Photoshop for Beginners; Put all your photos in one basket

In my last post, we talked lots about White Balance, and towards the end there I mentioned a nifty little program called CameraRaw and one of its best features – the ability to edit in batch. This means you can edit literally dozens of images at once; well, more specifically, you can edit one photograph and then apply all the adjustments to multiple others. This ensures consistency in your work, but also saves a great deal of time and effort!

So, what do you need in order to be able to edit in batch? Well, as I mentioned above, the first thing you’ll need is a RAW editor (make sure it has batch-processing capabilities) and some RAW photographs to edit :). If you have Photoshop, you probably already have a RAW processing application called CameraRaw; to find out, simply open up bridge, right click on a RAW image, and if you have the program installed you’ll see an option which says ‘open in camera raw’.

There is one other thing to keep in mind when batch processing; all the photographs must have been taken under the same conditions. That is, all of them must have been taken under the same lights, at the same time of day etc etc etc. You probably can’t batch edit your holiday photographs, but if you’ve just done a half hour shoot of your latest jewellery, and photographed them all under the same lighting set-up, you can definitely edit them in batch!

So, the first thing we want to do is choose the images we want to edit. To do this, open up Bridge, navigate the your photos folder and then start selecting your images by ctrl-clicking on them. Once you’ve selected all the images you want, simply double click on one of them to open them in CameraRaw.

Batch editing

Batch editing

When CR opens, you’ll see a little toolbar on the far left which looks like the image on the right. As you can see, there are two buttons at the top labelled ‘select all’ and ‘synchronize’. Don’t worry about these for now; simply click on one image to highlight it, then start editing it as you wish. You can do a myriad of things within CR – you can adjust the colour, brightness or sharpness; you can add effects such as a vignette or camera tilt – you can even convert it to greyscale or split-tone it, all from within one nifty little window.

Once you’re happy with the way you image looks, it’s time to return to the toolbar on the far left. Click the first button at the top – the ‘select all’ button. All of your images should now be highlighted. Now click on ‘synchronize’.

A new window will now pop-up with lots of little check-boxes; these tell the program which settings you wish to copy to your other photographs. Select all the ones you want to copy, then hit okay. Ta-da! Now you can scroll through your images, and they will all be beautifully edited according to the settings you applied to that first image 🙂

Once you’re done editing your images, hit the ‘done’ button down at the bottom of the program to return to Bridge. If you click on ‘open images’, you’ll end up opening every single one of your photos in PS, which would naturally be quite bad! If any of the images need further adjustments, use Bridge to open them individually instead.

I hope this has given you a good introduction to batch editing within Cr! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible 🙂


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