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Editing images in raw mode allows you to optimize the quality of your photographs and prepare them before editing in Photoshop. Raw edit with produce a file that has been adjusted non-destructively with the option of changing it in the future. Consider Photoshop a tool to work on your photographs and Adobe Camera Raw as a tool to work on your digital negatives.
There are various image and raw converting programs available out there. our tutorial video explains the basics step by step how to Prepare your images in Adobe Camera Raw.
When working in raw the matter (pixel data) is not being created nor destroyed. Adobe Raw allows you to adjust images without loss of quality and you can edit not only RAW files but TIFF and JPEG as well. However it is recommended that if you have the option [to shoot Raw] always use your raw file as it has the most information to adjust.
Using the sliders in the basic panel will open a whole new world of editing before you even have the image in Photoshop.
You will be able to adjust:
As well as use High Dynamic Range (HDR) functions such as recovering Details in Highlights and Filling-in the Shadows. Also if you have no plans to retouch a particular image, Adobe Camera Raw allows you to save an image as a TIFF or JPEG for immediate use.
While we emphasize Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Bridge Combo (because these apps are good and free) there are other great products available that might suit your needs better:
Most camera manufactures include their own raw converting software that probably came on the disk with your camera. But there are more powerful third party programs available as well: Top 6 Image Editing and Raw Converting Applications:
Which one is better? You can read a good article by Armand Niculescu: RAW Processors – an extensive review of Aperture, Bibble, Capture One, DxO and Lightroom
If you haven’t tried using raw editing yet give it a try and it will take your image quality to the next level.
Related Tutorials: How to Import and Organize Your Photos with Photoshop CS5 via Bridge
Do you shoot Jpeg or Raw? Which application do you use in your digital work flow?