Step 2 – RAW Edits

STEP 2: RAW Edits

This is the RAW Image Portal. To modify the photograph, using the RAW Image file first will give you more functionality to make the edits. 

Follow the checklist for edits:

Exposure – It lightens or darkens the photo based on the slider bar. 
Contrast – Don’t use this unless you want an unreal effect.
Highlights – Brightens or Dulls the photograph where the light sources are touching the subject. 
Shadows –  Darkens or Exposes the photograph where the shadows are encasing the subject.
Whites – Intensifies the Whites in the photo.
Blacks – Intensifies the Blacks in the photo.
Clarity – Use this to make the photo more crisp. NOTE: When using clarity, pair this with luminance. (See following sections for details.)
Vibrance – Intensifies more color in the photo without over saturating. 
Saturation (Not Pictured) – Adds color at the highest degree, or if you bring it down the opposite way of the slider, you will be able to turn the photo black and white without doing it post RAW. 

Here’s an example of the settings I use for this. Do NOT click done or open image yet! 

Go to the Triangle in the RAW toolbar and select it. From that menu, you will see a tool called LUMINANCE. This tool goes in conjunction with the Clarity tool. Using the Clarity tool will make things uber sharp, but the flip side of it is that it will become noisy. The function of the luminance tool is to remove noise. Take this up higher when you used a decent amount of Clarity.