Is it best to do most editing in Adobe Raw or Photoshop elements?

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Ian
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I shoot images in RAW format so it gives me the most flexibility when it comes to editing them.

I tend to adjust the following most: exposure,
white balance,
Contrast,
Saturation.

I also want to get into applying some noise reduction at times and sharpening images.

But is it best to do as much of these adjustments in Adobe Raw or when using Photoshop elements?
 

Kodiak Qc

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French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
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I never touch contrast, saturation etc. I basically fine tune
DRL, WB and perform some total taming at most.

To answer your question, no! I don't believe that the tools
available to your are the best. I think the answer should
consider what is the lesser evil or the better of the two…
but both are adobe products and I did quit using them
some long time ago.
 

Fuji Dave

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FUJI SON
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I shoot images in RAW format so it gives me the most flexibility when it comes to editing them.

I tend to adjust the following most: exposure,
white balance,
Contrast,
Saturation.

I also want to get into applying some noise reduction at times and sharpening images.

But is it best to do as much of these adjustments in Adobe Raw or when using Photoshop elements?
Hi Ian, I tend to use PSE15 for my Noise reduction, once I have done a bit of editing in LR :)
 
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John
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If you process Raw files in Elements, you are processing them in Adobe Camera Raw. It has slightly less options than using the Lightroom or Photoshop versions of ACR but for what you want, it is essentially the same.
 
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droj
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I shoot images in RAW format so it gives me the most flexibility when it comes to editing them.
Quite right too!

I tend to adjust the following most: exposure,
white balance,
Contrast,
Saturation.

I also want to get into applying some noise reduction at times and sharpening images. But is it best to do as much of these adjustments in Adobe Raw or when using Photoshop elements?
I could observe that if you're having to adjust exposure on raw import often, then your camera exposure technique might be amiss. Anyway, if it does need adjusting then Camera Raw will be the place to do it. After that and still in Camera Raw, you inspect the histogram to see what gives in terms of where the ends are. Mostly, the histogram should fill the whole width but without blocking up at the ends. For colour balance (white balance) once again, I find auto wb in camera works pretty well, but if you need to change it Camera Raw is the place. I'd also address contrast there to map the tonal range to where you want it to be, still with an eye on the histogram.

I never touch saturation and it's hard to think why anyone would want to.

Noise reduction on import - experiment with how much, and only if necessary. Sharpening if any is best left to the final output after re-sizing for particular purposes, so this function is performed further down the line and in your case would likely be in Elements. .
 
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ian-83
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Ian
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Quite right too!


I could observe that if you're having to adjust exposure on raw import often, then your camera exposure technique might be amiss. Anyway, if it does need adjusting then Camera Raw will be the place to do it. After that and still in Camera Raw, you inspect the histogram to see what gives in terms of where the ends are. Mostly, the histogram should fill the whole width but without blocking up at the ends. For colour balance (white balance) once again, I find auto wb in camera works pretty well, but if you need to change it Camera Raw is the place. I'd also address contrast there to map the tonal range to where you want it to be, still with an eye on the histogram.

I never touch saturation and it's hard to think why anyone would want to.

Noise reduction on import - experiment with how much, and only if necessary. Sharpening if any is best left to the final output after re-sizing for particular purposes, so this function is performed further down the line and in your case would likely be in Elements. .
Thanks for the help with explaining the best time and program to use for the adjustments I want to do. Sometimes I find the image on my camera screen compared to what I see when I open a RAW file the exposure always seems a bit off either lighter or darker, I guess this is down to the processing the camera applies to the thumbnail view in the LCD. I tend to leave the saturation alone as much as possible. Mostly find myself reducing it slightly to take the edge off colors in a photo.
 
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droj
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Since raw files are endlessly re-processable, it doesn't really matter what their representations look like on first import - they exist to be pushed & pulled into what you want them to be. But although they contain reserves that a jpg or a tif doesn't, camera exposure still needs to be attended to to keep tones within range, and here abandoning exposure to full auto can be a cop-out, because if the highlights are blown in the raw you ain't never gonna get em back. So a skill to be developed is judging what's in the frame so that this doesn't happen. Thus - let's say that you're in aperture-priority mode - from experience and / or after checking image preview on the rear screen of the camera straight after taking, maybe with 'blinkies' & / or histogram enabled, you might decide to dial in exposure compensation and if necessary re-take the shot. If anything, highlight protection is a priority, since apart from any point-highlights like light-sources, etc, any significant areas of detail-less white in a photograph are very likely to be ugly and un-satisfying. Not that shadow areas are to be careless about, but I'd say that in the average run of things they're in the second rank compared with highlights.

As a footnote - the above refers essentially to work in colour - mono is a different medium with a different message and different concerns.
 
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Simple answer to the OP's question: ACR every time for all the adjustments mentioned .. and more, as required.

Certainly also use the colour noise and luminance adjustment features in ACR, but I would avoid any sharpening until the image is imported to PSE, where I do any aspect ratio corrections needed (Filter > Correct Camera Distortion) before cropping. Then - and only then - do I apply sharpening, before finally saving the image as a jpeg.
 
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Simon
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I shoot images in RAW format so it gives me the most flexibility when it comes to editing them.

I tend to adjust the following most: exposure,
white balance,
Contrast,
Saturation.

I also want to get into applying some noise reduction at times and sharpening images.

But is it best to do as much of these adjustments in Adobe Raw or when using Photoshop elements?
Do what you can in ACR (or Lightroom, or other raw file developer). Then do final tweaks in Elements.
ACR works in 16 bits; PSE is mainly 8 bits so any processing there will be much more likely to degrade the image.

Thanks for the help with explaining the best time and program to use for the adjustments I want to do. Sometimes I find the image on my camera screen compared to what I see when I open a RAW file the exposure always seems a bit off either lighter or darker, I guess this is down to the processing the camera applies to the thumbnail view in the LCD. I tend to leave the saturation alone as much as possible. Mostly find myself reducing it slightly to take the edge off colors in a photo.
In the camera calibration tab select the calibration corresponding to the picture style you have set on your camera; that should get you much closer to the jpg preview.
 
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ian-83
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In the camera calibration tab select the calibration corresponding to the picture style you have set on your camera; that should get you much closer to the jpg preview.
Don't seem to get many picture style options for my Panasonic G7, but if I try a RAW file from my old D7000 it's gives me all the options you get in camera.
 
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Don't seem to get many picture style options for my Panasonic G7, but if I try a RAW file from my old D7000 it's gives me all the options you get in camera.
I think you'll find that picture options 'in camera' only apply to jpegs. RAW files remain as just that, raw (i.e. unprocessed) files, which can be revisited time and again if needs be, without affecting them. Think of your RAW files as negatives in former film photography. You wouldn't want to damage or lose your old negatives; RAW files are more durable thank goodness, but always save them well by backing up to another hard drive.
 
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ian-83
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I think you'll find that picture options 'in camera' only apply to jpegs. RAW files remain as just that, raw (i.e. unprocessed) files, which can be revisited time and again if needs be, without affecting them. Think of your RAW files as negatives in former film photography. You wouldn't want to damage or lose your old negatives; RAW files are more durable thank goodness, but always save them well by backing up to another hard drive.
In Adobe RAW if you click the camera icon you can definitely select the preset picture options when editing RAW files.
 
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All i would add is never work on the original, make a copy and work on that, mess up the original and you may have a problem getting it back
 
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Bazza
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Irrelevant with RAW files.

yes it is, for example if you work only on the original and don't have a copy, what happens if then if the original gets deleted by mistake? it can happen,say the memory card it is on may be formatted or overwritten result lost file and that is the only copy.

Why should one backup everything first? answer so there are copies available . . I don't think you have thought this through. Hope you don't do wedding photos without having backups
 
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That is two separate issues. You should always back up your storage externally to your computer.

When editing a Raw file, the Raw file is never changed, regardless of what software you are using. Your edits end up as a separate file so your unedited file is always available.
 
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Darren
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Don't you only need to use noise reduction if you've got noise? & mild sharpening works for most pics bfore they're photoshopped?
 
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Oh dear, yet again what I said has not been taken in. Always work on a copy not the original. They original will still be on a memory card and if that card gets damaged how on earth are you going to be able to edit from it.? let alone be able to read a damaged memory card.

No what you do is download it onto a computer first and the edit from that, not from the image on the memory card card. Then you are working on a copy not the original I even back up to another hard drive or DVD as well.

To me anyone who does not make a copy of a photo they want to keep it is their fault if it gets wiped or lost.

Having "lost " 5000 client details with HDD failure due to manufacturing fault when I had my own business soon taught me to backup in at least two places. Luckily a computer expert did recover them with difficulty.. Since then I ALWAYS work on copies not the original
 
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Whilst being somewhat patronising, you have a valid point about backups.

However throughout all that bluster, you've ignored the tiny fact that what you originally wrote was inaccurate:

All i would add is never work on the original, make a copy and work on that, mess up the original and you may have a problem getting it back
You can't 'mess up' a RAW file by editing it (unless you do so at a core file level by deleting data).
 
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droj
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All i would add is never work on the original, make a copy and work on that, mess up the original and you may have a problem getting it back
Right, let's take it from the top. The above quote is the entirety of what you originally wrote. The context of the surrounding posts was working on raw files. Ok? When you 'work on' a raw file, that work is virtual - the raw file remains unaltered. QED.

Woffling on about backups is an irrelevant topic IN THIS CONTEXT.
 
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Oh good, more silly bickering that ignores the OPs question!
Always load your pic into any retouching software & then save it with a new file name straight away. Make your shots look as best as you can with Adobe Raw then move into Photoshop. & yes this does work with Lightroom before anyone comes up with more bull doodoo
 
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