Use Adobe Camera RAW to Make Adjustments to your JPEG Images

The latest version of Adobe Camera RAW, version 6.3 is a powerful editing tool in it’s own right.  Photographers shooting in RAW mode are presented with Adobe Camera RAW when they open their RAW files in Photoshop.  But what if you shoot in JPEG, or someone asks you to edit their JPEG file?  This quick and easy tip will allow you to open your JPEG files in Adobe Camera RAW and utilize all the tools you would have for RAW file editing.

The Adobe Camera RAW plugin possesses so many useful tools including cropping, straightening, exposure corrections, and others.  It also allows some pretty advanced editing like white balance correction, targeted adjustments, noise reduction and quite a bit more.  The features and benefits of Adobe Camera RAW are too many to list here but once you dig into ACR you will see that it is a very powerful plugin and is the first step (and sometimes the final step) in many photographer’s editing workflow.  Photographers shooting in RAW mode are really forced to use ACR so they learn quickly how valuable this plugin can be.  But what about those who shoot JPEG?  When you use the File>Open command from menu in Adobe Photoshop and you select a JPEG file it just opens the file in Photoshop.  So how do we get the JPEG file to open in ACR so we can utilize all the cool features of the plugin?  If you are using a PC you will have to select “Open As” from the File menu.  The Open As command will open a similar window as the open command.  Select the file you want to open by clicking on the thumbnail then, just below the file name dialog you will see a drop down requester labeled “Open As”.  Click the little triangle to the right and drop down the requester to see the choices and select Camera RAW from the list.  After you are done just click the “Open” button and your JPEG will open in ACR.  If you are using a MAC just use the normal File>Open command but at the bottom left of the file box you will need to click the format requester and change the format to Camera Raw. (sorry, I have no photo of this since I don’t use a Mac)

You can also open your JPEG files in ACR from Adobe Bridge.  Adobe Bridge is a program that is bundled with Photoshop and lets you view your files thumbnailed.  Bridge will also let you sort and organize your photos.  But Bridge has a secret.  Bridge has it’s own version of ACR built into it’s bag of tricks.  But how do we find ACR in Bridge?  When you open bridge you can navigate through your files.  Once you find the directory of photos you want to work on, bridge displays those files in a viewing pane as thumbnail images.  If you open a JPEG image by double clicking on it, it will  just open the file in Photoshop to allow you to edit it.  But if you want to use ACR to edit your JPEG files, you need only to highlight the thumbnail (single click) then press Ctrl+R  (Command+R on Mac) and your JPEG file will open in ACR.  You can also right click the thumbnail (option click on a Mac).  This will open a pop up menu and all you need do is select “Open in Camera Raw” from the list of choices and you will be able to edit your JPEG image in ACR from Adobe Bridge.  This works for TIFF files too!!!  For your RAW shooters, now you can use ACR to edit those random JPEG images you run across. For you JPEG shooters, now you can dig into ACR and really unleash it’s powerful tools on your JPEG images.

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One Response to Use Adobe Camera RAW to Make Adjustments to your JPEG Images

  1. Melissa says:

    This would have been nice to know before I switched to shooting Raw 99% of the time. I will have to switch to Jpeg just to try this out.

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