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PS Tutorials|2014.11.18.

Resizing Photos V. in Photoshop

level: Very easy

Even group resizing is possible with the somewhat hidden Image Processor.


Free PS Elements: RAW processing

Version: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0

level: advanced

Besides the well-known JPEG format, raw picture data can also be extracted from more advanced digital cameras. The format uniformly called RAW offers the possibility of a more unlimited post-production. This way, you don’t have to mess with JPEG already chewed and compressed by the camera, therefore containing less data. RAW processing is the lab job of digital photography. You can say the picture becomes a real photo through handiwork. In order to do so, you need to pour the raw data into a usable format. Photoshop Elements’ RAW conversion feature can help.


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Photoshop Elements Tutorial - RAW processing

Photoshop Elements Tutorial - RAW processing

1.Load the photo
Just do the same you would with an ordinary JPG. Depending on the manufacturer, digital cameras usually use different RAW extensions. Canon models use CR2 as an extension (for older ones, it is CRW), and Nikons use NEF. Before conversion, make sure that the RAW converter you use (this time, it is Adobe Camera RAW, built into PS Elements) supports the RAW format of your camera. Adobe’s converter is regularly updated with support for new camera models. At the moment it supports more than 100 different raw formats.

Photoshop Elements Tutorial - RAW processing

2. Main dialog
The file is not loaded to the Photoshop Elements workplace but to the dialog visible above. Most of the area is occupied by the preview image on the left, surrounded by display and other controls. Take a look at each of them, in order of the numbering.

1. Section 1

The toolbar starts with the familiar zoom button. It enables zooming from 6 to 400%. Right-clicking brings up a menu with the supported sizes.

The hand button lets you scroll the zoomed image inside the preview area.

The eyedropper lets you precisely set white balance. If white balance has shifted, e.g. the white wall looks blueish, you can click the wall with the eyedropper to tell the program “this point is white”. All other colors are shifted accordingly. Hopefully in the right direction. You can also click a mid-grey point with the eyedropper.

The last two buttons rotate the picture to the right and left by 90 degrees.

2. Section 2

You can set zooming here as well, to predefined values. Depth specifies color depth as 8-bit or 16 bit. The latter produces a bigger file but the picture will contain more information.

3. Section 3

There are 3 display options in the upper right corner. Always keep Preview selected in order to be able to track your changes in the preview image.

The other two check boxes select Shadows and Highlights in the preview image, with  the problem areas colored to blue and red. This means that over-dark and bleached areas will be colored.

The right side contains the settings. At the top, you can see a histogram showing the hue distribution of the image per color channel. The R/G/B counters show the color values of the point where your mouse cursor is.

The Settings dropdown enables you to reload preset or previously saved settings. New schemes can be saved by clicking the arrow button, Save New Camera Raw Defaults:

Image Settings: Settings per image, if any.

Camera Raw Defaults: Settings per software, or your saved settings.

Previous Conversion: Settings from the previous RAW processing session.

Custom: Your custom settings.


Photoshop Elements Tutorial - RAW processing

3. Adjusted
The settings pane consists of two tabs. Adjust contains settings for colors, brightness and contrast, while Detail those for sharpness and noise. For now, let’s see the Adjust tab.

The White Balance region comes first. For RAW images, shooting-time camera settings don’t matter, the desired result can be reached in post-production without quality loss. You can set white balance with the eyedropper explained above (click a white or mid-grey point in the picture), or you can choose a predefined value, just like on your camera: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, or Flash. As Shot leaves white balance according to the camera settings, while Custom lets you set it as you please. This can be carried out with the next two sliders. Temperature sets color temperature in Kelvins, and Tint enables an even more detailed refining.

The next four controls specify the brightness and contrast of the picture. All four have an Auto checkbox above them. You can select those to let the program decide the optimal settings for the photo. The sliders, of course, can be set individually.

Exposure: Sets exposure/lighting.
Shadows: Lightens dark, shadowed areas.
Brightness: Controls brightness.
Contrast: Obviously, controls contrast.

The last slider, Saturation controls the strength of colors.

Photoshop Elements Tutorial - RAW processing

4. Fiddling with details
Click the Detail tab to display the other set of controls.
Sharpness can sharpen the photo but take care as too high values cause it to “fall apart”.

Luminance Smoothing and Color Noise Reduction help you eliminate the various components of picture noise. They treat luminance and color noise, respectively.

Photoshop Elements Tutorial - RAW processing

5. Life buoy
There are four buttons in the lower right corner. Help and Cancel don’t need any specific explanation. Let’s take a look at Save and Open instead.

Open loads the photo into Photoshop Elements. It will appear on the Elements workspace according to the Depth setting you have specified. The image can be processed as you like, and can be saved in any well-known file format (JPG, TIF, PNG, etc.) This is what you should do if you want a viewable, printable picture, e.g. for a gallery.

Click Save to save the raw image with a DNG extension, i.e. to convert it to a cross-platform RAW file. You should do this when you want to keep the photos in a raw format for future conversion, e.g. when storing them on a CD or DVD. Your settings will also be saved along with the DNG images.

The above dialog shows save options. Destination specifies saving location. Same Location saves to the original location of the source file, while New Location lets you specify a new folder.

The File Naming section lets you set naming and numbering convention, as well as the case of the extension (.DNG or .dng).

In the last region, you can set a lossless compression (Compressed), a linear conversion (Convert to Linear Image), and embedding the source file (Embed Original Raw File). JPEG Preview sets the size of the small .jpg preview image packed to the DNG image.






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