As photographers, perhaps the single most important part of our digital workflow is optimizing our raw exposures with Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). It is often the case, for example, that we must expose certain shots to favor the highlights, knowing that we can later re-map the tones in the image to display a wider dynamic range and better contrast.
Photoshop CS6 includes ACR 7, which uses a brand new tone mapping process. This process is the same one used in Lightroom 4 -- called Process 2012-- and it does a fantastic job of recovering details in the brightest and darkest areas of a picture. This article will give you a taste of how powerful ACR 7 is, by taking one shot from a series of bracketed exposures (originally used for HDR imaging), and restoring the important details in both the highlight and shadow regions. Let’s take a look!
Upgrading Process Versions
By default, any image that was not opened in a prior version of Lightroom or ACR will use the new Process 2012 tone-mapping setup. If you are opening an image that has prior raw edits applied, you will see a small warning icon near the bottom right portion of the screen. Click it to get options for previewing and conversion. If you decide to, you can still continue working with Process 2010 for each image.