In this quick tutorial, I'll show you howto unlock the power of RAW format photography, using photoshop.
We start with this photo of my dog Scamp,which I'll leave a download link to in the description below.
There's obviously a lot of things wrong withthis photo.
But fortunately it was taken using RAW format, instead of being compressed intoa JPEG.
First we need to open it so we go to File.
Open,select our file and then make sure we have Camera Raw selected.
Basically RAW formatmeans my camera has grabbed as much data as possible from the sensor and saved it in avery large, uncompressed file.
There's potentially a much better photo here, provided we cantell photoshop's Camera Raw tool which parts all that hidden data we want to see.
As you can see, the Camera Raw tool has comeup and the first thing we're going to do is fix the white balance.
To do this we simplyselect the White Balance tool and click the white wall on the right of the image.
Next it's time to fix the exposure level.
We can raise the exposure just by moving the exposure slider to the right.
We also wantsome more contrast so we raise that as well.
You can see though that this has over-exposedour highlights and darkened our shadows.
Ideally, we only want mid-tone contrast, so we lowerthe highlights and raise the shadows.
We also want more vibrant colors so we increase thevibrance as well.
Now comes the really interesting bit.
WhenI took this photo I was actually standing down some unlit stairs.
There was no way forme to set up any kind of lighting tripod from this direction.
Resulting in shadows aroundthe dog's eyes and an overall lack of fill lighting.
Normally there would be no effectiveway to fix this – because the necessary data wouldn't have been stored.
But with a RAWfile it's possible to recover the exposure in these areas without damaging the image.
We're going to start by fixing the eye shadows.
To do this we select the adjustment brush.
This will allow us to paint a mask, so wecan target our adjustments.
We set a raised exposure level and then paint around the eyesand nose.
We can also raise the clarity and saturation to make these features more prominent.
Take a look at how much detail we've managed to recover! Next we're going to add some general filllighting to make our subject stand out better.
We click New to create a new adjustment, enableAuto Masking and then paint around the edges of the dog's coat.
As you can see, becauseof the Auto Masking feature it's automatically refining the edges for us.
Once we're done,we can disable the Auto Masking and fill the remainder in as well.
Finally we tweak down the exposure so it'sadding just a touch of fill lighting.
We can also raise the contrast and clarity so thedog's coat looks like it's in even sharper focus.
As you can see, combining the Camera Raw toolwith photos taken in RAW format, is a really powerful way of improving your photos.
That's it for this tutorial.
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And I'll see you next time!.