The Raw Workflow
As a rule, you’ll work your way through Adobe Camera Raw’s tabs and the sliders within them more or less in order, though you’ll find yourself returning to sliders as necessary to fine-tune or readjust them where other edits have had a knock-on effect.
As you work, monitor the effects that your edits are having using the histogram, as well as the clipping previews that show you exactly where tonal detail is being lost and thus help you get exposure spot-on.
The aim is to get your shots as close as possible to your desired result before turning to Photoshop/Elements – indeed, in many cases, you might find that Adobe Camera Raw’s tools are so powerful and so effective, they’re all you need to get your shots right.
It’s one of the reasons Adobe’s Lightroom raw workflow software exists, enabling you to process your images without faffing about with layers and blending modes.