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Building a Workflow

Camera Raw is a wonderful raw converter, and the File Browser is maturing into a more-than-competent image manager, but what really makes Photoshop CS a compelling solution for a raw digital workflow is the integration between the two. As soon as the File Browser encounters a folder of raw files, Camera Raw kicks in automatically, generating thumbnails and generous-size previews that allow you to make reasonable judgments about each image without actually opening the file, so that you can quickly make your initial selections.

Then, when you've flagged the images you want to work with, you can bypass the Camera Raw dialog box and use the File Browser to apply your conversion settings—increasing exposure, adjusting white balance, and so on—simply by adjusting the image's metadata. This lets you perform the conversions (actually opening the images, which can take time) as a batch process. You can even incorporate other actions to the conversion process. For example, we've set up one batch process to produce high-res JPEGs for client approval, another to produce low-res JPEGs for e-mailing, and still another to prepare images for serious editing. Then, when the computer is busy doing our work for us, we go off and lead our glamorous lives.


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