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How much RAW data is passed to Photoshop Elements?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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Most experienced photographers suggest shooting in RAW mode.  For this reason and due mostly to an issue that I had with my camera over-exposing images, I switched to using RAW files and began to use Adobe Camera RAW to initially edit the images.  However, that lead me to have the following questions:-

1)  In the Camera RAW dialog, the Open Image button passes the processed RAW data into Photoshop Elements to continue editing.  So my first question is how much of the RAW data is passed to PE?  All of it or just what has been necessary to produce the image on the screen using the settings from the Camera RAW dialog?

2) If the answer to Q1 is not all of the data, then is the recommendation that as much of the editing should be done in Camera RAW before opening the image in PE for the last few tweaks?

Thanks.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021
I leave aside the technical explanations about the conversion process from raw to any image file. Since we are comparing two different types of data, raw data (just light intensity levels on each pixel) and the photographic color format, what is important is what we can see and what has a visible influence on ulterior editing. The two main qualities for the file format resulting in the conversion process are: - the bit-depth, which is either 8 or 16 bits per channel. - the color space, which may...

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Community Beginner , Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021
Thank you again, that is a useful tip.  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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I leave aside the technical explanations about the conversion process from raw to any image file.

Since we are comparing two different types of data, raw data (just light intensity levels on each pixel) and the photographic color format, what is important is what we can see and what has a visible influence on ulterior editing.

The two main qualities for the file format resulting in the conversion process are:

- the bit-depth, which is either 8 or 16 bits per channel.

- the color space, which may be narrow (sRGB) or wider (aRGB, prophoto RGB...)

The important consideration is that anything that is made within the ACR processes uses both 16-bits (to avoid banding and other losses due to very strong edits) and the wider prophoto color space (much more subtle colors available).

 

So, we can answer your second question: yes, you should first make use of everything you can do in ACR before opening in the PSE pixel editor.

 

In practice:

- set the ACR dialog to open in 16-bits if you think you need some latitude for heavy editing later;  however, opening in 8-bits may be excellent since the ACR edits in 16-bits have already avoided the risk of banding.

- Raw files have no color space, so your choice is to choose between the two options of PSE for managing colors.

You can choose between the wider aRGB color space or the more limited but more universal sRGB space. This is done from the Editor, menu Edit >> color settings. You optimize for print (aRGB) or for display (sRGB).

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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Thank you.  As a novice to PE, I don't claim to fully understand it all - but I now understand that I should try to carry out as much editing as I can whilst in the ACR dialog rather than switch to PE.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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quote

Thank you.  As a novice to PE, I don't claim to fully understand it all - but I now understand that I should try to carry out as much editing as I can whilst in the ACR dialog rather than switch to PE.

 


By @BorderReiver

 

You are right. You'll soon discover that the PSE ACR version is able to get better results even with tricky lighting and to provide a better start for your editing. There are other huge advantages like being able to open dozens of files at the same time to apply some similar edits to many of the batch; also to provide a 'parametric' editing keeping the originals totally safe; the result is  generally a faster workflow after a shooting session.

The ACR can also process non raw files; of course, you don't get all the advantages of raw files for quality, but you are using the same tools you are used to.

Incidentally, if you have the last PSE version, I suggest you try to open a batch of  files in ACR, select all (Ctrl A), then click on the 'Auto' setting on the top 'Edit' line. My guess is that you'll start with those results for your ulterior edits. If you click on the second line, 'profiles', the icon on the right, you'll be able to test many 'profiles' to test and choose from.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2021 Nov 11, 2021

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Thank you again, that is a useful tip.  

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