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Adobe Photoshop Tutorial




Getting Started with RAW

Saving your Work

Now you have worked through a batch of RAW images and made all the changes you want to make it is time to save and convert them into jpeg or TIFF files. At the bottom of the ACR screen there is a menu bar with the saving options on it. See below.

acr saving menu

Workflow Options

In the middle of the bottom bar shown above is some blue text. This tells you the colour space and bit size all the images will be saved as, as well as the size of the image you are viewing in pixels and MB and also the ppi resolution. In this example I am using Adobe RGB colour space, it will be converted to an 8bit image when I convert it from the RAW format and the size of the image is 4288 by 2848 pixels which equates to 12.2 megapixels. If I had cropped this image in editing the reduced size would be shown not the size of the original. The resolution, when converted, will be 240ppi. If you want to change the settings just click on this text and it will bring up another window as shown below.

workflow options

The space refers to the colour space you prefer to use. there are 4 options in the drop down box.

acr workflow options

Adobe RGB (1998) is the one to choose if the primary use of your images is for print. The provides the best colour gamut for printing. The only other option you are likely to require is the last sRGB IEC61966-2.1 or normally just referred to as sRGB. You would use this colour space if the primary use of your images was for web. Having said that, I don't normally worry about this and keep everything to Adobe RGB as it is easier than swapping between the two and it is my printed images that bring me in money so are therefore more important.

The next box deals with bit depth. There are two choices, either 8bit or 16bit. If you choose 16bit you must save the files as a TIFF. If you save it as a jpeg it will simply revert to 8bit without any warning that it is doing so. Because of this is would be safe to leave this on 16bit so that then you only need to change the file extension when you came to save it to get the higher bit rate rather than keep going back into this box to alter this setting as well. We will deal with the file extension later. Basically, if you are going to do any more editing with this image in Photoshop then it would be best to keep it at 16bit and save it as a TIFF but if the images are complete as they are then save them as 8bit jpegs. For an explanation on the difference of 8bit and 16bit follow this link.

The next box is Size. This deals with the pixel count of the image. By default it will be set to the full size of the original RAW image.

acr workflow options

I am using a 12 megapixel camera so that size was highlighted by default but I don't have to keep it that size. I might want my images to be smaller, I'm not sure why but I might. I could also enlarge them but this is just an artificial enlargement otherwise referred to as interpolation. You can probably achieve a better enlargement in Photoshop but you might want to do it here to save another step. I recommend leaving this to the full size of your original images so there is not reduction or enlargement.

The last option is resolution. Changing this will have no effect on the quality of the final image or the file size. It just effects it's physical measurements. If you are using an image for the web then all you need is a resolution of 72ppi but for print you need between 240 or 300ppi. If you have the correct resolution set it is easier to see the what the physical dimensions of your image will be when printed or displayed on a web site. Of course, this can always be changed in Photoshop but if you know what you want now then setting it here can save you some extra steps and improve your work flow.

Last there is a check box. If you click in this box you can than open any selected image in Photoshop as a smart object by clicking on the 'Open Image' button below right. It has no effect on saved images.


Now we really are ready to save all that work but there are still more choices to be made. Let's look at that bar again.

acr saving menu bar

There are 4 buttons. We will look at them in reverse order from right to left. The last button is 'Done'. If you click on this all your settings will be saved for each RAW file open and any you marked for deletion will be deleted. No images will be converted into jpegs or TIFFs so you will still just have your RAW files. 'Cancel' does exactly what it says on the box. It cancels everything and quits ACR. None of your changes will be saved and none of the images marked for deletion will be deleted. 'Open Image' opens any of the images you have selected in the thumbnail window in Adobe Photoshop uncompressed. If you checked the box in the workflow options window for opening images as smart objects then when they appear in photoshop they will be smart objects. Please note, this takes a large amount of memory so if your PC is limited in this respect don't open too many images as smart objects.

The first button over on it's own on the left is the 'Save Image...' button and probably the one you will be most interested in. By clicking on this you can not only save all your RAW settings but also convert the selected images into jpeg or TIFF copies. First make sure you have all the images you want converted selected in the thumbnail window. Remember, if you select one that has been marked up for deletion it will have no effect as that image will be deleted. Now click on the Save images button and a new window will appear with yet more choices.

acr save as settings

The first question is where you want your converted files to go. You can either keep them in the same file as your RAW images or save them to a new location. I always save them to a new location. To do that you then need to select a folder where you want these files to be save to. click on the 'Select Folder' button and navigate to the location where you want them placed. You can create a new folder while you do this at the same time.

Next you have the opportunity to rename your files if you wish. If you want to keep the original file names as they are just leave all this blank. Each of the drop down boxes suggests a format for renaming and provides a space for you to add your custom text or numbers. Then you will need to select the file extension you require.

acr save as settings

There are quite a few options but remember if you want a 16bit image you will need to select TIF (tif) or PSD (psd) photoshop's own format. If you select either of these the 'Format' box below will automatically change to TIFF or Photoshop respectively. Which brings us onto the image below. I find it strange that having asked for the extension it should also ask for the format as the two are not interchangeable.

acr save as settings

The only difference between these two option is that one allows you to select upper of lower case extensions which might be important. I only ever use lower case extensions as that means that I don't have to change them if I want to place the images on my web site. I don't know of any situation that would require only upper case extensions so I never use them.

Once you are happy with these settings hit the 'Save' button top right and you are done. You can now either continue to make more changes to other images not being saved or you can exit ACR by clicking on the 'Done' button.

In my last tutorial on RAW I will take one more look at Bridge to show you what changes have happened there with the RAW files now they have been edited.



RAW introduction

RAW - Camera Settings

Importing your RAW files

ACR Interface Explained

ACR Basics & Exposure Tools

ACR Sharpening & Noise Reduction

ACR Curves tools

HSL/Grayscale tools (Hue, Saturation and Luminance)

Split Toning tools

Lens Correction tools

ACR Top Menu Bar (Crop, rotate and blemis removal etc)

Bridge and Converted RAW Files



Recommended Further Reading for Photoshop

Return to introduction & contents page

"A-Z of Digital Editing"


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