Photo Editing with Adobe Camera Raw for Beginners | Dan Prizont | Skillshare
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Photo Editing with Adobe Camera Raw for Beginners

teacher avatar Dan Prizont, Photographer & YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      0:59

    • 2.

      Download and Install

      1:36

    • 3.

      Adobe Camera Raw Interface

      2:04

    • 4.

      Basic Adjustments

      4:35

    • 5.

      Curves Adjustment

      2:21

    • 6.

      Color Adjustment in Camera Raw

      1:58

    • 7.

      Other Tools

      2:36

    • 8.

      Adding Effects

      1:01

    • 9.

      How To Crop An Image

      1:29

    • 10.

      Removing Unwanted Objects

      1:14

    • 11.

      Masking Tool in Camera Raw

      2:40

    • 12.

      Best Export Settings

      1:28

    • 13.

      Class Recommendations

      0:16

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About This Class

Do you want to learn how to edit your own pictures? Ever wondered how to turn an image from boring to eye-catching? Welcome to photo editing with Adobe Camera Raw.

Topics covered:

  • How to download and install the software
  • Understanding the interface of the program
  • Basic image adjustments
  • Editing a picture using curves
  • Changing the colors of your image
  • How to straighten your picture
  • Adding grain and vignette
  • Removing unwanted objects
  • Lens corrections
  • Enhancing the sky
  • Resizing for social media
  • Best export settings

Why should you take this class? Because it's easy to follow, simple, and to the point. Adobe Camera Raw is a photo editing software that can change the look of an image just by moving some sliders, so no prior retouching experience is needed.

With the rising demand of virtual assets and online content, these skills could be useful to edit your own pictures or even offer your services as a photo editor.

Who is this class for? The curriculum is designed for beginners, although some intermediate techniques are shown and explained.

What you'll need: A computer with an internet connection to download Adobe Creative Cloud or the latest version of Photoshop already installed. You'll also need some RAW/JPG images taken with your camera or phone (RAW pictures are uncompressed and give the best results).

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dan Prizont

Photographer & YouTuber

Teacher

Hi there!

I'm Dan, a portrait & travel photographer who also manages 3 YouTube channels.

Sharing everything I know about content creation and the tools I use as a digital nomad.

Feel free to follow me, more classes coming soon :)

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi everyone. My name is Dan. I'm a photographer and a YouTuber. And in this class, I'm going to show you how to turn your images from this to this, or from this to this using Adobe Camera Raw. This is a beginners tutorial. So it doesn't matter if you've never edited an image before or you're new to the software. Here are some of the topics we're going to cover. First, I'm going to show you how to download and install the program on your computer. Then we're going to take a look at the interface of the program, and now everything works. And after that, we're going to start editing our image with basic adjustments, changing the tone of the image with curves, changing individual colors within the image. Using other tools included in Camera Raw, adding effects such as grain and vignette. You learn how to crop an image and resize for social media, we'll also see how to remove spots and unwanted objects from an image, how the masking tool works to apply adjustments only to certain parts of your image. How to export your picture with the best settings and some other tips and tricks. So hopefully I'll see you on the other side, and thanks for joining. 2. Download and Install: First things first, we need to download Camera Raw to our computer. So we're going to fire up our browser of choice. And we're gonna come up here and type adobe.com and select the first option. And in my case, I'm already logged in, but if it's your first time accessing this website, you would click here and see all plans and choose which apps you want to download to your computer. So either you would choose Photoshop or if you want other apps as well, you could choose all Creative Cloud apps. Creative Cloud is basically a hub where you can find every single app from Adobe. Adobe Camera Raw is very similar to Lightroom. So in my case, I only use Photoshop. You would like by now, select if you want to pay monthly or annually. And then by now, so I would come here, Adobe Creative Cloud or Photoshop 2023. But if I click here, this window shows up and as you can see, I have Photoshop and Camera Raw up-to-date on my computer, but I could also come down here and install Lightroom or Lightroom classic or Adobe Bridge and either try or by any other of the Adobe apps. And my case, I only use Photoshop and a camera roll that, as I said, it comes inside Photoshop. So I could either click here open or look for a raw image on my computer, like this one or this one. There's one. And I would double-click to open this raw image in Photoshop. And as you can see, the image opens up automatically in Adobe Camera Roll. In this case, I'm using Adobe Camera Raw 15.0, which is the latest version. Now we can move on to the next lesson where we're going to talk about the interface and how everything works. 3. Adobe Camera Raw Interface: This is the main window. And if we want to change the zoom level of the image, we can come down here, click on this arrow here, and select a percentage. So let's say we wanna zoom to 25% of the image or 100 to see more of the details of the picture that we took. If we want to see the whole picture, we can click Fit in view. We can also click on this icon here to show the image down here or hide it. So we can have a bit more space to edit our picture. If we come here to the right, we can see there's a column with different adjustments and we're going to check them out in the next lesson. But what you need to know about this column here is we have our histogram here. And this is a graphic representation of the information on our image. Here to the left we have our blacks and shadows, the exposure or the mid tones highlights and whites by changing some of the parameters here. This is going to move left or right, and it's going to affect the overall image. So if we click on each and every one of these, we're going to be able to change different parameters of our picture. So e.g. we could change the hue, the saturation, or the luminance of our image. We can also straighten or image here. We can also remove chromatic aberration and so on and so forth. As I said, we're going to take a look at this in the next lesson. We can also come here to the right. This is the editing panel, but if we click here, we could crop or image and resize it or rotate and flip this icon here is the healing tool, e.g. if we want to remove objects from our image, this icon here is the masking icon. Let's say you want to increase brightness of your picture, but only on a certain subject, e.g. these trees here, you would use this panel and the masking panel to create a mask and only increase the brightness here. But we're going to see that in an upcoming lesson. We could also come here. This removes red eyes if you shoot pictures with a flash on portraits, e.g. I'm sure sometimes you'll notice the eyes turn red. This tool will help you remove that redness from the eyes. And if you come down here to this icon, you'll find all the presets that come built-in in camera roll. So we're gonna go back to the edit panel and move on to the next lesson, where we're going to actually start editing our picture. 4. Basic Adjustments: As you can see, this is the raw image I shot with my camera. The sky is very blown out. It looks white when it was actually blue. And there's not a lot of detail here in the shadows. These look very dark. So for this image, what I would like to do is bring down the exposure and make this area darker. Bring back some detail, and also bring back some detail from the shadows here and the shadows here. So if you take a look here where it says Edit, there's a button that says auto. If you don't want to come in and change these parameters by yourself, or maybe you don't have time, you could click here. And as you can see, Adobe Camera Raw does a pretty decent job editing the image automatically. This was the before. This is the after. In my case, I prefer changing everything myself so I have more control. But if you want to automatically edit the image, this is how to do it. Or if you want to turn it into black and white, you could also click here. And now we have a black and white image. So let's undo this and we're going to come down here to basic display, this sub menu. This is where the magic happens. As you can see, we have different sliders for exposure, contrast highlights, shadows, and so on and so forth. We just have to click and drag right or left, and this will affect the whole image. If I go overboard, I just have to double-click on this little arrow and it will go back to the default setting. So the exposure is more or less, okay. But as I said, this doesn't have too much detail. There's not much information here. So I'm going to come down to the highlights slider and bring this down to the left, all the way down. And I also want to recover some information here on the shadows. So I'm going to come here to the shadows and bring this up to the right. And as you can see, it's clearing up all these shadow area of the image. And if we want to see the before and after, we're going to come down here to this icon here. And if we click on it, this will show you the before. And if we click again, this will show you the answer. I'm going to come back here to contrast and bring this up a bit as I move this slider to the right and I increase the contrast, this arrow has turned red instead of black. This means I'm clipping the black so I'm losing information in the blacks. If I came here to the exposure and I turn this all the way to the right. You can see this is telling me I'm clipping the highlights. When the highlights are clipped, we're losing information, so we can't recover that information. And the same happens when we're clipping the shadows or the black. So let's bring this back to zero by double-clicking. As soon as I see that I'm clipping here, I'm not gonna go much further. So let's leave the contrast slider at plus 15. For now, you could also change the white balance if you wanted to, that will make your image look cooler or warmer. So I could bring down this slider to give it a cool look or bring it up and give it a warmer tone. And of course, if I double-click, it goes back to the default setting. I think this looks good, so I'm not going to touch it. I'm gonna come down here. I'm not going to touch whites and blacks. I think they look fine. And I'm going to play with these three sliders here. So let's zoom in to 100 per cent, so you can see what this does. If I want to move inside the frame, I'm going to press Spacebar and wild pressing Spacebar, we're going to move the image around. So if we come to the Texture slider and we bring it all the way up or all the way down, you're going to see what that does. So obviously we're decreasing the texture and giving it a faded look or increasing the texture, giving it a HDR effects. And HDR stands for high dynamic range. So let's zoom back out, fit in view. And this looks a bit fake, like a phone picture. So obviously we're not going to bring it up to 100, let's say plus 20 is okay. We could also increase the clarity a bit. Once again, you can play with the sliders and see what these do. So removing the clarity or increasing the clarity. Obviously you don't want to go to plus 100 or -100, want to keep the edit as natural as possible. But I'd say plus 20 is okay. And what I like to do is use the Dehaze slider to remove some of the highlights in the sky and increase the sharpness a bit. We could also increase the vibrance a bit and the saturation. And as always, we could come down here and click on this icon to take a look at the before and after. So this was the original image and this is what we have now, these are the basic adjustments that you can do to your image. Now let's move on to the next lesson. We're going to take a look at the other sub menus we have here. So the curves adjustment, layer, hue, saturation and luminance, or the straight in our picture, and some other adjustments. 5. Curves Adjustment: This is similar to the histogram. As you can see, we have a line graph representing all the information of our image from the darkest parts to the brightest parts. And if we come here to the graph and we move our mouse, we can see here we have the shadows, darks, lights and highlights, and we also have the mirror highlights, lights, darks and shadows. If we click and drag to the left. Bringing down the highlights. If we click and drag to the right or bringing up the highlights, and this is creating a curve on the line. Let's bring down the darks. And as you can see, this is moving the curve here, and it's also affecting the whole image here. So if we bring this up to the right, it's moving the curve of the other way round. And it's also affecting the image here. If we want to go back to default, as always, we double-click on the arrow and here as well. And this is the image we have now. So the curves adjustment is a very powerful tool, but it's also a delicate one. So you have to be subtle. And if you take a closer look here, we have different icons. So right now we're using what's called the parametric curve, but we also have a point curve or the red channel, the green channel, and the blue channel, I usually use the point curves. So if we come down here and we reset, our image, will be able to see what this curve does. If I want to create a point here, I'm going to click and bring it down a bit or up, depending on what I wanna do. And I could also create a point here and drag it up or down. So as you can see with the curves panel, you can increase or decrease the dark areas or the bright areas of your image. In my case, I'm not going to use it now, but that's how you use it. And if you want to remove a point to create it, you click and hold of that point and you drag it outside of the curve. Click, drag and drag it outside. So now let's go back to the image we had before by clicking Control Z or Command Z on our keyboard as many times as we need to. And now we're back to the edited image we had before. Now let's close this panel. And you could also move your mouse on top of one of these sub menus and leave your mouse there until the message pops up. And this gives you information about what each and every one of these panels do. It as you can see here, adobe Camera Raw is telling us that the tone curve gives you greater control over the tonal range and contrast in your photo. Now let's move on to the next lesson where we're going to take a look at the color mixer. 6. Color Adjustment in Camera Raw: Now we're going to take a look at the HSL panel. And as I said, I wanted to bring back some detail from the sky. So this guy should be blue instead of gray, almost white. So in this case, we can change individually the hue, saturation and luminance for each and every one of these colors. And if I came down here to the blue slider under the Saturation tab and I brought the blues all the way down, you could see the sky will turn gray, completely gray. So I'm gonna do the opposite. I want to bring back the blues on this guy. I'm going to double-click, this is what we have now, if I click and drag to the right, going to bring back a bit of blue to the sky. Obviously, I don't want to go plus 100 because this looks extremely fake. As I said, we're trying to edit our image as naturally as possible. And it's also affecting the blue here and the blue from the car. So we're going to double-click, go back to zero and slowly click and drag to the right to increase the saturation a bit. And we're going to do the same with the luminance tab. We're going to come down here to the blues. And instead of going to the right, are going to go to the left. Because if you look closely, this blue bar goes from dark to bright. And if I go this way, it's going to take the blue out from the sky. And I don't want that, I want more blue. So I'm going to click and drag to the left. And once again, I won't go -99 because it looks fake, but I am going to decrease a bit -25. And this is what it will look like. As always, I can come down here to this icon to see the before and after. So this was the original image I took. This is what we have now before and after. And we can also see what we've done just using this panel by clicking and holding the eye icon here. So this is what we have now, if I click and hold this eye, I can see what this panel is doing. If I let go. This is what we have now. So it does make a difference before and after. Now we can move on to the next lesson where we're going to take a look at this tab here, the optics and Geometry tab. 7. Other Tools: We're going to open the optics tab first. As you can see, we have two options. Remove chromatic aberration and use Profile Corrections. So if we zoom in here on the trees, e.g. two to 100%, we're going to press Spacebar. And while we hold down Spacebar, we're going to move here. If you take a closer look here, the leaves, instead of being green, this sort of purple tint to them on the edges, especially this is called chromatic aberration, and this happens with many camera lenses. So Camera Raw has this option here that's called remove chromatic aberration. And what this does is try and remove these purple spots. So let's zoom in a bit more so you can see this is without removing chromatic aberration. But let's try and take a look at what this does by clicking on it. So as you can see, it's very subtle, but it's removing some of these purple areas here. So let's zoom in a bit more. Take a look at this area here. This is without removing chromatic aberration, but if we click on it, so obviously, when we zoom out, you're not going to notice on or off, but it does make a difference. So in my case, I always check, remove chromatic aberration and use Profile Corrections for any of my image when it comes to Profile Corrections, these are also built-in to camera roll. So some lenses have distortion, and this distortion can be quite ugly and distracting. You would open this arrow here and look for our lens from the whole list of lenses that we have here. Usually I don't touch this, I just leave everything default or auto. And Camera Raw itself is going to detect which lens you're using. And now let's take a look at geometry. If our image isn't a straight, we can use this tool to correct that. So we can always come here to the a, which stands for auto. And as you can see, it's shifting the image a bit and we can come here to undo or redo. We could also level only the horizontal lines or go back, or the vertical lines, I'll go back. Or we could choose this tool here and draw two or more guides. So I will click here and then I would click and drag like this. And I will click and drag, let say from here to here. As you can see, it also changes the perspective of the image. I would recommend this tool for architecture photography if you want to keep your buildings straight, e.g. or for landscape photography, if you want to make sure the horizon is leveled. So if I want to go back and undo, I'm going to click here. And this goes back to the original image. Now let's move on to the next lesson. 8. Adding Effects: Now let's quickly take a look at the effects panel here we have a Grain slider and a vignetting slider. So let's zoom in first to 200 per cent. Let's press space bar and move the image. And as the name implies, if you want to add grain to your image, you would click and drag to the right or to the left. In my opinion, this looks horrible. If you want to give a certain look to your image, That's how you do it, and this is what it would look like. So more grain or less green, I prefer that my images look sharp, so I never use that slider. But what I sometimes use is the vignette. And we could come here and move this slider to the left to create a vignette has always tried to be subtle and make it as natural as possible. This doesn't look natural, but if we add a slight vignette, it doesn't look that bad. So obviously you can play around with the slider and see what looks best for your picture. And now we can move on to the next lesson where we're going to take a look at these icons here and what they do to our images. 9. How To Crop An Image: First we're going to take a look at this icon here, which is the cropping icon. And when we click on the graphing icon, this grid shows up. So e.g. if you're going to be uploading your images to Instagram or other social media platforms. Those images are going to be cropped and they need to be a certain size and dimensions. So if we come here to the drop-down menu, we have different options. When it comes to Instagram, e.g. you want to choose one by one or four by five. These are two of the crops that Instagram allows. And of course we can go back to the drop-down menu and choose fall to go back to the original dimensions. We could also come here to rotate and flip. If we want to flip the image horizontally or vertically. In my case, I just come here to the drop-down menu and I select one-by-one if I want to export this image to Instagram. And you can also come inside the image and click and hold it with your mouse and move to the right or left to select where you want to crop. So for this example, if the bus was the main subject, I would want it right in the middle. And once I've chosen the dimensions, I would press the Enter key on my keyboard. And this is what the image would look like. And of course, if I want to go back and undo that, I'm going to press Control Z or Command Z on my keyboard. And now the changes have been reverted. Now we can move on to the next lesson where we're going to take a look at this icon here, which is the healing tool. 10. Removing Unwanted Objects: We're going to click here to open the healing tool. And as you can see, we have different icons and I use them to remove unwanted objects or spots, e.g. if I'm doing a portrait retouching and I want to remove some spots from the skin or be using one of these three. So for this example, let's zoom in. Let's say we want to remove this black spot here, going to select 200 per cent, press the spacebar and move the image down here. And with the Content Aware, Remove icon selected, we're going to click here. And as you can see, it automatically removes this spot using the content that is below that dark spot. Now if we zoom out, we could come here to the eye icon and remember, if you click and hold, you're going to see the before and after of this tool by itself. So if you take a closer look at this white stripe, while we click and hold this icon, we can see the dark spot appears again, and if we let go, it disappears. So before and after, and that was extremely quick. And unless you told someone there was a dark spot here, they wouldn't be able to tell. Now we can move on to the next lesson where we're going to take a look at the masking options. 11. Masking Tool in Camera Raw: Let's come here to the masking icon and click there. And as you can see, we have different options. So we can choose between subject, sky, and background, and we have more options here. So let's say e.g. I. Want to change the brightness of the sky, but only the sky instead of affecting the whole image. So I'm going to click here on Sky. And Camera Raw is going to automatically detect the sky on this picture. And as you can see, it does a pretty amazing job at selecting this guy, although it also has selected some of the buildings here and here. So what I can do is zoom in, press the Spacebar and hold and move the image here. And I could come here to subtract, select the brush, and I can change the size. Brush, the feather of the flow of the density with my scroll wheel on my mouse, I can make this bigger or smaller. And now I'm going to subtract this building from the sky mask that I've just created. So I'm going to paint on the building. You can see the mask is pink or red. When I subtract this building from the mask going back to its original color. Now, if I zoom back out, I can change the parameters of the mask and those would affect the sky. I can come here to the exposure slider, e.g. and bring the exposure up or down. And as you can see, it's affecting only the sky because it's the area that we've masked out from the whole image. I could also increase the contrast or bring it down, reduce the highlights or bringing them up. And I can also come here to show overlay to see where the mask is being applied. And if we wanna go back, we can come here to this arrow and reset or masks. And now the image has gone back to its original state. Now, if we don't want Camera Raw to select an area by itself, we can always come here to the brush, increase or decrease the size of the feather and the flow, the density. And we could change some of the parameters here. So let's say we want to increase the exposure a bit and bring up the shadows as well. And we can make this smaller, but we can paint straight on to the image. So e.g. let's say I want to increase the exposure and the shadows. Here, trees here. I'm just going to paint on top. As you can see. It's increasing the exposure and the shadows here. And now I can click Show Overlay. And it's going to show me where I've painted the exposure and the shadows. And if I click again, I also have this icon here telling me that I've created a mask there. And once again, if we click and hold this eye icon, we can see the before and the after, before and the after. Now we can move on to the next lesson where I'm going to show you how to export your image with the best settings. 12. Best Export Settings: Now that we've made all the adjustments we want it to our image, we're going to save the edited image to our computer. So we're going to come up here to this icon here. We're going to click on it and this window shows up. So up here we're going to choose where we're going to save our image. And we can always select a folder or create a new one. And we can come here to this drop-down menu. Click on the arrow and select if we want a document name or a serial number, or the date, and so on and so forth. We can also choose the file extension. In my case, I always choose JPEG or PSD if I want to keep on editing in Photoshop later on. But usually JPEG is the way to go. We can come down here to metadata if we want our copyright info or if we want to remove the location and for our picture, and the important part starts here. Here we can change the quality. So maximum is 10-12. I always choose 12, but if you want to make the image smaller, so it doesn't take up so much space. You can always bring down the quality, or you could also click here and limit the size of the file. You should also come down here to the color space and make sure sRGB is selected. And you can also resize the image here. So once again, if you want to change the dimensions for Instagram, e.g. you could click the arrow here and change the dimensions and select 1080 by 1080. And you could also change the resolution in case we're going to print the image, you will do it here. And once all of these parameters are set, you just click Save and the image will be exported to your computer. And now we can move on to the last lesson. 13. Class Recommendations: Just a quick reminder, if you check out my profile on Skillshare, you'll be able to find other classes on photo editing as well as other topics. Please feel free to follow me as I will be uploading more classes soon as always. Thank you very much for watching and hopefully I'll see you in the next class.