4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2018 9:52 AM by Doc_Pit

    Editing in ACR vs. Editing in PS

    Doc_Pit Level 1

      In the following tutorial (https://phlearn.com/tutorial/maximize-image-quality-8-easy-steps/#), the author states that “Editing a photo in a RAW convertor is like working with warm taffy: you can massage it and knead it to an infinite degree and it remains pliable. Bring that same photo in Photoshop and it becomes brittle, more likely to snap than Stretch.” 


      He provides the following example to illustrate that editing a RAW file in ACR is preferable to editing the same file in PS: “…below are two versions of the same photo, one in which an extreme curves adjustment was applied in the raw convertor, and one in which the same extreme curves adjustment was applied in Photoshop. Even though the photos may look virtually identical check out the Histogram of the one edited in Photoshop. All those gaps in the histogram mean missing data, and missing data means crap image quality.”  The point he makes is that those missing data, while they may make no visible difference in most instances, can cause problems when applying gradients, soft brush strokes or the like.


      Assuming that the example is valid, can anyone explain it or point to an explanation in some technical article?

        • 1. Re: Editing in ACR vs. Editing in PS
          JJMack Most Valuable Participant

          It is very easy to understand in ACR you dealing with sensor  RAW data before any post processing is done before some camera setting have been applied like white balance and other exposure compensations before there is even an RGB image.   In Photoshop your are dealing with a post processed RGB image.  RAW data is like and exposed piece of  film the are many way you can develop your image.  RGB image file contain no RAW data you are dealing with a Post processed image. The RAW data is no longer available and If the conversion was 8Bit color depth much you cameras 12 or 14 bit color depth has been lost.  Higher color depth give you better  color smoothness and latitude.

          • 2. Re: Editing in ACR vs. Editing in PS
            Doc_Pit Level 1

            Thanks very much, JJ.  That helps.  I feel like I'm progressing from Beginner to Intermediate level in PS, but there are still some really basic aspects of how PS works that I need to get a better handle on in order to get to the next level.  Again, thanks very much.

            • 3. Re: Editing in ACR vs. Editing in PS
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

              Doc you have been posting here for while now, and asking lots of questions, which is good.  I had the impression that you were doing pretty well, and progressing in leaps and bounds.  You certainly seem to be prolific with your projects, and trying lots of stuff, so I'd say you were a long way beyond beginner.  I tell the people I try to teach Photoshop to here in NZ, that they don't need to learn it all at once.  What you probably do need to do though, is to consolidate each new trick you learn by repeating it, so that means learn the skills that will be useful to your style of image creation.


              It' a win win for everybody, as you never stop learning, and I suspect there is not one of this forum's regular posters who does not love seeing a post they can't immediately answer, because it means we are going to learning a new trick.  Do you have anything online like an Instagram, or flickr account you can show us?

              • 4. Re: Editing in ACR vs. Editing in PS
                Doc_Pit Level 1

                Trevor, thanks a lot for the encouragement.  My goal is to create absolutely the best images I'm capable of creating.  I'm retired, so I can afford to spend time learning.  My progress seems to be iterative.  For all the time I've been posting, I've only "completed" three composite images and made progress on a few more.  Then, as I look at the best work I can find online and in galleries, I see ways to improve those "completed" images.  Part of the enterprise is learning the software, but a big part of it is learning to really see and learning to distinguish "nice" images from really fine work.  Having just gone through a compositing course (downloaded from Jesus Ramirez' PTC website), I can see ways to take my work to the next level.  Also, given that I need to be able to represent relatively delicate elements like mists and fine renderings of reflected light, and given that I'm experiencing problems with banding, I'm trying to overhaul my workflow to do as much editing as possible on smart objects in ACR in an effort to maintain maximum image quality.  I realize that I'll never reach "perfection" or know everything there is to know.  But when I look at images that I really admire, I know that there's no satisfaction for me in doing anything less than what I believe I'm capable of achieving.  Cranking out images that are less than that holds no charm.  I'm immensely grateful that I can post questions to this forum, and generous people such as yourself, are willing to take the time to help.  Moreover, there are some really talented people producing tutorials that make it possible for someone like me to achieve in a period of a few years what, in earlier times, could only be learned over a lifetime.  Again, thanks very much.