Pre­pare for im­pact!

George Cairns ex­plains how to boost colour and con­trast in raw files in a mat­ter of min­utes...

NPhoto - - Contents -

Im­prove a dig­i­tal neg­a­tive (.dng) with our best-prac­tice RAW edit­ing guide

Cam­era Raw is the ideal tool for pro­cess­ing a RAW file to re­veal miss­ing tonal de­tail and en­hance colours. Our start­ing im­age lacks de­tail in the shad­ows, so we’ll show you how to use the slid­ers in the Ba­sic panel to se­lec­tively lighten th­ese ar­eas with­out blow­ing out the sky. You’ll also learn how to use the Clar­ity slider to tease out more tex­ture.

You may feel that to shoot and process in RAW is an ad­vanced skill, but this isn’t the case. The RAW ed­i­tor places all the colour, com­po­si­tion and tone-tweak­ing tools close to hand. What’s more, it’s 100% non-de­struc­tive – you can’t per­ma­nently change any of the orig­i­nal file’s in­for­ma­tion, which means that you’re free to ex­per­i­ment with­out spoil­ing the orig­i­nal im­age.

When you shoot JPEGs, the cam­era will ap­ply colour and tonal tweaks to the im­age ac­cord­ing to the Scene mode that it’s set to. This makes it much harder to change the look of the im­age. By shoot­ing in RAW you have much more con­trol.

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