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Basic Adjustments using Camera Raw Continued

Editing a Sunrise or Sunset Scene Part Three

Camera Raw by Adobe is a powerful & useful tool to use to get your image exposed just right.  Advances over the years can eliminate a need to use any additional hardware such as filters but i would say that using filters is a more natural way of producing an image.  For this continuation from part two, i will go through what can be done on the top navigation bar in Camera Raw to fine adjust an image before opening it up in Photoshop.  A different image will be used from the previous part that has had similar adjustments made from the previous blog post.  Also as like the previous part, this is a darker image taken from a set of five images.

The image being used in Camera Raw. Some adjustments have been made already using the methods in the previous post. The top nav bar highlighted in red is being used for this post.

Zoom Tool

Zoom tool is used for zooming in on a selected area for any fine adjustments such as sharpening or toning, including a few more adjustments before opening in Photoshop.  Its pretty easy to use, just select the tool, then click your mouse button on a selected area for a close up.  To view the image at full size again just right click your mouse and select ‘fit in view’.

Zooming in on an image using Camera Raw. Note the percent that has been zoomed in on the bottom left. 100% is about the limit, anything over this and the image will stat to look pixelated.

Hand Tool

Hand tool in Camera Raw will let you move around an image when zoomed in.  Useful for when you need to check a certain area after refining a different area of an image.

Using the hand tool in camera raw to move around the image when zoomed in.

White Balance Tool

White balance tool can be used to change a temperature of the whole image.  Clicking on an area that is more orange near the sun will lower temperature, resulting in a more blue type finish, selecting an area such as a blue sky will raise temperature.  I selected a blueish area on the upper right of the image to give me a temperature change of 7150 to 5650.  This helped my image to produce more blue in the sky.

Selecting an area in the image can raise or lower the temperature of the image using Camera Raw.

Color Sampler Tool

Another favourite of mine is color sampler tool in Camera Raw.  This will let you select up to nine areas of your image, then it will give you RGB values of each selected area.  This is a great tool to find out if your image is suffering from clipping, where a certain area is is falling outside the recommend intensity range.

  • Click on an image to select a value for an area, this will give you the RGB readout.
  • hold down the alt key to delete a selected sampler, then click on any numbered point in the image.
  • To clear all values, select clear samplers.

To change values hold down the shift key and select an area of your image to change its white balance.  The trick here is to get your RGB values as equal in numerical value as possible to reduce clipping.

Using the color sampler tool in Camera Raw can to help to reduce clipping in an image. The result here has given me more blue in the sky but keeping most of the burn from the sunset. also note how i have attempted to equalise the RGB values at the same time.

Targeted Adjustment Tool

Targeted adjustment tool in Camera Raw is another way to adjust individual areas in your tone curve.  Simply click on the tab on the top then using a selected area of your image click on it and hold the mouse button.  Depending on where you selected the tone curve will wither rise when dragging the mouse right or up.  Dragging the mouse down or left will lower the value.

Changing tone curve using targeted adjustment tool in camera raw.

Crop Tool

Crop tool can be used before opening an image in Photoshop.  Just simply select it then hold down your left mouse button to create a crop.  You can adjust when a crop has been created.  Right clicking your mouse gives you more options to further refine your crop.

Using crop tool in Camera Raw to select an area of your image, this will get rid of an area that is not selected.

Ruler Tool

Helps to straighten your image.  Simply select ruler tool then either draw a line on your image whilst holding down your left mouse button or double click the tool button to let Camera Raw adjust it automatically.  Once done the crop tool will appear for you to make any adjustments.

Using ruler tool in Camera Raw to straighten an image. Note you can see a slight straightening on the top right… Nobody’s perfect!

Transform Tool

Playing around with transform tool can help refine any further distortion in any image.  You can do all sorts here such as rotation, scaling or changing aspect.  You can also select Camera Raw to do this automatically instead.  If your not happy with it’s result you can revert to the original at any time by zeroing all values or selecting the off button.

Transform tool in Camera Raw to iron out any further distortions.

Spot Removal

As the title suggests, this removes any spots on your image.  It does happen, dust or spots can occur on your lens or even your sensor.  These can be easily cleaned but not all of these can be eliminated whilst outdoors especially when there is rain or sea spray, it will just ruin your sensor when exposed to the elements.  I did have a spot and only noticed it when i got home.  It was a bit of sea spray when i was taking images at the bottom area of the image.  It can be easily fixed though.  Just select the tool then choose either heal or clone and adjust sliders according to the size of the spot.  when happy click on affected area & Camera Raw will remove the spot for you.

Spot removal tool in Camera Raw. It’s easy enough to use. I normally select heal option and size the circle to the spot. Job done!

Red Eye Removal

Removes red eye or pet eye.  I have no subjects in my image so i have no need to use it.

Adjustment Brush

This is where you can selectively change areas by brushing selected areas of an image to change features that are normally available in basic editor.  A handy tool although i much prefer to selectively change a part of an image in Photoshop.

Graduated Filter

Graduated filter attempts to replicate a real filter that is used in front of a lens although you have more options with this tool such as changing temperature or basic options similar to the basic editor.  Just hold down your left mouse button on the top the image and draw down until you are happy with it’s area to edit.  You can easily get rid of this by selecting clear all or right clicking it and deleting it.

Using graduated filter tool in Camera Raw, i changed the sky at the top of my image to have some more blue by lowering temperature.

Radial Filter

Radial filter has the same principal as the graduated filter except it creates a circle effect.

Preferences Dialogue

This opens up the preferences window to make any changes to the options.  I just leave it as it is.

Rotate Image

The last two options lets you rotate an image ninety degrees clockwise or anti-clockwise.

That is Camera Raw pretty much covered in two parts.  Next thing to do now is open your image so it will load up in Photoshop.  In part four, i will use a popular plugin for Photoshop that is very easy to use for beginners and also a good introduction to using Photoshop without any need to spend a lot of time refining an image.

Links to Other Articles in this Guide

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