3 selective adjustment tools your raw files can’t live without

3 selective adjustment tools your raw files can't live without

In the latest post of our Raw Tuesday series on editing raw format images we show you how to make selective adjustments to your raw format files with three key selective adjustment tools in Adobe Camera Raw.

3 selective adjustment tools your raw files can't live without

Since the days of dodging and burning in the darkroom, making selective adjustments to different areas of your image has always been an essential skill for photographers.

Before Photoshop CS4, adjustments made in Adobe Camera Raw were limited in that you could only apply them to the entire image. But with the introduction of the Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush, Adobe Camera Raw suddenly became a whole lot more useful.

Selective Adjustment menu

In Adobe Camera Raw version 7 (which comes as standard with Photoshop CS6) the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools have been improved with extra options to adjust white balance, making it easy to selectively correct white balance and warm or cool an image.

The tools have been used here to cool down the sky and add warmth to the land, and to tease out details in the foreground. We’ve also used the Targeted Adjustment tool to boost the saturation of the orange colours in the sky.

On the next few pages we’ll show how to use each of the Graduated Filter, Adjustment Brush and Targeted Adjustment tools, as well as how to use them to get a more accurate white balance.

PAGE 1: Overview of selective adjustment tools
PAGE 2: Graduated Filter
PAGE 3: Adjustment Brush
PAGE 4: Targeted Adjustments
PAGE 5: Using selective adjustment tools for accurate white balance


Blend Modes: the 10 best blends for photographers (and how to use them)
Photoshop Layers Demystified: a beginner’s guide to smarter photo editing