Released in June 2007, Adobe Photoshop: Camera Raw Workflow Essentials with Matt Kloskowski is the new video training DVD for those who have experience with a recent version of Photoshop and want to learn how to unlock the power of the Camera Raw workflow. It is hosted by Matt Kloskowski, one of the education and curriculum developers for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, or NAPP. If you are not familiar with NAPP, please read my review on Photoshop User magazine, to gain more insight on what NAPP is all about, and why you might want to join.
Adobe Photoshop: Camera Raw Workflow Essentials is contained on a single DVD that runs 174 minutes and can only be used on a computer based system. It is aimed at users new to Photoshop as well as those who have basic intermediate skills and want to move to the next level. The author goes over the material in 24 lessons which are divided into 3 sessions that will have you unlocking the world of Camera Raw within Photoshop like a pro.
Lessons 1-2 cover what Camera Raw is, and what it can be used for. The lessons explains the differences between Raw and JPEG files and what makes Raw files so much more powerful. It also explains how to open Raw files in both Bridge and in Photoshop, and what the differences are when you do so.
Lessons 3-5 cover the fundamentals of White Balance Here you will learn how white balance affects your perception of an image because "eyes adjust, cameras don't." You will learn how to work with a white balance tool to target neutral grey, what to do when you can't find a neutral grey You will also learn about the white balance presets and how much easier it to do in Camera Raw.
Lesson 6 shows you how to crop and straighten your images. Kloskowski prefers to insert the cropping at this point in his work flow because it changes how the histogram is affected. This way, when he works with the cropped image, he has a more accurate representation of the image. Straightening is explained by showing how to use the straightening tool.
Lesson 7 explains how to set the proper exposure by using the Tonal Controls; Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks, Brightness, and Contrast. Here he shows how to adjust from top to bottom. Here you begin with Exposure and Recovery sliders.
Your bonus video focuses on the fact that in Photoshop CS3 you can now open JPEG files in Camera and what the implications are with this ability.
Lessons 8-9 continues the use of the basic tab that began in lesson 7. Here you will work with the Fill Light and Black controls, and how you can use them to adjust the dark areas of your images. You will then will work with the last four settings; Brightness, Contrast, Vibrance, and Saturation to work with the mid-tones of your image.
Lessons 10-12 cover additional adjustments starting with adding contrast by using Curves tab, especially using the new Parametric Curves in CS3. Then you work with the Detail tab by working with Sharpening and Noise Reduction. Finally you work with HSL/Grayscale tab. This is similar to the Hue-Saturation panel in Photoshop.
Lessons 13-14 look at some of the other effects that you can also do in Camera Raw. This lesson begins with how to create a Black and White photo in Camera Raw by using the other half of the HSL/Grayscale tab. You will then learn about the new Split Toning feature in CS3 Camera Raw and how it allows you to create a split tone to your black and white photos quickly and easily.
Your bonus lesson is all about you don't have shoot in Raw + JPEG on your camera anymore.
Lesson 15 addresses the Lens Correction Tab. While this tab may not be used for much anymore, Kloskowski shows what you can use it for if you need to fix Chromatic Aberration.
Lessons 15-18 begin by showing how to process multiple Raw files at once. Then you will learn how to remove dusts and spots on image as well as multiple images by using the retouch tool. From here you will find out how to move your image to Photoshop.
Lessons 19-20, examines Raw/Photoshop workflows. One is for Portraits where you will use Layer Masks, Merging Layers, Spot Healing, and use the Smart Sharpen filter to get some selective sharpening. The second is for Landscape workflows. Here you will work with Smart Objects to reopen a layer back in to Camera Raw to combine multiple images to one.
Lesson 21 examines the topic of DNG; digital negative, to address the problem future non support of a Camera Raw format.
The final bonus lesson is a catch-all with regard to Camera Raw. This covers features such as the Camera Raw database/.XMP files, and how they are used to save changes.
As with all of the NAPP videos, Adobe Photoshop CS3: Camera Raw Workflow Essentials packs a lot of information into a little under 3 hours. Matt Kloskowski has a way of explaining things that make it very easy to understand. Along the way, he shows you a lot of little tips and tricks that will help you take your skills to the next level.
The retail price of Adobe Photoshop: Camera Raw Workflow Essentials is $69.99 USD. You can get it from PhotoshopTraining for $62.99 USD, an 11% discount, but for NAPP members it is only $54.99 a savings of 22%. There is an online version as well available from PhotoshopVideos, again $69.95 USD Retail and $49.95 USD for NAPP members.