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#27 Learning the Camera Raw Interface

Open an image in Camera Raw from within Photoshop or Bridge. Notice that the interface looks different than Photoshop or Bridge because the plug-in works like a stand-alone application. To get the most out of Camera Raw, you need to become familiar with the main aspects of its interface.


At the top of the Camera Raw dialog box is a row of tools. These tools give you the ability perform various important functions—everything from zooming to rotating (Figure 27a).

Figure 27a

Figure 27a Camera Raw tools and the respective shortcut keys.

Image adjustment tabs

The bulk of the power and functionality of Camera Raw can be found in the controls collected into eight image adjustment tabs. Click a tab to access the controls it contains. Each tab uses a somewhat cryptic icon as a label—here’s the secret decoder ring (Figure 27b):

  • Basic. Adjust white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation.
  • Tone Curve. Fine-tune tonality.
  • Detail. Adjust sharpening and reduce noise.
  • HSL/Grayscale. Convert to color or black and white.
  • Split Toning. Add color to the highlights and shadows.
  • Lens Corrections. Fix lens vignetting and chromatic aberration.
  • Camera Calibration. Customize settings for a specific camera.
  • Presets. Save and access presets.
Figure 27b

Figure 27b The Camera Raw image adjustment tabs and their functions.

Save, Open, Cancel, and Done

When you are finished adjusting your image, click one of the four buttons along the bottom of the Camera Raw window (Figure 27c):

  • Save Image. Save the raw file in a different file format (PSD, TIFF, DNG, JPEG).
  • Open Image. Open the image in Photoshop.
  • Cancel. Cancel adjustments and return to Bridge.
  • Done. Apply adjustments and return to Bridge.
Figure 27c

Figure 27c When your work in Camera Raw is done, click one of the four buttons.

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