2 Easy Ways To Open Images With Camera Raw In Photoshop

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If you’re a photographer, you likely work or will at some point work with raw photos, which means you’ll need to know how to open an image in camera raw.

The first way to open an image in Camera Raw in Photoshop is to open a RAW image into Photoshop, and Camera Raw will open automatically. The second option is to select a layer in an existing Photoshop project and go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. This will open your layer to be edited in Camera Raw.

Photographers often take advantage of Camera Raw as the editing process is much easier and faster than if you were to do the same edits using Photoshop’s tools. Let’s explore how to open images in Camera Raw from both Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.

How To Open An Image Using Camera Raw In Photoshop

Step 1: Go To File > Open

The easiest way to open an image in Camera Raw is to open a raw image file in Photoshop. RAW image files differ depending on which camera you use. Nikon’s raw files are NEF or NRW, while Canon’s are CR2. Certain laptops may prevent you from viewing this format until you open the image in Photoshop or Bridge.

Once you’ve saved RAW images onto your computer, you can open them in Photoshop by going to File > Open.

Step 2: Select The RAW File And Click Open

Select a RAW file, and Camera Raw will automatically open as a new window. Here, you can make basic adjustments to your photos, such as exposure and tone. Click Open to save the edits and open your image in Photoshop.

If you’re opening a RAW file, this is all you need to do. However, if you have a different file format, move to the next step.

Step 3: Go To Filter > Camera Raw Filter

The other way to open an image with Camera Raw in Photoshop is a good method to use if you want to edit a jpeg image with the adjustments in Camera Raw. You can access Camera Raw to edit the photo by applying a Camera Raw filter to the layer.

To do this, first, open up your image and remember this method works if your image is already opened in Photoshop as a layer. With your image open and the image layer selected, head to Filter > Camera Raw Filter.

This will open up Camera Raw, giving you access to all the adjustments to edit your selected layer. This is useful if you’d like to make basic adjustments easily in Photoshop, but the photo you’re working with isn’t a RAW file.

Using Adobe Camera Raw With Smart Objects In Photoshop

To use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter, duplicate the layer you’re working on with Control + J (Win) or Command + J (Mac).

Next, right-click the new layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Now that the layer is a smart object, you can head to Filter > Camera Raw Filter.

The Camera Raw window will appear, where you can make the edits you’d like to the photo and click OK. Then, you can easily return to the Camera Raw window anytime by double-clicking the smart filter labeled Camera Raw Filter beneath your smart object layer.

Using Camera Raw with a Smart Object is a great way to reduce the number of layers in your document, which in turn reduces the file size, allowing you to save space on your computer.

How To Open Camera Raw From Adobe Bridge

To use Camera Raw in Bridge, open Adobe Bridge. Then click the photo you’d like to edit. The quickest way to open it in Camera Raw is to click the Open in Camera Raw icon in the top toolbar.

If you double-click a RAW image, it will also open Camera Raw automatically. With the image selected, you can also head to File > Open in Camera Raw.

Now, edit your photo the way you’d like, and click OK when you’re finished. You’ll notice Adobe Bridge stays open in the background, so you can still access the Bridge interface when you finish using Camera Raw.

Camera Raw provides enough tools to make basic edits to your photo, which might be all you need if you don’t need detailed edits. Luckily, even while working in Adobe’s other programs, you can still access Camera Raw for fast, easy, and non-destructive editing. 

Happy Editing!

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I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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