the left will cool the image, while moving it to the right will add warmth.


DCM106.ps_basics.Adobe Camera Raw interface: Exposure

Move the slider to the left to darken and right to lighten, but try not to push the exposure more than two stops either way for the best quality image.


Adobe Camera Raw interface: Recovery


ather than cutting the brightness of the whole image, Recovery only darkens the brightest areas of the photograph, helping to recover lost highlight detail.


Adobe Camera Raw interface: Fill light

Fill Light

Working in the exact opposite way to the Recovery slider, increasing the Fill Light slider will draw out 
lost detail from the very darkest areas of shadow.


Adobe Camera Raw interface: Clarity

his adjustment subtly increases the midtone contrast without affecting other tones in the image – the result is better clarity, especially in finer detail.


Adobe Camera Raw interface: Vibrance

Increasing Vibrance will give a boost to the less saturated colours to a greater degree than the more saturated, which will help to minimise garish colour.


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