If you shoot RAW camera files (and you should), this essential book should be at the top of your list. It is far and away the best of the best. You will be amazed at what you can get out of your RAW files. Your images will thank you.
A lot of the quality of your final image will be determined by what you do with your RAW files when you open them in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) which comes with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and Adobe Lightroom.
Article posted Nov. 30, 2016. Revised and expanded Dec. 17, 2016.
If you aren’t already shooting RAW files with your digital camera (as opposed to JPEG files), you should think about the advantages of shooting in RAW. Read the articles RAW vs JPEG Camera Files and The RAW vs JPEG Exposure Advantage at my photography web site.
When it comes to ACR, the names you need to know are Jeff Schewe and the late Bruce Fraser. They are both internationally known Photoshop experts. Fraser started the series of books on ACR and Jeff Schewe has continued the updates with each new version of Photoshop, and Lightroom. If you are using Photoshop CC and/or Lightroom 6, get The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (2nd Edition) by Jeff Schewe. If you are using Photoshop CS6 and/or Lightroom 5 or Lightroom 4, get The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (1st edition). If you are usingearlier software versions, the book you need is linked below.
When you buy either edition of The Digital Negative you get access to password protected RAW files that are used in both editions of the book. As the book guides you through the process of developing the RAW files, you process the same RAW files on your computer.
Turret Arch is one example of a RAW file you will work on. The difference between the processed file and the original file is remarkable. Once Schewe shows you what to do in one example after another, you will be amazed at what you can get out of your RAW files.
This example is the cover photo for edition two of The Digital Negative. The original “out of the camera” file is on the right. With the book as a guide, you work right alongside Jeff on your own computer to create the cover image on the left.
Russell Preston Brown, Senior Creative Director for Adobe Systems: “If you want to understand Camera Raw, then look no further than this book. Trust me on this one.”
This article is part of the Mastering Photoshop Series. The rest of the articles are linked below.
The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (2nd Edition) (for Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom 6)
The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (1sr edition) (for Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 5 & 4)
The Mastering Photoshop Series is part of a larger series of 60 articles guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest of the articles are here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.