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Thread: Understanding post processing stages using PS Elements 10

  1. #1

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    Adrian

    Understanding post processing stages using PS Elements 10

    Hi

    I'm only just starting to use PS Elements 10 and am rather confused as to which 'space' I should be doing my image adjustments/manipulation in (I take all my photos in RAW format). When I open up a RAW file PS takes me into an add on RAW converter...should I be doing all my work there (if so why bother with the Elements part?) or just certain adjustments (which ones?) before saving (as a JPEG?) and opening it up in Elements and continuing from there?

    Thanks in anticipation

    Adrian

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Dave Ellis

    Re: Understanding post processing stages using PS Elements 10

    Hi Adrian

    Everyone seems to have their own prefences with workflow but here are my suggestions.

    The RAW converter you refer to is ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). The version that comes with Elements is a cut down version of that which comes with CS5.

    I only do basic adjustments in ACR:

    Highlight recovery if necessary using the Recovery slider.
    Perhaps some exposure adjustment using the Exposure slider
    Some initial sharpening - say about 50.
    Lens correction (but this is not available in Elements ACR)

    After that, I dont save the image as a jpeg but rather Open the image which opens it in PS. I then do the remainder of the processing in PS. You have more versatility here with such things as Adjustment layers (eg Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Saturation etc), Cloning and Spot Healing, further sharpening, filters, layer masks, blending layers etc etc etc. Note that with this approach with Elements, you will have to work in 8 bit mode once you have opened the raw image.

    I usually save the work in PSD format because this keeps a record of all the layers etc should you require to do further editing later. I then flatten the layers and re-size down for the web if necessary, add a little sharpening and save as a jpeg.

    Dave

  3. #3
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Mark Fleming

    Re: Understanding post processing stages using PS Elements 10

    Hi Adrian,

    I use CS5 but I'll tell you what the axiom is rapidly becoming here. I think it was Colin who was to coin the phrase "everything you can do in raw processing should be done in raw processing". The exception to this is sharpening but that's a whole other topic which has been covered here more than once.

    Once I'm happy with the conversion I'll open it up in 'shop for more work if it needs it. I don't actually use Photoshop very much for most of my pics. It's just the odd one or two that might worth some more work/fun.

    For instance I might duplicate a layer, adjust certain parts of it and then "paint" in the adjustments to the original using layer masks.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding post processing stages using PS Elements 10

    I use CS5 rather than elements, but the logic should be the same.

    Raw edits are nondestructive. ACR just creates a menu of edits that you have done, but it does not do anything to the raw file, and it does not make anything permanent except for any file that you export--saving as jpeg, psd, or tiff. That's why many of us do what we can with our raw software. To do nondestructive edits with elements, you would have to use layers, leaving the background layer unaltered.

    Re saving as JPEG: don't until you need to. JPEG uses lossy compression and therefore loses information. If at some point you need to save (I don't know the elements workflow) but are not exporting to the web or sending the file to a lab, save in a lossless format, such as tiff or psd. PSD should allow you to save without flattening layers, so you can go back and redo or eliminate them later.

  5. #5

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    Re: Understanding post processing stages using PS Elements 10

    Thanks guys, especially Dave as you've used language even an idiot like me can understand (though I havent started on layers yet so not sure what I can do)! What I've learnt is that a) I should use as much of ACR as I deem necessary before going into Elements - basic adjustments in ACR, wider range of tools in PS b) don't save the image in ACR unless you don't intend to use Elements. When you do save the file err on the side of PSD rather than JPEG (latter fine for web uploads).

    Thinks that's it! Thanks again :-)

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