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Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS


New York City, US
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Obregon Moderator Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Sat 14-Aug-04 10:07 PM

Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS by Bruce Fraser

Let me start out by saying that when it comes to photography, I'm a control freak. I love the histogram and blinkies on my DSLR, and naturally I shoot in camera raw so that I can control processing even more. I've used the camera raw plug-in for PhotoShop ever since it came out. But I've been unhappy with the information I've been able to find about camera raw in the various books and magazines I've read. Oh, everything you need to know is in the off-line and on-line documentation, but I've always found you have to know what you are looking for to find some of the features. A typical example for me was sharpening. I knew that I wanted to sharpen my images after I got done with all of my adjustments so I set sharpness at zero in the camera raw plug-in, but sometimes that meant that I had to make adjustments in camera raw on fuzzy images. I never knew that you could set the preferences for camera raw so that there was sharpening of the preview but not of the image exported to PS. It was in the manual but I never found it.

All that's changed since reading "Real World Camera Raw". It's all in there along with lots of information about the File Browser, metadata and automation. And it's in a readable form! You can start on page 1 and go through to the end on page 218 in a day without too much trouble. Of course, you'll have to return to individual paragraphs when you go to apply what you learn, but you will know the power of these features.

This book is not about art, or what adjustments you should actually make to get the output you want. For that, I still recommend Barry Haynes' "PhotoShop Artistry" series, with its extensive tutorials. This book is about procedures. For example because the gamma of the raw image is linear, so that much more data is concentrated in the highlight end of the scale, the last adjustment that you should make in the plug-in is normally shadows.

Much of this book is aimed at heavy-duty users. I doubt that I will ever need to process hundreds of images a day so that I will need to use most of the automation functions described by Fraser. But there are a few I will try.

Obviously this book is for the serious PhotoShop user. But if you fall into the category, I can't see how you will not benefit by reading this book