My late discovery of Camera Raw format continues. I picked up Camera Raw with Photoshop
, and I'm learning quite a bit about how to adjust raw files. As a bonus, I'm learning about how digital cameras work. (I'm going to call my camera a photon recorder
from now on, because it sounds like something from Star Trek.) I learned early in my digital photography experience to underexpose everything, and bump up the midtones later in Photoshop. I could almost always salvage an underexposed photo, but if highlights were blown out there was no saving the photo. Camera Raw works differently, though. Completely blown highlights are still trouble, but if you expose the shot toward the right-end of the histogram, you can bring the exposure down
in Photoshop and get more detail in the photo. So far I've learned that getting correct exposure when I take the photo is even more critical with raw, but that erring on the overexposed side can have good results. Even learning that the human eye sees shadow-detail better than highlights has me thinking about exposing for shadow-tones as I take photos. (Instead of thinking that the shadows will be all or mostly black in the final photo.)
This book has already taught me a lot about reading histograms, white balance, and color balance. It's written for people who know their way around Photoshop, but I think novices will pick up quite a bit of digital darkroom theory. Reading this has been like watching over the shoulder of a Camera Raw pro as they fine-tune their photos, while they explain why they're making each adjustment, step by step.