Camera Raw Files in Photoshop Elements 11 - dummies

Camera Raw Files in Photoshop Elements 11

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photoshop Elements 11 Camera Raw images enable you to post-process your pictures. When you take a picture with a digital camera in Camera Raw format, the camera’s sensor records as much information as it can. When you open a Camera Raw file in Elements, you decide what part of that data is opened as a new image.

If you don’t have a camera capable of capturing Camera Raw images, you aren’t left out. Any photo you’ve saved in JPEG or TIFF format can also open in the Camera Raw converter.

You don’t have the same file attributes as you do with Camera Raw images — these images won’t have all the data captured by your camera’s sensor because the images will already be post processed — but you do have access to all the image correction controls that authentic Camera Raw files have.

In regard to processing Camera Raw files, suppose your camera is set for exposure in tungsten lighting. (Tungsten flash photography is common in studios.) If you take this camera outside in daylight and shoot an image without changing the settings, all your images appear with a blue cast because tungsten lighting requires a cooler color temperature than daylight.

If you acquire images that are saved in JPEG format, you have to do a lot of color correction after the image opens in Elements.

If you shoot the image in Camera Raw format, you just process the image with a warmer temperature (consistent with conditions when the shot was taken), and your color correction in Elements happens in a fraction of the time it takes to fix a file opened without using the Camera Raw converter. Fortunately, you can also change temperature for JPEG and TIFF files if you open them in the Camera Raw converter.

Post-processing Camera Raw images requires a plug-in that’s installed with Photoshop Elements. When you open a Camera Raw image, the Camera Raw plug-in takes over and provides you with a huge set of options for post-processing the image before you open it in one of the Elements Editors.

Each camera developer uses a different flavor of Camera Raw; some developers use different Camera Raw formats in different models in their product line. Although Adobe tries to keep up with all the various Camera Raw formats, you may find a camera using a format not supported by the Camera Raw plug-in.

Be sure to check for updates online for Photoshop Elements. As new developments occur, Adobe makes an effort to update plug-ins to support newer formats.