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Photoshop CS2 RAWExcellent book covers all aspects of Raw handling in Photoshop CS2
Shooting RAW images with digital cameras is becoming more common as camera manufacturers introduce inexpensive, RAW capable point and shoot and digital SLRs. The RAW format to many is often misunderstood, with some saying the only way to shoot digital is to shoot RAW, and others discounting that notion. Mikkel Aaland's Photoshop CS2 RAW is written to address some of the issues photographers face when shooting RAW and covers the RAW file handling capabilities in Photoshop CS2 as well as the Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. We'll explore some of the chapters in the book.
Chapter 1 Shooting & Importing RAW
This chapter offers some scenarios when you would be best off shooting in RAW as opposed to JPEG. It includes a primer on RAW versus JPEG, camera settings that are critical to RAW capture and saving, Exposure settings including white balance, ISO, sharpening and color space. Also discussed is the importance of correct exposure and including a color target. There is also a tutorial on importing images to Bridge using the import Camera script available from the Adobe website.
Chapter 2 Using Adobe Bridge to Trash, Edit, & Sort RAW files
This chapter is all about the Bridge, and how it can speed your RAW photography workflow. The topics included in this chapter are launching and viewing images in Bridge, Editing a Photo Session, Checking for image sharpness and exposure, editing based on metadata, labeling, rating and adding keywords, and renaming files. Other topics of interest include a sidebar on display performance issues, exif data, and understanding metadata.
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Topics in this chapter include Updating Camera RAW, workflow options, Editing with Camera RAW, An overview of Camera RAW tools, Camera RAW preview and analysis tools, and Camera RAW Tabs. Workflow options discuss color space, depth, size of your camera's images, resolution, using camera RAW to edit a photo shoot, and deleting and assigning ratings in Camera RAW. There is also a section that discusses the Camera RAW tools that you can work with, including white balance, crop tool, zoom and hand tools, and the straighten tool. Camera RAW preview and analysis tools covered include the preview option as well as the shadow and highlight clipping warnings. Camera Raw tabs covered include the adjust tab, detail tab, lens tab, curve tab, and calibrate tab.
Chapter 4 Using Camera Raw Adjust & Curve Controls
Topics covered in this chapter include using camera raw auto adjustments, customizing camera raw default, evaluating an image in camera raw, manually adjusting white balance, manually mapping tone, using camera raw curve for more control, useful keyboard commands for adjust and curve tabs, creating custom camera profiles with the calibrate tab, and finishing up adjustments with Photoshop. Selected sidebars in chapter 4 include discussions on the auto adjustment settings in camera raw and the effect it has on the Bridge when viewing and editing images, Camera Raw exposure settings and their relation to lens f-stops, deleting custom tone curve settings from the tone curve pop up menu, a sidebar on choosing a color space, using the color sampler tool, and interpreting the histogram.
Chapter 5 Advanced Tonal Control covers advanced tonal control with Camera Raw and Photoshop, creating multiple versions of the same Raw file, blending in Photoshop and extending Dynamic Range. Other topics covered in this chapter include using Merge to HDR, shooting for HDR, Merging with HDR, Saving your HDR files, working with HDR files in Photoshop, changing the preview for your HDR file, and converting HDR files to a useable form. This chapter, like all others is tutorial based and complete with color images on every page.
Chapter 6 Sharpening Raw Smartly covers the basics of sharpening Raw files. Topics include Raw sharpening 101, Camera Raw, Smart Sharpen, or Other?, Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw, What's with the number 25?, Fixing the effects of Over Sharpening, Using Photoshop's Smart Sharpen, and Sharpening High ISO Images with Reduce Noise. Again, full color images help illustrate the chapter topics and tutorials. Other topics include when to apply sharpening, Apply Sharpening to preview images only, fixing the effects of over sharpening, selecting proper smart sharpen settings, advanced smart sharpen settings, and saving smart sharpen settings.
Chapter 7 Reducing Noise, Correcting Chromatic Aberrations & Controlling Vignetting starts with a page about electronic noise that occurs in digital images. It covers the reason why noise occurs in images and when you should be concerned about it. The next tutorial shows you how to use camera raw to reduce noise in an image, saving those noise reduction settings, using Photoshop's Reduce Noise filter, setting the basic settings for the reduce noise filter, advanced settings for reduce noise, saving advanced noise settings, chromatic aberrations, reducing chromatic aberrations with Camera Raw and Photoshop's lens correction filter, and saving lens correction settings. the final tutorial of Chapter 7 is on Diminishing or Adding Vignetting, which starts with an explanation of what vignetting is and discusses how to add or diminish it using the vignetting slider. A sidebar details how you can also use the Lens Correction filter to diminish vignettes.
Chapter 8 Better black & White Images in Raw chapter contents include using Camera raw to generate Black and White images, Raw is Inherently grayscale, shooting considerations for Black and White Images, Using calibration controls to fine tune and tint, and advanced localized black and White Controls. Additional topics covered include using camera raw saturate controls, using Photoshop's channel mixer to convert to grayscale, desaturating in camera raw, imitating a red filter or blue filter, and improving a portrait shot.
Chapter 9 Archiving and Working with DNG covers the topic of archiving your images for use in future applications. Chapter topics include archive strategy: hedging your bets, saving DNG files, converting to DNG with Camera Raw, Using Adobe DNG converter. Other tutorials include when to convert to DNG, updating DNG files, DNG file handling preferences in Camera Raw, converting multiple files with Camera Raw, and using the DNG Converter to extract original Raw data.
Chapter 10 Converting & Delivering Raw covers the various tools used to convert Raw files to other file formats, tools available in Photoshop, the Bridge, and Camera Raw. topics covered in the chapter include Using bridge + image processor to convert Raw files, applying custom camera Raw settings to multiple images, using Camera Raw's save command, automating contact sheets, picture package & Web photo gallery, using batch and actions, and writing custom scripts. Additional topics include a section of save settings subset, when should you resize, archiving the Camera raw database, creating a printable contact sheet, converting the contact sheet to PDF, creating a picture package, and creating a Web photo gallery.
Photoshop CS2 Raw is full of tips and tutorials on how to get the most out of the three main components of the Photoshop CS2 package, the Camera Raw dialog box, Adobe Bridge, and Photoshop CS2. Every page is in full color and each chapter is laid out in a way so you can work with your Raw projects and have the book next to you for easy reference. There are plenty of screen shots and sidebars to break up the text, but really there isn't really a need to break the text up because there is plenty of white space and color imagery on each page. It is 206 pages of important Raw information. Photoshop CS2 Raw is very well written and superbly laid out and can easily be the standard reference on Photoshop CS2 and Camera Raw.
Photoshop CS2 Raw
by Mikkel Aaland
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at [email protected]
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