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Camera Raw Anatomy

Camera Raw opens automatically whenever you open a raw image in Bridge or Photoshop because neither program can read raw files. In addition to the static elements (the Toolbar, the histogram, the RGB readout, the settings panel), it offers two sets of controls: one static workflow set that is "sticky" (the settings remain unchanged unless and until you change them) and another dynamic image-specific set that changes depending on which panel is currently selected. But to understand all the controls, info readouts, and settings, you need to be familiar with what Camera Raw provides. In this section, we'll take a round-the-world look at the Camera Raw dialog box (see Figure 4-3) and check out all its nooks and crannies.

Figure 4-3

Figure 4-3 Camera Raw controls.

The static elements include the Toolbar; the dialog box title; the Zoom controls; the Preview, Highlight, and Shadow clipping toggles; the Panel settings; the Save Image, Open Image, Done, and Cancel buttons; the RGB readout; a live histogram that shows the conversion that the current settings will produce; and a Settings menu that lets you load and save settings.

The workflow options govern the kind of output Camera Raw will produce: They let you choose the color space, bit depth, size, and resolution of converted images.

The image controls, which apply to individual images, appear immediately below the Settings menu. In addition to the Presets panel, Camera Raw 6 offers eight separate panels, each with its own set of controls: Basic, Tone Curve, Detail, Curve, HSL/Grayscale, Split Toning, Lens Corrections, and Camera Calibration.

The image preview is based on Photoshop's recognition and use of a display profile and will use the same profile as Photoshop uses to accurately preview the image based on the final output color space. It is colorimetrically accurate and should match the display found in Photoshop.

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