The Adjust tab

Now this is the heart of Camera Raw! The Adjust tab (as shown in Figure 7-6) is where you make the most important adjustments to your image's appearance. Camera Raw generally does a very good job of combining its built-in knowledge of your specific camera model and its analysis of the individual image to provide you with a good starting point. You can then tweak the image (keeping an eye on the histogram) to bring out its best.

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Figure 7-6: You make changes to tonality and color in the Adjust tab.

Generally, you adjust the white point (the Temperature and the Tint sliders) by clicking with the White Balance tool (which looks like the Eyedropper tool, seen here in the margin) in some area that should be neutral and close to white. Next, adjust the Exposure slider to spread the histogram across most of the space available. Work with the Shadows and the Brightness sliders to maximize the tonal range (without sending the histogram crawling up the left or right edges). The Contrast and the Saturation sliders, as you can guess, manage the contrast in the midtones and the saturation of the colors in your image.

As you work, the best adjustments are those that make the image look great to you and meet your creative goals.

When working with the Exposure and the Shadows sliders, you can press the Option (Mac)/Alt (Windows) key to see any pixels in your image that are being clipped (forced to the maximum value) in the shadows, highlights, or any color. Hold the Option/Alt key and drag the sliders. White pixels show where highlights are being clipped, black pixels show where shadows are being clipped, and colors indicate clipping in one or two color channels. Avoid clipping (except for special artistic effects) because your image loses detail when similar colors are forced to a single extreme value.

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