Demo: Use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter in Photoshop CC

Julieanne Kost puts one of the most popular features in PS CC through its paces: 

In this episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne demonstrates how to take multiple exposures and combine them into a single 32-bit HDR file that can then be edited nondestructively using Adobe Camera Raw as a Smart Filter in Photoshop. In addition, you’ll discover how powerful using Camera Raw as a Smart Filter can be when working with layered files.

5 thoughts on “Demo: Use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter in Photoshop CC

  1. After years of running my HDR images through Nik HDR and Photomatix, Julieanne Kost gave me good reason to use Photoshop and Camera RAW for processing HDR images – and this pretty much for the first time. Julieanne’s technique has given me so much more control and flexibility. I’ve run a couple of HDR images using Julieanne’s techniques and the results are impressive – very impressive. This technique gives me a whole new place to go. As ever, Julieanne never fails to impress. Quite clearly she is a woman of many parts!

  2. There’s another technique for single image but multi-Layer use of the ACR Filter which has been improved a lot with one of the newest updates to Photoshop CC. The functionality of the Shadows, Midtones and Highlights options under the Select > Color Range Menu have recently been improved.
    So you can make three duplicate Layers from the starting shot; then add a Mask from the Color Range Selections to each, to isolate the tonalities in the shadowed, mid-tonal and highlighted regions. With good masking in place; then change each Layer to a Smart Object and add an ACR Filter to each one. And away you go. Selective changes in Exposure, Shadow and Highlight limits, Vibrance, and all the rest, can then be made; just as Julieanne demonstrates in the video, but with even more scope and sensitivity. And even with just an 8-bit starting image.

  3. Yes, definitely a game changer. It’s actually kind of sad, because the Photomatix team have continued to improve their product, always keeping it ahead of Photoshop for HDR. With the Photography bundle deal attracting lots of people to Photoshop CC, Photomatix is going to be dead in the water now.

    1. Trevor, I deliberately didn’t use the HDR acronym in the prior post here. First, it’s becoming now to be almost a misnomer. Plus, the ACR Filter, even as it stands today, is way more powerful than multi-exposure HDR-type images typically require.
      For example, the enhancement routine outlined above can easily be recorded as an Action. And, in that event, it is not just Photomatix who might now feel a bit beleaguered. Overall, with these types of techniques in Action form, it then becomes way easier to accomplish – directly in Photoshop CC – the sorts of post-processed outputs that folks have previously paid good monies to Athentech, Nik, onOne, Topaz, and others, for.

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