The Camera Raw control panels, also known as tabs (see Figure 8-9), are where most of your work will happen when you process images. Color, tone, detail, lens, curve, and calibration adjustments are available in each tab.
I show you the details of how to use them in Chapter 9; for now, here's a summary of what they do:
l Adjust tab (Ctrl+Alt+1, ^+Option+1 on a Mac): This tab contains all the controls that adjust color and tonal values in an image: White Balance, Temperature, Tint, Exposure, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation.
l Detail tab (Ctrl+Alt+2, ^+Option+2 on a Mac): This tab is home to the Sharpness, Luminance Smoothing, and Color Noise Reduction controls. Though I recommend that you use Camera Raw sharpening only for viewing images (save the real sharpening for later, in Photoshop), you can use this tab to reduce grayscale noise (with Luminance Smoothing) and turn down the color noise (with the Color Noise control) — a very welcome feature!
l Lens tab (Ctrl+Alt+3, ^+Option+3 on a Mac): The Lens Tab includes some advanced controls that let you make corrections to images that contain chromatic aberrations (also called lens artifacts) and vignetting (dark or light borders around an image).
Vignetting can actually become an artistic effect you can add to images, especially portraits. Sometimes I use the Vignetting control to actually introduce vignetting into an image.
i Curve tab (Ctrl+Alt+4, ^+Option+4 on a Mac): I find this control invaluable. The curve adjustment is a tool used to fine-tune the tonality of an image. You still need to make tonal adjustments in the Adjust tab, but the Curve tab is where you finish it off. Three preset curve adjustments are available: Linear (default), Medium Contrast, and Strong Contrast. You can also customize the curve by dragging different points on the graph.
Use the Curve tab to make your final brightness and contrast adjustments instead of using the Photoshop Brightness/Contrast control (which actually causes the image to lose detail in the form of valuable data).
i Calibrate tab (Ctrl+Alt+5, ^+Option+5 on a Mac): The controls in the Calibrate tab let you adjust the Camera Raw camera model (as recognized by the image you've loaded in Camera Raw) so you get the best shadow tint plus red, green, and blue hues and saturation.
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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.