Digital workflow: part four / 6 comments + post
online tutorials

This is the fourth section of a multi-part tutorial devoted to digital workflow which, over the coming months, will build into a comprehensive resource detailing a variety of topics: from capture to output to storage.

In this section we will continue our discussion of one of the most important aspects of this process: RAW conversion. This includes a discussion of the following topics:

• The Tone Curve tab
• Working with Smart Objects
• The Detail tab
• The HSL / Grayscale tab
• Converting to black and white
• Split Toning
• Lens Corrections
• Removing chromatic aberration
• Working with vignettes
• The Camera Calibration tab
• The Presets tab
• New developments in CS4


oldest comments first
comment by mckun at 12:42 PM on 15 December, 2008

learning ACR these days.
a great toturial for me.
it soveled some of my questions on ACR.
this David.

comment by Justin Photis at 02:03 PM on 15 December, 2008

One of the few places where the time has been taken to explain ACR and the important role it can take in the whole workflow process. Thanks.

comment by Dion at 07:46 AM on 25 December, 2008

Extremely helpful. Where I was fiddling around before I now have a much greater understanding on the possibilities within RAW processing and the impact these options have on the picture being processed. Thanks!!

comment by Lex at 05:56 PM on 28 December, 2008

Just the right amount of info, not too bogged down with science it provides a practical user guide for treating RAW files to achieve the results you want.

comment by dana at 10:14 PM on 18 April, 2012

Hi Dave,

Me again. I've been pretty familiar with all of this as I started my PS learning with Kelby's CS5 book and starts right off the ACR. I first atarted to make a lot of my adjstements in ACR, and was influenced to money with moslty exposure, white balance, histogram opiimization, trying camer profiles....I got the impression it was best to do the rest--curves, detail, saturation, noise, etc in PS . The "wisdom" was that it is hard to go back. Your mention of degradatoin that is more in impacted by PS than working with RAW in ACR give me pause. 1) Do you still subscribe to the idea of nudging adjustments like curves,detail, lum, etc, in ACR, and then goiing the rest of the way in PS?; 2) do you advise then against doing ALL these other adjustments in PS (not white balance or exposure) so as minimize data degradation?, and 3) sounds like you advise to covert images to smart objects as a standard practice--do you do this as a practice so as to be able to go back to ACR and RAW?

comment by djn1 at 09:21 AM on 19 April, 2012

My workflow varies, depending on the image, but typically I do tend to nudge the image in the right direction in ACR before moving on to make further adjustments in Photoshop. These adjustments include things like clarity; vibrance; white balance; exposure; highlights, shadows, whites and blacks (in CS6); and lens profile correction. I don't often use the curve tool in ACR as I find this easier to work with in Photoshop. Typically, I also routinely use smart objects rather than opening the file as a background layer, for exactly the reason you mention: it allows me to go back to ACR to tweak any settings I'm not entirely happy with. Does that clarify things?