Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Photoshop

Working in Camera Raw

This chapter is from the book

Using the Detail tab

Via the Sharpening sliders in the Detail tab, you can adjust the sharpness of your photo (a process called “capture” sharpening), and via the Noise Reduction sliders, you can reduce any unwanted color noise.

To sharpen a photo using the Detail tab:

  1. Click the Detail tab detail_button.jpg A and choose a zoom level of 100%. In the preview, drag to reveal an area of the photo that has some detail (hold down the Spacebar for a temporary Hand tool).


    A These are the Sharpening controls in the Detail tab.

    Note: If the words “Sharpening (Preview Only)” display at the top of the Detail tab, click the Open Preferences Dialog button crw_prefs_icon.jpg in the toolbox. In the Camera Raw Preferences dialog, choose Apply Sharpening To: All Images, then click OK.

  2. Under Sharpening, adjust the Amount value for the degree of edge definition. For subject matter that needs a lot of sharpening, such as hard-edged objects or buildings, try a value of 100; if less sharpening is needed, try a value of 50–60. (For a raw photo, the default Amount value is 25; for a JPEG photo, the default value is 0.)

    • To better evaluate the Amount value via a grayscale preview, Alt-drag/Option-drag the slider.
  3. Use the Radius slider to control how many pixels surrounding each sharpened edge are modified. We keep this value between 1 and 1.3.
  4. Alt-drag/Option-drag the Detail slider slightly to the right to emphasize edge details and textures.
  5. Alt-drag/Option-drag the Masking slider to around 50 to protect low-contrast areas with a black mask, and thereby sharpen only high-contrast areas.

All digital cameras produce some luminance (grayscale) noise and color artifacts (randomly colored pixels). Although budget cameras tend to produce the most noise, it can also be produced by a high-end camera if it’s used with a high ISO (light sensitivity) setting in a poorly lit scene. It’s a good practice to remove as much noise from your photos as possible in Camera Raw, because it can become accentuated by image editing in Photoshop.

As you follow these steps, you’ll discover that after you shift one slider, another slider will need adjusting.

To reduce luminance and color noise using the Detail tab:

  1. With a photo open in Camera Raw (A, next page), click the Detail tab detail_button.jpg and choose a zoom level of 200–300% for the preview.


    Click to view larger image

    A This is a close-up of a photo of a shop window (viewed at a zoom level of 300%), with the Noise Reduction: Luminance and Color sliders in the Detail tab set to 0 (no noise reduction applied). Grayscale noise is evident in the signage, and color artifacts are evident on the poorly lit interior surfaces behind the letters.

  2. To reduce grayscale noise (graininess), increase the Luminance value (B, next page). Try a value between 20 and 70.


    B To remove noise from the letters, we increased the Luminance value to 69, but this also diminished the edge definition.

  3. Increasing the Luminance can cause high-contrast edges in a photo to lose definition. To resharpen edges, raise the Luminance Detail value — but not so much that you reintroduce noise (C, next page).


    Click to view larger image

    C To resharpen the edges of the letters, we increased the Luminance Detail value to 65.

    • To move a different area of the photo into view, hold down the Spacebar and drag.
  4. Raise the Luminance Contrast value to restore some edge contrast. The effect of this slider is most noticeable in photos that contain a lot of noise.
  5. Color artifacts and random speckling tend to be most noticeable in solid-color areas of a photo (e.g., flat surfaces), especially in shadow areas. To reduce these defects in a raw photo, increase the Color value to around 40–50, depending on the subject matter (for a JPEG photo, which has a default Color value of 0, use a lower Color value).
  6. Raising the Color value may lower the intensity of colors in areas of the photo that were poorly lit. To restore some saturation and intensity to those areas, increase the Color Detail value from the default value of 50 to around 75, or just until the color saturation looks good (D, next page).


    Click to view larger image

    D To remove color artifacts from the dark areas, we increased the Color value to 40; this also had the effect of desaturating the colors. To revive the colors and produce the final version of the image (shown at left), we increased the Color Detail value to 60.

  7. To help reduce color mottling and artifacts in dark, low-contrast (low-frequency) areas of the photo, use the Color Smoothness slider.
  8. Lower the zoom level for the preview to judge the overall effect of the Detail settings.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020