If you're used to the old Camera Raw/File Browser combination in Photoshop CS, you'll notice that things have changed in several ways, all for the better. If you're new to Camera Raw, this section explains why the screen shots in this chapter may look different from your copy of Camera Raw when you launch it.
As I mentioned in the previous chapter, unlike the old Photoshop File Browser, Adobe Bridge is a standalone application. One of the many advantages that its standalone status confers is that it's capable of hosting Camera Raw when Photoshop is either not running, or more likely, is busy doing something else. You can open Camera Raw in Bridge or Photoshop, whichever is the more efficient for the task at hand.
If you want to edit the Camera Raw settings for one or more images, but don't plan on opening them in Photoshop, you can open Camera Raw in Bridge while Photoshop is, for example, busy running a batch process. Or you can edit images in Camera Raw in Photoshop while Bridge is busy caching a new folder. You can even open one Camera Raw window in Bridge and another in Photoshop, though doing so has the potential to make you a very confused puppy! The subtle clue as to which application is currently hosting Camera Raw is the default buttonsee Figure 4-1.
Figure 4-1. Camera Raw in Bridge and in Photoshop
When Camera Raw is hosted by Bridge, the default button is Done. Clicking it closes Camera Raw, applies the settings to the raw file, and returns you to Bridge.
When Camera Raw is hosted by Photoshop, the default button is Open. Clicking it closes Camera Raw, applies the settings to the raw file, and opens the converted image in Photoshop.
A second important workflow enhancement is the "filmstrip" mode of Camera Raw. Now you can open and edit multiple images in Camera Raw, and transfer settings from one image to another right inside the Camera Raw interface (see Figure 4-2).
Figure 4-2. Camera Raw in filmstrip mode
When you open multiple raw images in Camera Raw, they appear in the filmstrip at the left of the Camera Raw window, allowing you to work with multiple images in several useful ways.
These new enhancements offer much more flexibility in the workflow. However, in this chapter, I'll first concentrate on the tools Camera Raw offers for editing a single image, because as previously noted, you must learn to walk before you can run. So most of the screen captures of Camera Raw in this chapter will use a single image.
The image controls are the same no matter which application is hosting Camera Raw and no matter how many images you've chosen to edit. I'll discuss workflow and ways to handle multiple images efficiently in Chapter 7, It's All About the Workflow, but for the bulk of this chapter, let's take our images one at a time, and focus on the tools themselves.