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This chapter is from the book

Chapter 4 Assignments

The best thing to do with Adobe Camera Raw is just play with it and get to know what all the adjustments can do for your image. This might be a problem, though, if you have yet to shoot any raw images. You could use a JPEG, but you really should use raw files to get an idea of all the features. That’s why I am including a few of my raw files in the bonus materials for you to play with (see Introduction). Just download the files and import them into the Organizer to get started.

Get That JPEG Look In Your Raw Files

The camera profiles can have a huge impact on how your images look. Generally speaking, they can make them look just like they did on the camera LCD screen when you took them. Open your file in ACR, and then try some different camera profiles in the Camera Calibration tab.

Back To Basics

The majority of your processing work will be done in the Basic tab. Spend a little time getting to know the sliders and adjustments here. Try clicking the clipping warnings to see the overlays, and then use the Recovery and Fill Light sliders to make the overlays go away.

Sharpen Like A Pro

One of the coolest and most useful features of the Sharpening tools is the mask overlay. Masking the sharpening to only the edges, rather than sharpening everything, will give your images a much more polished look. Apply some sharpening to the image, and then hold the Alt (Option) key and move the Masking slider to apply sharpening just where you want it.

Crop And Straighten

Cropping and straightening work hand in hand. When you straighten an image, you also crop it, because the image is being slightly rotated. Use the Straighten tool to straighten out a line or horizon in an image, and then click the Crop tool to adjust the crop composition.

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