Subject: Re: Processing Images from RAW to Print
I agree. To preserve and enhance quality as much as possible, you should spend as much time as possible in the first Camera Raw dialog box, learn how to properly set your Exposure, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Curves, and Sharpening in there as described in Bruce Fraser's book, then convert to Photoshop, then apply Shadow/Highlight. (If Camera Raw could apply Shadow/Highlight, which I wish it could, I'd do that in Camera Raw too.)
When you bought Photoshop, you probably had reasons you chose to pay $600 more than you would for iPhoto. Adobe Camera Raw is one of those reasons. Essentially, by hitting "Return" to skip past the Camera Raw screen, you're processing a Raw image at an iPhoto level of control, but at a Photoshop price tag.
It's worth mentioning that some terminology is used inconsistently between Camera Raw and Photoshop:
* In Camera Raw, the "Brightness" and "Contrast" controls enhance the image when used properly.
* In Photoshop, the "Brightness" and "Contrast" have different functions and are not suitable for general photo correction. In Photoshop you should use Levels and/or Curves instead.
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