RAW files are not processed within the camera, which means they’re basically a huge chuck of data for you to mold. Think of them like raw materials found in nature, just waiting to be used for any number of purposes. In the world of technology, the larger your data file, the larger the canvas and the more choices you have.
To help beginners navigate the breadth of options available, here’s a quick and easy Photoshop tutorial for beginners to help get you started.
When you first open your RAW files within Photoshop, using Adobe Camera Raw you’ll be able to make the first adjustments to your photos. Under the Basic Tab, you can begin with nine easy sliding scale adjustments.
1) Exposure: This tool adjusts the overall brightness of the photo. Exposure is a great place to establish a baseline tone for your photo before you begin to make more specific edits.
2) Contrast: Control the relationship between the bright and dark areas in your picture with this tool. A low contrast will make the two look closer, where a higher contrast will separate the light and dark areas while maintaining a ratio between them.
3) Highlights: Highlights only affects the light parts of your photo, while leaving the darker areas untouched. Here you can make the light areas stand out more vividly.
4) Shadows: The exact opposite of Highlights, the Shadows slider will only affect the dark areas in your photos. This is a great tool to use shadows to create a more dynamic photo.