RAW images, also known as Digital Negatives, are the DSLR camera version of an unprocessed image. The RAW file contains all the unprocessed information collected by the image sensor together with the camera settings. The RAW image is likened to the negative in film photography. Whereas JPEG is a compressed file format developed to reduce file size in order to accommodate more images in storage devices, such as memory card.

If you have enough storage capacity (because the size of RAW images is quite large) & if you have a image post-processing application that can edit RAW images like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge etc. then you must shoot in RAW formats. Because there are several advantages in shooting with RAW formats over JPEG format & also in case of Post-Processing.

One important reason for shoot in RAW format is White Balance. When you shoot indoor, the colours from the incandescent and fluorescent lighting can cast a nasty yellow and a green tint to your image. If you shoot in RAW, you can very quickly and easily change the temperature and tint. If you shoot in JPG, the sliders won’t play nice; you’ll be adding color ON TOP of the colors that were engraved in the image when you shot it. Thus, if you shoot in RAW, you have greater flexibility to change the white balance settings come post production.

In this guide I’m going to show you how to edit RAW image files in Adobe Photoshop-

Guide to edit RAW image files in Photoshop: 

1. Original Image-

2. Open the image in Photoshop(PS)

3. Change the “Basic” settings.

  • Change the “temp” slightly.
  • Set the “Exposure” as per the image.
  • Increase the “blacks”
  • “Brightness” may be reduced or increased as per image setting
  • Increase the “Clarity” for better output
  • Slight increase in “Vibrance” looks good
  • Set the “Saturation”

After set the “Basic” settings, the image may be looked like this 

4. Set the “Tone Curves”

  • Set the curves as per your choice.
  • Increment in “Shadows” may give the image a better looks.

5. Set the parameters in “Detail”

  • Here increase the Sharpening “Amount” & “Details”
  • Increase the “Color Detail” in Noise Reduction part

6. Click on “Done” & then “Open image”. The image will be opened in “Workspace” of Photoshop. You can do some more post-processing in there using the “Adjustment” of “Layer” options.

Final Image looks like this-

Photo by- Arindam Tripathy