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Using the Camera Raw tabs

The Camera Raw tabs

To access a panel of related settings in Camera Raw, click one of the tab icons (shown above). We perform most of our work in the first four tabs, and recommend that you do the same. Use the other tabs for specialty corrections or enhancements, as needed.

Basic: Adjust the white balance and exposure (see pages 63–67).

Tone Curve: Fine-tune a specific tonal range, such as the upper or lower midtones (see pages 68–69).

Detail: Apply capture sharpening and reduce unwanted noise (see pages 70–71).

HSL/Grayscale: Adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of individual colors (see pages 72–73).

Split Toning: Apply one color tint to the highlight areas of a photo and a second tint to the shadow areas (see page 79).

Lens Corrections: Correct a photo for the effects of lens distortion, such as geometric distortion (e.g., a building that is tilted backward or isn’t level), under- or overexposure at the edges (an unwanted vignette), chromatic aberration, and color fringes.

Effects: As a special effect, apply a grain texture or a light or dark vignette (see pages 84–85).

Camera Calibration: The Process menu in this tab lets you update a file to the latest Camera Raw processing (see the sidebar on the next page). If the profile that Camera Raw provides for your camera model doesn’t produce satisfactory color results, use the sliders in this tab to tweak the settings manually.

Presets: Create a custom preset of the current Camera Raw settings for future application to any other photos (see page 92).

Snapshots: For flexibility in editing, save interim versions of a photo as you make corrections. When necessary, you can restore the photo to any snapshot version (see the sidebar on page 92).

If you find a need to undo or reset your slider settings as you work in Camera Raw, you can use any of the methods below. (To learn about related options on the Camera Raw Settings menu, see the next page.)

To restore default settings to sliders in the Camera Raw tabs:

  • Do any of the following:
  • Double-click a slider to reset it to its default value (usually 0).
  • Shift-double-click a slider in the Basic tab to reset it to the Auto value.
  • Click Default in the Basic or HSL/Grayscale tab to reset all the sliders in just that tab to 0.
  • Hold down Alt/Option and click Reset at the bottom of the dialog (Cancel becomes Reset) to restore the settings, in all tabs, that were in effect when you opened the dialog.

When you open a photo into Camera Raw, by default, it’s adjusted according to the built-in profile for your camera model, and all the sliders in the Basic tab are set to 0. At any time, you can assign a different collection of settings to your file, or restore the original settings.

To restore settings via the Camera Raw Settings menu:

  • From the Camera Raw Settings menu, cr_settings_menu_icon.jpg choose one of these options: A


    Click to view larger image

    A Use options on the Camera Raw Settings menu to restore default settings to your photo or to reapply the prior settings.

  • Image Settings to restore the settings that were attached to the file during the initial photo shoot or, if the photo was previously edited in Camera Raw, from the last Camera Raw session. When a photo is opened for the first time into Camera Raw, these settings will match the Camera Raw Defaults settings.
  • Camera Raw Defaults to remove all custom settings and reapply the default settings for your camera model, your specific camera, or the ISO setting that was used to take the photo.
  • Previous Conversion to apply the settings from the prior image that was adjusted in Camera Raw.
  • Custom Settings to reapply the custom settings that you have chosen since opening the photo into Camera Raw.
  • If a user-saved preset is applied to the current photo, that preset will also be listed as an option on this menu (see page 92).
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