08 February 2012

Camera Techniques: Uploading your Raw files


Now that you know how to shoot photos in RAW rather than Jpeg, it's not time to learn how to edit your RAW images in Adobe Camera Raw.  To follow along, you will need:

  • Adobe Bridge
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Your creativity! (Haha, lame sounding...but I had to put it!)


  1.  Plug your memory card reader in, insert your memory card and open Adobe Bridge. At the top of the window, you'll see a little camera icon with a downward arrow to the left of it. Click it.


2. The window below will pop up. There's two things I do here. First, make sure you have the right source selected. As you can see from the "Get Photos from" it has my memory card from my camera selected. Yay! 

The next thing I do is go to the bottom of the screen and click "Advanced Dialog." This allows me to see thumbnails of all the photographs on my memory card. That way, instead of downloading EVERYTHING, I can pick and choose what I want. 

This comes in handy if you know you have lots of duplicates or really bad shots that you don't want crowding up your hard drive.

3. The screenshot below should be what you see when you click "advanced dialog."  The first thing I do, is click un-check all at the bottom. This allows me to go through the thumbnails and select the ones I want to upload.

Then, I go to the right and choose my destination folder.  I usually select "none" for create subfolder or I choose to custom name a subfolder "RAWs" to keep them separate from JPEGs.

You can leave the file names the same, or do a custom name for them with a sequence name. For example, instead of _DSC0272_0001.NEF, I could have Monastery_01.NEF. That way, I know exactly what I'm looking for.

After that, I uncheck Adobe Bridge (since Bridge is already open) and I check "convert to DNG." DNG is a RAW file format that is universal. Even though .CR2 and .NEF are raw file names as well, DNG is more universally recognized when it comes to software, ect. You don't have to check this, but that's how I learned to do it. :)

The last step is to fill in your metadata info. If you don't have a template already made, you can type your name in the boxes labeled Creater and/or Copyright.

Now you can click "get photos." :)


4. Now that you have your files downloaded to your computer, you should be able to see miniature thumbnails in Bridge. When you click on a thumbnail, you should be able to see a larger preview of that file.


To open your raw file in Adobe Camera Raw, you can double click on a raw file or click the circular aperture-looking icon at the top. It's two buttons to the right of the little camera we clicked on to import our photos.


5. Next, you should see a window like the one below. This is Adobe Camera Raw. It's a mini-photo editing program that comes with photoshop. 

At the top you have some basic tools such as a white balance picker (it looks like an eye dropper), a crop tool, a straightening tool and a blemish tool to name a few.  To the right, you have even MORE to play with. You have some essentials that let you pick a white balance, change the exposure, recover blown out highlights, fill in dark places. 

Next week, I'll show you how I use all these tools to bring out the best in my photos! 


Please don't hesitate to ask questions via the comments, email, or Facebook. I hope this helped!
For more fun ideas and tutorials, visit HomeStoriesAtoZ and Hope Studios: Tutorial Tuesday:)

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