With increasing Popularity of Digital SLRs and high power of RAW files, most of the folks are moving to shoot in RAW formats like NEF, CR2 etc. So here we are mainly going to discuss the usual workflows of Processing RAW files in Adobe Photoshop Elements, Exporting them into another file format, which format is appropriate as per personal usage goals etc. Let's have a deep dive into ideal workflows for RAW file users.
There are lot of articles around processing Camera RAW files in Adobe Photoshop Elements and most of them are accessible from http://photoshopelementsbyadobe.blogspot.in/search/label/Adobe%20Camera%20Raw .
If you have never tried Adobe Camera Raw Dialog for processing your Photographs, check out http://photoshopelementsbyadobe.blogspot.in/2010/01/i-love-adobe-camera-raw-dialog-in.html . Here we talked about various adjustment controls in detail. This is basic recommendation for every Raw shooter. When you start using your RAW files in PSE, it's important to know that Adobe Camera Raw Dialog can handle multiple Photographs at a time. Which means that open all your Raw file from one shoot in Adobe Camera Raw Dialog and process them to adjust lighting colors and other relevant stuff. When done with all editing, you can simply click DONE if for now, you have no need to share these Photographs with friends or on your website or blog.
If you have to share your Photographs, the very first thing is to think about is saving these Photographs in a format which can be easily viewed by the end user of that photograph. E.g.- If you want to share with friends, export in JPEG. If interested in preserving the photograph in viewable format PNG-24 is recommended. If you want to put photographs on Website, export them into small JPEG and watermark as well. In case, thinking of getting them printed from a professional printing agency, use TIFF to export.
For Saving RAW photographs, you have to click Open instead of DONE in Adobe Camera Raw Dialog. This will open your Raw files in Editor workspace. Now you can use Save-As for saving your Photographs in different viewable format. Now, if your Raw files are 16-bit you may not see options to save in JPEG. For that, you need to convert the files into 8-bit and then save.
There are two ways to convert your 16-bit Raw files into 8-bit :-
1. Change the value in Adobe Camera Raw Dialog - There is a small dropdown in the bottom for switching between 8-bit and 16-bit.
2. Go to Image Menu and select Mode.
In case you are planning to save the files for yourself and not want much compression, PNG is recommended. PNG-24 can be saved through 'Save for Web' option.
Please feel free to put your comments to know more about Camera Raw or adobe Photoshop Elements.